This week our classes finished reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio (a bit tearfully I might add). We all enjoyed reading this book together throughout the winter. Reading about Auggie's difficulties created rich and important classroom discussions about kindness, bullying and acceptance.
It was fun to watch the students fall in love with this book. It seemed like each week, more and more students came to school with their own copy to follow along or read ahead. They carried the books around like trophies. Some even wrote their last name along the pages just like I do.
I often overheard students talking about Auggie amongst themselves. Slowly, he became part of our classroom community. They reacted to his mistreatment with personal outrage, as though it were happening to a class member. They reacted to his successes just as strongly, with cheers and happy tears.
As a culminating activity, we had students write about what makes each of them a wonder. It was heartwarming to see what kind words can do. I watched their faces beam as they read the kind words their classmates had to say about them.
Reading Wonder has made our year together better. It created a bond through a beautiful common experience. They will be able to discuss this book together for years to come. I would like to thank R.J. Palacio for giving this amazing book to us. It was truly a gift.
See my review of Wonder here.
Read more about our Wonder-ful experience: