Wonder Activities for your Classroom that are “Wonder”ful and Kind!
Being part of the community where Ben’s Bells was started, I know much about the “kindness movement” – in fact, I actually found one of the bells on the anniversary of my uncle’s death several years ago. It was a pretty special experience. The bell still hangs outside my living room window in a tree at my house. The bells are only “hidden” 2 times a year for others to “find” and attached to each is a note that reminds us to intentionally practice kindness. Members of the community volunteer to glaze the ceramic pieces that go onto the bells.
As an educator this is a simple yet extremely effective message – to act with kindness. One year, as the art coordinator for my district, I planned an art teacher outing to Ben’s Bells so we could volunteer to help paint the parts that go on the bells.
So it’s no wonder (sorry – couldn’t help myself) that when I heard about the books, Wonder and We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio I felt inspired to highlight a couple of new resources (including a freebie) that I think will help teachers infuse their “Wonder” discussions with kindness, and art (of course!). So without further ado…
Wonder Activities: Wonder “Doodle & Do” task cards and doodle notes from Brain Waves Instruction: (Grades 4-8)
As teachers, we know that it’s always “wonder”ful to give our students a chance to reflect on a novel after they are done reading the book – especially one with a theme like this one has. However, sometimes final projects for books can be a bit dry…or even worse, cursory. They don’t allow students to really dive deep into the text and be creative at the same time. That’s why I’m super excited about this end-of-the-book idea from Brain Waves Instruction. It combines really creative task cards with super fun doodle notes. Yes! Doodle notes!
See it HERE
This “Doodle and Do” resource is designed for students to complete after reading the novel, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It combines fun task cards with doodle notes! The task cards require students to write, chat, swap, and draw, in response to questions about the book. Then, students add their responses to fun doodle notes for the novel.
Here’s how it works…there are 12 different tasks cards in 4 different categories. Some of the task cards are “chat” cards. These require students to discuss critical moments in the book with a small group. Then, they record highlights from the discussion on their doodle notes. There’re “write” task cards that require students to write in response to prompts. The “swap” cards are fun because students actually “swap” papers with a peer and complete the prompts on each other’s papers. But, of course, my favorite are the “draw” cards. Can you blame me? These require students to sketch and draw in response to prompts about the novel.
After students have worked through all the task cards either with a partner, in small groups, or by rotating through learning stations, they’ll have 2 pages of super fun doodle notes for the novel, Wonder! It’s no “wonder” I love this resource, right? Oh, and just imagine combining this with my 3-way collaboration poster (keep reading!)…dynamite!
Wonder Activities: Wonder 3-Way Agamograph Collaboration Poster from Art with Jenny K: (Pre-K through 8th grade)
See it HERE
This project is a “3-way” agamograph (3 images spliced together) and a collaboration poster all mixed into one. It is approximately 26 inches x 28 inches when complete. This project is completely unique and there is no beating the “wow” factor at the end when children walk from side to side and see the images change. They will quickly realize what “wonders” they all are and how by working together they can do great things! I have designed this poster to have a lot of flexibility. You can use it to support your work reading the books, Wonder (older students) or We’re All Wonders (younger students). You can also use this poster all on its own to reinforce the overall theme that “We are all Wonders!” – a great universal classroom message! The images I have used on this poster are chosen to help support your work on story elements; setting, theme and characters – but can also stand all on their own! Setting is represented by lockers (school) and there are precepts written on the notes on the lockers. The theme is represented with the middle image of the space helmet and the words, “We are all wonders!” Character is supported with the portrait frames on the right side image – these could represent a page from a year book. I’ve included options to allow students to draw the characters of the book, their own self-portraits (see the image below),
One of the many “wonder”ful things about this Wonder activity is that it looks complicated and has a ton of “wow!” factor to it – but it’s really easy. I’ve done everything possible to make it that way for you!
I have included a variety of extension activities you can use with this poster. There are different activities for different student abilities – choose what works best for you – and of course don’t forget to pair this with Brain Waves Instruction’s “Doodle and Do” resource for a truly “wonder”ful pair of activities for your classroom!
Wonder Activities FREEBIE: Wonder Kindness Poster
See it HERE
This freebie was created by me along with Mary Beth from Brain Waves Instruction. It is a great addition to our individual Wonder resources I’ve described above and can be used all on its own! It’s great for elucidating and spreading kindness among your students and throughout your class. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do! If you haven’t already picked up your copies of these books – what are you waiting for?! Here are affiliate links to Amazon where you an grab your copies!
Thanks for reading and for making art with your students! Jenny K.