My students need 75 individual copies of Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine so that they can successfully complete the thematic novel study we will engage in this fall.
People hear the description "disability" and immediately have an image in their minds of what that means. My students need the opportunity to open their minds to what disability and advocacy can look like so that they can begin having conversations about applying this to their own lives!
My students are amazing 7th graders, some who have learning disabilities and many who don't.
Although they learn well side by side, many of my students with disabilities do not like to admit they have one and many of my regular education students still do not understand what learning disabilities are. They are resilient and funny and come from a diverse assortment of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. My students have worked hard to develop empathy for others and take action when they see injustice, but they still struggle to advocate for themselves and others, particularly when it comes to their own learning needs. In short, they are fairly typical middle schoolers, but because they are learning in an inclusive setting at school, they have the unique challenge and opportunity to understand themselves and each other better.
This novel, Mockingbird, is absolutely phenomenal. The main character, Caitlin, has Asperger's Syndrome and struggles to understand how other people think and feel. She is also in a particularly awful situation because her older brother, who acted as the bridge between her way of responding to the world and others' ways of responding, has been killed in an act of violence at his school. Through reading this novel, my students will be with Caitlin as she figures out how to communicate and advocate for herself; they will develop self-advocacy skills that will serve them no matter what educational or life setting they're in; they will practice the reading and language arts skills that will help each of them reach their goal of two years of reading growth this year.
By providing a novel to each student, they will be able to read at their own pace and become more independent and confident readers.
They will be inspired by this unique character's sense of determination and be moved by her tragedies and successes. Overall, this thematic novel unit will empower students to take charge of their own learning and become better advocates for themselves and others.
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|Mockingbird • AKJ Books||$5.10||75||$382.50|
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