Grilled cheese, chocolate milk, groovy music, precept t-shirts, and thoughts of kindness and acceptance made up our recent Wonder book club.
Auggie Pullman is a boy who is born with a severe facial deformity. He has spent most of his life homeschooled, but his parents decide he should try out private school in the 5th grade. Not only does Auggie have to learn to deal with discrimination and curious middle schoolers, but his family has to learn to deal with the “notoriety” of Auggie.
As always, we used Brave Writer’s Arrows to guide us through copywork, dictation, grammar and literary elements included in the book. I love the Arrows because they take the grammar and make it easy for not only the kids, but for me as the teacher.
Wonder Book Club Discussion
If you haven’t read the book, Wonder, you are missing out. It is a terrific book for all ages. As we read through the book together, I realized there were so many pop culture references from my formative years that I thought it might be difficult for A- to follow along. But it turns out, she didn’t really need to know who Doogie Howser was to enjoy this book about acceptance and being kind.
But, even though the kids did not need to know all the pop culture references, I thought it would be fun to share some of my generation’s “cool” with the younger generation.
So we started our Wonder book club with fond memories of a 10,000 Maniacs concert. I told the kids all about my one and only live concert with Natalie Merchant and then we listened to her song from the book title.
I went systematically through the book pulling up any reference from my childhood that the kids might not know. I excitedly talked about them all while reliving my glory years. The kids stared at me in fascination (or possible embarrassment … it’s often hard to decipher those emotions). Anyway, I tend to think they were just as excited as their 40Something leader when I introduced them to:
- Doogie Howser
- Darth Sidious (yes, I’m a major Star Wars nerd)
- Rubix Cubes (which are making a comeback)
- The Bleeding Scream
- Space Oddity (and, of course, David Bowie. And, yeah, it’s a little before my time)
- The Plague (Ok. So definitely not my generation, but an important historical event, nonetheless.)
- The Elephant Man (Historic and tragic)
- Hamlet (A great book can always add a Shakespeare quote.)
- Lobot (remember the Star Wars nerd thing?)
- Beautiful Child by the Eurythmics
- The Sound of Music (Didn’t everyone watch this movie every year as a kid?)
- The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side by The Magnetic Fields (So, I never actually heard this song before this book. Note: it’s not all kid friendly. Just skip those parts.)
Mr. Tushman is Auggie’s 5th-grade teacher who writes monthly precepts on the board. I found these great printables and posted them on the walls around the room. (Our book club has gotten so large that we rented a room in an old school building for book club.) Now, I have them hanging on the wall and I love them!
Wonder Book Club Snacks
When the kids arrived at book club, they enjoyed apples, graham crackers, and juice boxes — some of Auggie’s favorite snacks. My tween drew the book cover on the plastic tablecloths for me. She wasn’t crazy about having to hang out at little sister’s book club, so I gave her plenty of things to do to occupy her time.
After the book club discussion, we had grilled cheese and chocolate milk. It was a little difficult to find food options in this book, but the ones we found were kid favorites. We finished our Wonder book club snacks with a congratulatory cookie cake to celebrate Auggie’s graduation from 5th grade.
Wonder Book Club Activities
At the end of Wonder, each character writes their own precept. We thought that would be a fun idea. Instead of writing it on paper, we decided to use more of an artistic approach and illustrate our precepts on t-shirts. Each child used fabric markers, paint pens, and random bits of felt to make their own unique shirts.
What did the kids learn from book club this month?
Don’t be friends with jerks.Henry Joplin, Wonder
For more of our book clubs, check out our book club landing page below.