This year's book, selected for the third through fifth grade, was Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. It tells the story of a ten-year old girl with Cerebral Palsy who's an incredibly bright student; yet, due to her condition, is unable to let anyone know. This all changes when she receives an augmentative communication device. It is an honest, upfront portrayal of life from her perspective in special education, being mainstreamed, and developing friendships. It serves as a solid foundation to teaching others about acceptance, sympathy, and life as we know it.
I'm on the final chapters with my class and I'm trying to make it last a bit longer. We did an activity, that could be used for any of those read alouds or stories you've shared with your class that you don't want to say goodbye.
- You, or have your students, select important lines, quotes, or sentences from the story to put on paper (I typed them up and had more lines than students but they can just handwrite them, great handwriting practice too).
- I handed out sticky notes to each student (I liked using different colors).
- Students each received one quote. As they read it, they reflected on what it meant or what it triggers to them about the story.
- They wrote down these reflections on the sticky-note (I had them write, at least two sentences).
- They placed the sticky-note around the edges of the quote.
- As students finished, they brought up their quote and exchanged it for another. This is where the extra quotes came in handy. That way, students weren't standing around waiting for a peer to finish.
- They continued doing this for about thirty minutes.
For this example, I had only one copy of the book, but this could also be done within individual book groups or when everyone has a common text. We had a great time remembering piece of the story.