Donna Kouri is a school librarian in Naperville, Illinois. She uses Skype to connect her students with authors and classrooms. I invited Donna on Watch. Connect. Read. to share about the time her lucky fourth- and fifth-grade students Skyped with author R.J. Palacio.
I wrote the words in red, and Donna wrote the words in black. Thank you, Donna!
*R.J. Palacio’s Wonder is a life-changing book that is an integral part of any classroom, school, or personal library.
*R.J. told my students that the inspiration for Wonder came from an actual experience she had where she felt as though she may have unintentionally made a child with facial deformities feel uncomfortable. She felt so awful about the experience that she wrote Wonder.
*My students learned compassion from reading Wonder. They easily identified with the different perspectives and, I think, also realized what their perspective would be and how it would be interpreted - both positively and negatively. They easily understood the message about being judged and wanting to fit in.
*We prepared for R.J.’s Skype session by viewing the book trailer, reading Wonder, and writing questions to ask her.
*I like connecting with authors on Skype because it allows students to connect with the author and builds excitement for reading. They see authors as celebrities and it means a lot when one is willing to spend time connecting with a classroom. Students are in awe.
*You should read Wonder if you are looking for a story that will have an impact after the last word is read and that will help create a kinder climate.
*The Choose Kind campaign is a wonderful way to keep the message of Wonder alive and to allow students to share their stories.
Click here to sign the Choose Kind pledge.
*Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about... how kind and genuine R.J. was with the students. They could tell she was interested in them and sat glued to her every word.