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English Language Arts Blog

The home of Vocab Gal and other educational experts K–12 resources

September 28, 2015 CL Lesson Plans, ELA K-5, ELA Focus - Reading, ELA 6-8, ELA Resources - Activities, Core Literacy

Part 2: Wonder Lesson Plans That Teach Students About Acceptance

I have just read Wonder, by Raquel J. Palacio, again and I can easily understand why it remains on the New York Times Best Sellers List and a part of my Disability Awareness Activities Unit. Every upper elementary and middle school teacher that is teaching acceptance needs to share this book with his or her students.

A Brief Synopsis of Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio

wonder-lesson-plansAugust (Auggie) Pullman is about to enter school for the first time, starting the 5th grade at Beecher Prep. Auggie was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from attending school until now. This is the story of his first year at school.

The format of the book is unique. It is divided into different parts, or sections, and each part of the story is narrated by a different character. What is most interesting about Wonder is that each character is telling the same story, but from his or her own perspective. What is equally compelling is that the reader cannot help but look at the various situations in the book from his or her own perspective. With every reread, I found myself feeling just as many emotions as I had the first time. As a mother, I could not help but wonder what I would do or say if I was in Auggie's mother's position. Every year, I enjoy listening to my students’ perspectives as they share their opinions on the book and talk about what they would do similarly or differently from Auggie's classmates and family.

Teaching acceptance is a key component of any disabilities unit. Wonder is the perfect novel to use for teaching acceptance. As well as teaching acceptance, the author's message is to be kind. She encourages readers to go out of their way to do something kind each and every day. This book has had a positive impact on my life. Every day, rather than focusing on the negative or on how someone may have wronged me, I am looking to do or say something kind. I am focused on the good rather than on the bad, thanks to Raquel J. Palacio.

Disability Awareness Unit: Wonder Lesson Plans

wonder-lesson-plans-disability-awareness-activities

Vocabulary-Download-Now

In my Disability Awareness Activities Unit there are two downloads available for you to use with the book Wonder. The first download is an organizer for students to compare and contrast the characters’ various perspectives about what is transpiring in the story. The second download is a kindness journaling activity. With the journal writing activity, students will spend 10 days being kind and noticing the kind things that are happening around them. I guarantee that after focusing on simple acts of kindness for 10 days it will carry over into your students' everyday life.

If you want to learn more about my unit for teaching students about disabilities and acceptance, read Part 1. And stay tuned for details on how I use Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper in the classroom as part of my disability unit.