Out of My Mind Book by Sharon Draper

Teaching Ideas for Out of My Mind Blog Post

Out of My Mind book 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, communication is still very limited. 

Melody’s doctor tells her mother she is retarded and should be sent to a residential placement when she is 5 years old. They refuse. In kindergarten through fourth grade, Melody is placed in a special ed. classroom. When Melody is 8 years old, her little sister Penny is born. She is normal and has none of the struggles Melody has.  Things change for Melody when she enters fifth grade. She gets a teacher who pushes inclusion classes. An aide is assigned to Melody. She takes her to inclusion classes.

The biggest breakthrough takes place when Melody receives a Medi-Talker that can speak for her. Melody even tries out and gets on the Whiz Kids team. The team qualifies for the national competition in Washington, D.C.

How will Melody do during the competition? Read Out of My Mind to find out.

Activities to Use with Out of My Mind Book

Free Novel Study Samples

Novel Study Samples for Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

If you would like to try out the Out of My Mind Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 21-22
  • Constructed Response Question for Chapters 21-22

You can get the free book unit sample by clicking the button.


The Author Talks about Her Book

Book Review

This student book review is terrific. A detailed summary of the book is provided. Spoiler Alert – Don’t show this until after your students read the book.

Communication Board Activity

Communication Board Activity to use with Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

With this activity, students can experience some of the frustration Melody has when she tries to let others know what she needs. 


One student will randomly draw a request slip from the stack.
The student will read the strip without showing it to his/her partner.
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?


Activities on the Web

Storyboard That – You’ll find a detailed book summary and character maps.

Discussion Questions and Project Ideas – This 7-page pdf contains questions correlated to the 6th grade CCSS.

ReadWriteThink Analyzing First-Person Narration in Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind– A handout helps students evaluate the point of view.

Simon & Schuster Reading Group Guide – The publisher provides discussion questions for the book.

Out of My Mind Book Unit

Out of My Mind
Out of My Mind book


See the product that inspired this post.

Out of my Mind Book Unit

Out of My Mind Book Unit contains vocabulary, comprehension, constructed response writing, and skill practice.



Permanent link to this article: https://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=3316