I first read the book Wonder while on vacation at the beach. I just couldn’t put the book down, so I ended up spending a good bit of the day sitting under an umbrella reading. Through laughter and tears, I followed Auggie through his fifth grade year. My first impression was that Palacio was a fantastic writer. Her story telling was spot on. I knew right away that I would read this book with my students the upcoming year. The lessons taught . . . . acceptance, anti-bullying, friendship, being kind . . . . are so valuable. All students need to experience them through a good book.
Once I began creating a unit for the book, I began to love the book Wonder in new ways. The author brilliantly included so many teachable moments.
Here are just a few:
The book changes viewpoints from Auggie to Auggie’s friends, sister, and sister’s boyfriend. The reader experiences the same event through the eyes of different characters. Writing from the different viewpoints was so clever! (By reading this book with my students, one difficult Common Core Skill could be crossed of the list. LOL) Here is free a sample writing question on point of view from my unit. Click on the image below to get the pdf printable version:
The 5th Grade Year
Auggie’s fifth grade class has events that are typical for this age group such as an Egyptian exhibit, science fair, and nature retreat. While teaching this book, cross curricular activities are easy to incorporate.
Palacio creates a language arts teacher, Mr. Browne, who has the students write on a monthly precept. These thought-provoking statements really make the reader think. FANTASTIC!
Each of the eight parts of Wonder begins with an epigraph. They serve as foreshadowing of what is to take place in the part as well as getting the reader to think in a specific direction. Many of these are songs from popular culture. I placed all the epigraphs on a webpage for easy viewing. You can find it here:
The book contains references to songs, events in Star Wars, and other events in current pop culture. This makes the book feel real as if you are a part of the story. Here is a link to many of the pop culture references in Wonder including movie clips, songs, and photos.
This the anchor chart I created while reading Wonder with my students. It pairs with constructive response question below the anchor chart. Just click on the image of the constructive response question to download the pdf version.
A movie based on the book will be in theaters November 2017.
Free Book Unit Sample Pages
Check out Wonder Book Unit with these free samples.