Sunday, February 5, 2017

Getting Started at Wright

Our first week at Wright Middle School went great! After drumming up interest around the school, we were able to spend some time with a group of about twenty students in grades fifth through eight. We started off our first meeting with an icebreaker called "barometer," where we measured everyone's opinions on questions such as, "dogs make better pets than cats" and "vacations to the beach are better than vacations to the city."
After getting to know each other a little better, we took turns reading the graphic novel, El Deafo, by Cece Bell. In El Deafo, the main character, also named Cece, overcomes a hearing impairment to make friends, succeed in school, and find the power that comes from individuality. The kids really loved taking turns reading and speaking for the characters, and we ran out of time leaving them wanting more!

After we spent some time reading, the kids got the chance to find their own superpowers hidden in their personalities. Each of them was asked what their superpower would be, if they had one. However, it had to be based on some aspect of themselves that they found important. For instance, someone who is really optimistic might say that they can fly, or someone who is empathetic might be able to read minds. They got a chance to write down their superpower and their reasoning for picking it, and they got to draw and color a picture to accompany their ideas.

After they finished their art and creative writing, they got the chance to pick out a book for free! Some of the kids opted to take one of the books we had brought in before, and some ordered one from Scholastic, but all of them left excited at the prospect of taking home another book to engage with on their own. We can't wait to go back next week! 

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