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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wonder Books


My parents sent the most incredible gift to my school earlier this year: money to purchase a class set of R. J. Palacio's book Wonder. After reading the book and discussing it with each other via online and in-person conversations, the fifth graders created small books about the ideas of Wonder.

They shared their wonder books with each other and parents today. Each book was supposed to contain three things in response to the story:

a precept that shapes life (composed by the student or borrowed from another source)
a wonder question that could not be answered with facts
a word that guides (illustrated in some way)

The book covers needed to convey an important scene from the story, and their varied responses foretell the  thoughtfulness of their responses. The precepts (like those shared by the teacher in Wonder) covered topics of great importance, and the choices showed the students' careful inclusion of ideas they believe are essential to living. They wondered about why people treat others unfairly because of personality traits or appearance, why life on earth is temporary, what can be done for the world to be at peace. Words like joy, others, family, love, wisdom, and peace filled the last pages of their books. All of these things were excellent examples of what the students learned from the book - and far more powerful than answers to comprehension questions!

5 comments:

  1. There is so much at which to wonder, so much to question...Life is not all about facts, is it? I am glad to know that your young students are being invited to question, to reflect. I think it could be easy to just be swept up into the fast paced, concrete world of today, without any wondering or questioning...

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    1. That is why I think it is exceptionally important for kids to be encouraged to reflect and ponder. I loved how they wanted to seek out the authors of their favorite sayings, too, attributing words to the correct person. When "anonymous" was listed, most were disappointed.

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  2. What a great to document their responses to this wonderful book.

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  3. Ok, I've got mine.
    How many miles are there in the world?

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    1. I like that one. Imagine starting from all sorts of places and tracking miles...oceans, forests, canopies, trails.

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