“We all have disabilities. What’s yours?” This is one of the most profound and truthful quotes from the amazing Out of My Mind novel by Sharon M. Draper. I loved this book so much. It made me cry with joy and also broke my heart with how cruel humans can be. I also loved how the author brought it to a close in an unexpected way. I think your students will love it just as much and also make them take the time to think about how they are treating one another, especially those that may be different from them. This is a great book to use in the classroom and I can’t recommend it enough!
Out of My Mind was first published in 2010, by the award-winning, Sharon M. Draper. It is the story of Melody, a fifth-grader who has Cerebral Palsy. Melody has always felt that she is trapped in her own mind without a door or a key because she is not able to talk and communicate all that is in her genius, photographic mind.
As Melody is “let out of her mind” with the help of an electric wheelchair, technology, and school aides, she shows everyone just how much has been trapped there for all these years. It is an inspiring story while staying true to the realities of just how cruel fifth-graders (and older ignorant people) can be when faced with someone they don’t have experience with or understanding for.
I offer a complete novel study to accompany Out of My Mind 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. it is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.
Out of My Mind should be a must-read for every fifth-grader to help enhance empathy and understanding for those that are different from us. We should all be asked to face the question, “We all have disabilities. What’s yours?”
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!