In the quiet of Christmas break, I finally have a slight moment to make a blog post. Right before school let out for Christmas break, we finished the book There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, by Louis Sachar. This book has taken us all year and at points I asked the kids if they wanted to stop and do a picture book for a day. Nope, they always wanted to read this book. I believe it was one of the best lessons I could give my kids and I’m really happy I chose this book. Bullying is a major issue in schools and this book hits that topic. The main character Bradley is a bully. He has no friends and sits in the back of the room ignoring the teacher most of the day. One day a new kid comes in and befriends him and over time Bradley changes.
On the last day of us reading the book, we watched a book trailer I found that summed up the book. Then the children and I had a book circle where we talked about our favorite characters, favorite parts, and what they would change about the book. I was surprised at how many children noticed that Bradley made a conscious change to be good. They realized he was not included in many activities and that’s what made him mean. Many of the children identified with him and his quest to change from being a bully to being a great student and friend.
My next steps with the book will be to incorporate it into our friendly letter writing, which is a standard for the second nine weeks in third grade. The children are all going to write letters to Bradley. First we will brainstorm as a class, then make graphic organizers and write sentences. Finally we will be writing him a letter using the stoplight technique.
Next year what I would love to do is for the children to read a series of picture books by their favorite author. Then have them write a letter to their favorite author. I love friendly letter writing so I’m excited to see where we will journey next in the wide expanse of learning that is third grade.