The literary texts that I have chosen for Stage 3 students is Wonder by R. J. Palacio (2017) and Hooway for Wodney by Helen Lester (1999). Wonder is a children’s novel which tells the story of a boy named August Pullman, who has severe facial difference. August has never been to a mainstream school in his entire life. The novel follows August through the highs and lows of starting middle school for the first time, with the added difficulty of looking vastly different from his peers. The novel is narrated in the first-person from the points of view of August and Augusts’ family and friends. The novel is broken up into eight parts. The novel covers themes such as kindness, tolerance of difference, family, friendship, courage, bullying, coming of age and principles.
Hooway for Wodney follows the story of Rodney Rat, who cannot pronounce his r’s and is forced to call himself Wodney Wat. Rodney’s speech impediment makes him the target for bullies at school which forces Rodney to become quiet and withdrawn. Hooway for Wodney shares many of the same themes as Wondersuch as, courage, bullying and coming of age.
It is aim and objective of the NSW English K — 10 syllabus for students to “understand and use language effectively, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language and to make meaning in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive, critical and powerful” (NESA, 2012, p.12). The novel and picture book that I have chosen helps students to understand and use language effectively through Palacio’s effective use of similes and metaphors to create imagery and bring a wonderful message of kindness and tolerance. Similarly, Hooway for Wodney has strong imagery and uses language to convey the message of tolerance and understanding.
Throughout the lesson sequence, I have endeavoured to make the learning experiences as diverse, creative and exciting as possible, to ensure that every student can engage with the language and meaning of the novel. According to Flint (2014), teachers need to have a repertoire and variation of activities to meet the diverse needs of students to help them progress and develop as learners, which is what the learning sequence below had endeavoured to accomplish.