I read “Wonder” by RJ Palaccio soon after it was released – it ended up being one of my favorite books. Then, I read it with our book club and everyone really enjoyed it! THEN, I read the book to my 4th grade class last Fall. Whew! Needless to say, I still love the book and encourage everyone to read it. I like the shift in points of view and the themes in particular. Now the movie is coming out November 17, 2017! Woo hoo! If you want to read the book at the library reserve it NOW! I am sure it will be a long list in November.
Not only is it an awesome book, but Lionsgate is starting a Certified Kind Classroom that my class will be participating in. There are activities AND prizes. Who doesn’t love prizes?? The first activity is one I have wanted to do with a classroom for a long time – design our own t-shirt. With new and cheaper methods of creating shirts I thought this would be fun. Now the Certified Kind Classroom makes it into a contest. So not only do we get to use creativity and communication skills – we get to apply them and compete.
The second activity is identifying precepts to live by. Personally, I think many books and discussions have missed an underlying message: Priorities. What ARE our priorities?? Young people are trying to identify their priorities. They usually adopt their parents’ priorities, sometimes try ones of their own and then – hopefully – develop a system of their own moral, ethical, physical and academic priorities. In the most famous precept in the book (which is actually from Peter Pan by Barrie I believe) , the teacher states “It is better to be kind than to be right.” What does that mean? What do we take away and how do we put this into practice?
The third activity is one I have seen in a few schools. Some call it filling a bucket. Some call it fishing for good behavior. Some call it “random acts of kindness.” Whatever it is – the continuous action of calling attention to good behavior and acts of kindness is something that is worth doing!