I read We’re All Wonders by R.J.Palacio to my 2nd graders. We talked about all of the things that make us different. We discussed looking at what people are like on the inside and not just the outside.
For the planning phase I had each student write down the names of the kids in their classes. I then displayed a list of good characteristics that they might observe in each other. I had them pick a word from the list to describe each of their classmates. I made sure to tell them that this was a positive activity to make everyone feel good, so words that were not positive affirmations should not be used. I told them that even if someone bothered them, or if they didn’t get along with someone that they should still be able to find a positive quality that person possessed. It took one class period for the students to finish their lists.
During our next class I passed out the ‘Wonder’ papers and then we passed the papers clockwise around the tables until all of them had filled up. I also added a word to each student’s paper. There was one incident of the word ‘bully’ written on someones page, but it was easily resolved. The student who wrote it had it on their planning list. After all of the papers were finished we assembled them, and I then asked who would let me display their’s.
Here is the link to the resources that inspired this project from Art With Jenny K!