Oct 17

Teaching Out of My Mind Book by Sharon M. Draper

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is an amazing story about an eleven year old girl with cerebral palsy. When Melody is quite young, she goes over to her next door neighbor’s house, Mrs. V. Mrs. V doesn’t pamper Melody as her parents do. She teaches her how to roll over and scoot. She realizes that Melody is extremely bright, but her physical limitations prevent her from communicating. Because of this Mrs. V decides to use a communication board to teach Melody a number of words. While this is a major breakthrough, the communication is very limited. 

Communication Board Activity

With this activity, students can experience some of the frustration Melody has when she tries to let others know what she needs. Have student experience how difficult it is for Melanie to communicate with this


  1. One student will randomly draw a request slip from the stack.
  2. The student will read the strip without showing his/her partner
  3. The student will then try to make the request using only the “Communication Board” with no verbal instructions.


  • Which questions were the most difficult?
  • How did you feel when you couldn’t make your partner understand your request?

Download the “Communication Board” and request strips here.

Out of my Mind Book Unit on Teachers Pay TeachersDo you need additional teaching resources? Check out Out of my Mind Book Unit on Teachers pay Teachers.

Gay Miller


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