Sixth Grade Novel Study Includes Message of Inclusion

Sixth grade students on the St. Mark’s Campus recently wrapped up their first novel study of the school year with the book Out of My Mind. To reinforce their critical thinking about the novel, Mrs. Akerstrom, Language Arts teacher, had students participate in several activities including annotating the full novel; completing mini lessons focusing on specific skills such as identifying plot, conflict, mood, and setting; writing an analytical essay describing the main character; and completing a digital project in the Innovation Lab using the platform, Storyboard That; and participating in a group simulation video where they put themselves in the shoes of the main character, Melody.

For the simulation, students created a communication board, limited to 10 words and 10 images, to understand the challenges Melody faced not being able to speak or move due to having cerebral palsy. Students experienced how hard it is to express yourself when you are limited to the words/images on your board, just like Melody. Above all, students learned the strong message of understanding and accepting someone who is different than they are.