In the book Rules by Cynthia Lord, twelve-year-old Catherine must spend the summer without her best friend who goes to California for the summer. A new girl moves in next door. Catherine hopes her autistic brother does not keep her from making friends.
Ideas for the Book
Using a Communication Board
I created this communication board to use with the novel Out of My Mind; however, it is a great activity to use with the book Rules as well. Jason uses an album of cards to communicate. In the story, Catherine is frustrated by this limited means of communication, so she makes Jason additional words.
- One student will randomly draw a request slip from the stack.
- The student will read the strip without showing 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?
- What words do you think should be added?
- How would you draw words like gross, beautiful, or frustrated?
Teaching Ideas on the Web
- Interview with Cynthia Lord
- Cynthia Lord Website
- William Allen White Children’s Book Awards Lesson.
Children’s Books with Characters who have Special Needs
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
- Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
- Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Chodenko
- The Cay by Theodore Taylor
- Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
- Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
- El Deafo by Cece Bell
- Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
- Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
- The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker
Rules Book Unit
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
- Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
- Constructive Response Question – Character Traits – Catherine
- Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Rules Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension, constructive response writing, and skill practice.