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The Power of El Deafo!

The Power of El Deafo!

A couple of months ago, I was partaking in a discussion on Facebook about the factuality of the novel Wonder. Now, I love the book Wonder and feel it has a solid needed place in the classroom, but how the author addresses hearing loss is concerning. I addressed this in my novel study by adding a non-fiction article to help portray the real side of hearing loss so that students reading the novel understand the mistakes made by the author.

While discussing my feelings on Facebook, another person asked if I had read the novel El Deafo by Cece Bell. She was curious about how real and factual it is to a person who walks in the shoes of hearing loss, such as me. She said her students overwhelmingly love the Newbery Honor-winning graphic novel. ordered the novel to read and am so happy that I did!

 

I have been living with hearing loss for over 25 years. It is a daily struggle to communicate with my family and the world. I have lost many things due to my hearing loss, including my teaching career. El Deafo is the autobiographical story of Cece Bell’s struggles with hearing loss told in a graphic novel format that is a perfect way to get the true feelings across. The book highlights how Cece embraces these struggles and turns them into a superpower! Even though Cece is in elementary school in the book and I am well beyond that age, I found myself shaking my head in agreement and relating to Cece like I never have before in any other story I have read. It’s like so many of the things she was saying I have said or felt so many times!

 

The message that volume does not equal better hearing was strong in this book, and it is a message that the hearing world really fails to understand and yet, really needs to! Talking louder, talking slower, talking more pronounced DOES NOT HELP! It makes it much more difficult for those like Cece and myself who rely on lip-reading to understand. If the only message that you take away from this story is NOT to turn up the volume for those with hearing loss, the world will be a better place! That’s not the only message, as there were so many I could relate to, including isolation, feelings of shame, embarrassment, avoidance of situations, putting up with things and people only due to fear, and on and on. Cece doesn’t just focus on the negative, she embraces her differences and turns them into a superpower to draw people to her. I just loved everything about this book. I also believe that you don’t have to have hearing loss to relate to and love this book. It is such a wonderful read for ALL students.

El Deafo is a powerful and impactful novel that offers a unique perspective on the experiences of the hearing-loss community. Its accessible format, relevant themes, and emotional connection make it an ideal choice for a novel study in the classroom. I had never created a product for a graphic novel before, so it was a different process, especially with the lack of vocabulary activities.

I also wanted to include as much real-world information to help the student walk away with a greater understanding of the factual side of hearing loss and to learn better ways to communicate with those that live with a hearing loss. There is so much great information on this subject which made a WebQuest a productive way to address this portion of the novel study, especially in the ever more frequent digital classroom! As with all of my other novel studies, these activities are also available in a Google Drive format for those in a paperless classroom.

See what people are saying about the El Deafo Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Reasons to Use El Deafo as a novel study in Your Classroom
  • Diverse Representation: El Deafo provides a unique perspective on the experiences of people with hearing loss, promoting diversity and inclusiveness in the classroom.
  • Emotional Connection: The personal narrative of the protagonist Cece creates an emotional connection with readers, encouraging empathy and understanding.
  • Promotes Understanding: The book offers insight into the challenges faced by people with hearing loss and promotes a greater understanding of the challenges that they live with.
  • Accessible to All: The graphic novel format makes El Deafo accessible to a wide range of readers, including those who may struggle with traditional text-based novels.
  • Relevant Themes: The themes of identity, friendship, and self-discovery are universal and relevant to students of all ages and abilities, making El Deafo an ideal choice for a novel study.

Try a free sample of the novel study for El Deafo

If you haven’t read this book, please do so, even if you don’t plan to do a novel study. I cannot recommend this book enough to everyone! I hope you will use this in your classroom to help get the knowledge out there for everyone who lives with a hearing loss or knows someone that does. Knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding leads to inclusion and empathy. We can never have enough of that in this world!

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:


 


Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Out of My Heart Pushes Through Fear to Follow a Passion

Out of My Heart Pushes Through Fear to Follow a Passion

In 2010, Sharon Draper brought Melody to life in Out of My Mind. Melody is a young girl whose mind is full of curiosity and vast amounts of information but Cerebral Palsy makes it difficult for her to participate and communicate with her classmates and peers. Out of My Mind helps the reader look at disabilities and accessibility in a different way. Now, over a decade later, Sharon M. Draper has brought Melody back to us. Melody is now a year older and on the cusp of her teenage years. Melody is looking for the independence and experiences that all girls her age strive for. Out of My Heart is the tale of Melody’s pursuits of these experiences at summer camp.


Meet author Sharon M. Draper as she reads an excerpt from her new novel, Out of My Heart.

 This novel helps the reader look at more experiences and roadblocks that kids living with disabilities face. At camp, Melody makes friends with different kids her age who face similar and different challenges. Melody finds camaraderie and true friendship with kids that can really relate, all while facing fears of trying new challenges. Melody’s world is opened up, as are the reader’s eyes, as they experience the challenges of accessibility that are out there for kids like Melody.

