The students will choose a book, and then read a portion of the book every week. During class, we will go over various aspects of what has been read. This will include character analysis, plot development, vocabulary, inflection points of significant impact, and relation to the events and people in our lives. We will also read a few select paragraphs in class as a group.
Depending on the book chosen, the outcomes would vary slightly. But each book has a rich vocabulary bank, moral lessons about society, and in – depth characters. By meeting together and discussing each portion as a group, I hope to enhance the skills of critical analysis and thinking from different points of view.
Book for this session: Wonder
Kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Millions of people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.
The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird.
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
About the teacher
Ms. Lara has taught English for fifteen years in different countries around the world. After getting her BA in Sociology and Photography at the University of California, San Diego, she worked with students with special needs for several years, trying to understand every kind of learner and diverse modalities of helping students to utilize their strengths and access learning from their own points of view. She has taught in Honduras and Hungary, as well as many kinds of schools around the US. After teaching English, Science, Art, and Music to 2nd, 6th, 10th and 11th grade students in the Caribbean, she came back to the
US, and got her teaching credential at California State Monterey Bay. Following this, she taught at a small high school in Santa Cruz, CA for twelve years, where she instructed 9-12th grade English, Art, Digital Photography, and History as well as Advanced Placement classes for 5 years. In 2012, she took a hiatus to complete a year as a Fulbright exchange teacher in Budapest, where she taught ESL and was an ambassador for the US. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2015, and received a commendation for her work in 2018. She now tutors students in many subjects, while being a student herself, pursuing another degree. She enjoys working with students and learning from them, and finding new ways to communicate and understand the world around us.