In December, the entire third grade took a field trip to see the movie Wonder after reading the book together in class. The book, by R.J. Palacio, is an inspiring and heartwarming story about a boy named Augie who has facial differences and who begins attending a mainstream school for the first time as a fifth grader. The recent release of the film generated a lot of buzz and our third grade teachers noticed their students were starting to talk about it. So, the teachers decided that reading the book and watching the movie as a part of class would be a great way to engage their students in a compare and contrast exercise, one that tied in nicely with Chatham’s E2 theme.

“Kindness, friendship, empathy, compassion are all themes in this book and we have been talking about how treating all people with kindness, no matter the way they look, makes a difference in people’s lives forever,” said third grade teacher Mrs. Chiappinelli. The teachers spent time in class each day to read the book to their students. They laughed together, and cried together too. “It was beautiful watching them react to the events in the book and listening to how they vowed to be kind to all as a result.”

Third graders enjoying hearing thier teacher read from "Wonder"

Students enjoying a reading from the book “Wonder”

What did students take away from this lesson?

“In the book it said you should be more kind than you need to,” said Mason, a third grader in Mrs. Mulica and Mrs. Chiappinelli’s class.

“No one is the same as everyone else,” said his classmate Charlei. “You do not judge anybody by the way they look.”

“If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind,” added Marianna, another classmate.

All those answers sound like great examples of Everyone, Everyday behavior! No “wonder” our students are so awesome!

As for how the movie compared to the book, students were a little more split – some liked the book better because it had more of the story and more details, others liked how the movie had more funny parts, which translated well to a live-action format.

Special thanks to the PTA for helping make this all possible by providing funding to purchase all the movie tickets!

Posted in District, Elementary School.