From the Book Jacket:

Melody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling middle-grade novel Out of My Mind.

Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own—the dream!

By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.

 

 

 

Try a free sample of the novel study for Out of My Heart

Take your students on this new journey to camp with Melody. Your students will see themselves while they learn about the challenges that are faced every day by those living with disabilities. This helps open eyes and builds empathy to help students strive to make experiences in life accessible to all. 

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Out of My Heart, which includes informational WebQuests to learn more about Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome for use in the classroom or in homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

You can also buy Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart bundled together at a discount!


 

 


 

Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

 

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

 

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

 


 

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

The Teaching Bank’s Most Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ

The Teaching Bank’s Most Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ

Here are a few of the most frequent questions that I am asked from buyers, and potential buyers, about my resources. Hopefully, you will find these answers helpful.

If you cannot find the answer to your question. Please email me directly.Email The Teaching Bank

The Teaching Bank PDF FAQs5 The Teaching Bank PDF FAQs6

 

If you still have questions, please email me directly.Email The Teaching Bank

Projekt 1065, A WWII Spy Novel You Can’t Put Down!

Projekt 1065, A WWII Spy Novel You Can’t Put Down!

Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz, is an exciting, “can’t put it down”  WWII spy thriller. This historical fiction is a great novel to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies to complement a WWII study.



 

This novel will introduce your students to the countries that were neutral in WWII and countries such as Ireland, which were secretly fighting behind the scenes with the use of diplomatic spies placed in Nazi Germany while claiming neutrality. Your students will learn about the Hitler Youth, Kristallnacht, Operation Paperclip, The Manhattan Project, and get a taste of why the German people were so fearful of the Nazis that they turned on each other and allowed Hitler to come to power.

  From the Book Jacket:

Infiltrate. Befriend. Sabotage. World War II is raging. Michael O’Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Like the other boys in his school, Michael is a member of the Hitler Youth. But Michael has a secret. He and his parents are spies. Michael despises everything the Nazis stand for. But he joins in the Hitler Youth’s horrific games and book burnings, playing the part so he can gain insider knowledge. When Michael learns about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission, things get even more complicated. He must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs — even if it means risking everything he cares about. Including… his own life.

Try a free sample of the novel study for Projekt 1065

 

The School Library Journal describes it well, “While the book is replete with fascinating historical insight, Gratz has also crafted a suspenseful mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With short, action-packed chapters, it is a great choice for reluctant readers as well… A winning combination of action, suspense, and historical setting.”

This book will capture the attention of even your most reluctant reader with the fast-paced, action-packed story. Students will get a glimpse into the brainwashing and fear-mongering tactics that the Nazis used to gain power, and do it in such a way that will make it relatable to the middle-school mindset. It really makes kids think about the Holocaust and WWII in a way that makes them want to learn more. This novel study is great to use as a complement to a history unit on WWII and the Holocaust.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Projekt 1065, which includes informational WebQuests to learn more about the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Gestapo, Kristallnacht, Operation Paperclip, and The Manhattan Project for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations: 



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together! Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Learning to Love Herself as Genesis Begins Again

Learning to Love Herself as Genesis Begins Again

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams, quite deservedly, is the winner of the 2020 Newbery Honor and the 2020 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. This modern novel brings diversity and intersectionality to your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

 

Published in 2019, it is written in a modern language that middle schoolers will relate to. It is written by a Black author with a Black female protagonist and is a great way to bring diverse voices into your classroom, not just for representation, but for all students to learn from and relate to. Genesis has been dealt a hard hand in life and with her issues and those of her friends, just about every student will find something to relate to.

From the Book Jacket:

There are ninety-six reasons why thirteen-year-old Genesis dislikes herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list:
-Because her family is always being put out of their house.
-Because her dad has a gambling problem. And maybe a drinking problem too.
-Because Genesis knows this is all her fault.
-Because she wasn’t born looking like Mama.
-Because she is too black.

Genesis is determined to fix her family, and she’s willing to try anything to do so…even if it means harming herself in the process. But when Genesis starts to find a thing or two she actually likes about herself, she discovers that changing her own attitude is the first step in helping change others.

 

 

Try a free sample of the novel study for Genesis Begins Again

 

It is vital to use literature in your classroom that is diverse and represents all voices. Students should see themselves in the literature that they read, and it’s also a way for other students to learn from and understand people that are different from them. Learning from different cultures enhances our empathy as humans to open minds as well as hearts.

Genesis Begins Again tackles issues of poverty, being evicted and having to move homes and schools frequently, having an alcoholic and untrustworthy parent, and at the root of Genesis’s hurt, is the colorism that she faces from her peers, her father, her grandmother, and most of all herself. The novel shines a light on how our American culture and media have a set image of what “beauty” is and how all too often, most of us don’t fit that mold. Genesis Begins Again is a relatable tale of how Genesis learns to trust others and love herself for who she is instead of striving for some unattainable image that could never be. This book is worthy of all the accolades that it has received and is a valuable novel for middle school students to use in their classrooms.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Genesis Begins Again for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.