There are a number of recurring themes in Wonder, including bullying and kindness. Have students choose one or two themes and create a storyboard with dialogue to depict each theme as represented in the text. Next, have students connect their chosen theme to real life, either imagined or historical, and show it in a storyboard.
For example, courage is one theme explored in Wonder. It is shown in a variety of ways. One of the first glimpses we get into Auggie's courage is when he decides to try public school, despite being very nervous about it. He is scared of the way classmates will react to him and his looks. After meeting with the principal and talking with his parents, Auggie decides to try it out. This new chapter in his life, fills him with fear, but he faces it with courage.
Students may also want to connect themes to modern day in an additional column. Courage was displayed by the African-American students and their parents when schools were desegregated in the United States. Despite verbal abuse and threats of physical violence, these brave students made their way through the doors of the schools and led our country through historic changes.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Wonder. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
All themes are correctly identified and described.
Some themes are correctly identified.
No themes are correctly identified.
Examples of Theme(s)
All examples support the identified theme(s).
Most examples fit the identified theme(s).
Most examples do not fit the theme(s).
Images clearly show connection with the theme(s).
Some images help to show the theme.
Images do not help in understanding the theme.
Start students off with a lesson on theme and define it clearly with students. Use some specific examples to help them understand what lessons can be learned from a story.
Lead a full class discussion with students about particular themes that they find in the story Wonder. Students will most always come up with the ideas of being kind and being bullied.
After students relate to the story and the lessons, use a storyboard or illustration to help them make things personal. In this way, the point of the theme will be scene, as it is meant to help students grow from a story.
The story actually has two major themes. One is that kids will often bully other kids, like Julian bullies August. The other is the exact opposite: kindness. Summer sits with August and helps him to feel more accepted.
A theme is what you learn about life after reading a story. One important reason for reading is to build empathy. If you learn life lessons from a book you can become a better person.