Saturday, August 25, 2012

Choose Kind

We live in a world of put downs, reality shows that encourage name calling and fist fights, gossip magazines and television programs that highlight celebrities making poor choices. News reports highlight crime and wrongdoing. Negative headlines are the norm.  Even most comedy programming is based upon making fun of others.  Our kids are inundated on a daily basis with images of disrespect, violence, and generally uncouth behavior. So how are our youth supposed to view their world? How are they to determine how to treat others?

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all made a conscious effort to "choose kind?"  As I reread RJ Palacio's Wonder this weekend, I hoped that Palacio's story would have a meaningful and positive impact on the students in our fifth grade classrooms. All of my fifth grade teachers chose to begin the year with one of my all-time favorite books as their first read aloud. 
In Wonder, Auggie Pullman's unique differences are a daily battle for him.  He experiences the stares, the name-calling, and the lack of tolerance first-hand.  This book is a portrayal of how cruel society can be when someone is viewed as "different."  It is my hope that this book can help our students learn that those who can look beyond appearances and choose to treat others with kindness will help make the world a better place. 

Each day in our building, we say our school pledge that includes "Today I will do the right thing and treat people right."  It is our hope that we can help our students internalize those beliefs and practice them daily.  I am proud of my fifth grade teachers for choosing such an inspiring story to start the year with.  As our fifth graders become familiar with the wonder of Wonder, I hope that they can begin to see the world from Auggie's perspective and make a conscious effort to "Choose Kind."
 Book Trailer for Wonder by RJ Palacio via



  1. Sounds like an awesome book to read aloud! It is great that all your 5th grade teachers are on the same page. I will put this on my reading list. Thank you!


  2. I read Wonder this summer, and now I'm reading it to my 7th graders! There is a 6th grade teacher reading it aloud, too. I agree with all you said above, and will spread the word about Wonder, as well!

  3. A nice book to read aloud to the kids. It's a difficult lesson for people of all ages to learn. I think it helps to remember the golden rule, "Do to others what you want them to do to you."

    ~ Michael <><
    The Color of Sound