The students in my third-grade classroom are inquisitive, engaged thinkers who are diverse and LOVE to expand their thinking about the world and how to see it. Due to the lack of social and emotional education, I seek to stretch my students thinking when engaging with others. There is a mutual understanding that not all people are created the same, but it is very difficult for eight and nine-year-old children to explore that theory. Finding meaningful experiences for them to connect and relate to is imperative.
My students need exposure to literature that is both challenging the social and emotional norms of humanity while captivating their interests.
I am looking for literature that allows my students to explore relationships that people create with one another, all while tying an important message of love and acceptance to our reading standards that will ultimately compliment my instruction.
Wonder is a great way to teach and relate third graders to the Common Core state standard of describing characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and the ability to explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events, along with lending itself to pair well with many of the other third grade reading standards.
The New York Times bestseller, Wonder, tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Auggie learns to cope with a range of reactions to his unusual appearance, as well as a lot of typical and not-so-typical childhood drama. The book has clear positive messages about choosing kindness, appreciating everyone for who they are (rather than what they look like), and true friendship; empathy and perseverance are also strong themes.
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