Help children to identify their own communities with a collaborative mural project.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
In many ways, Wonderstruck is about finding a community beyond one’s immediate family. Help children to identify their own communities with a collaborative mural project.
What it teaches: Community, self-identity, expository writing, art
What you need: Butcher paper, paint, student printable (“Common Ties”)
What to do:
- Begin by discussing how many of the characters in Wonderstruck initially feel alone, but eventually discover that other people are going through the same experiences and emotions as they are. For example, Rose feels like she doesn’t fit in because of her deafness but ends up finding her brother, Walter, who enrolls her in a deaf school. Ben’s lack of a father is part of what draws him and Jamie to each other. What other common ties do the characters discover throughout the story?
- Ask students to think about a person in their life with whom they share a common tie. The person could be family, a friend, or a role model. Distribute the student printable, which helps students to identify and write about someone with a shared interest.
- Divide students into small groups. Have group members share with one another the common ties they identified. Then, invite the groups to use butcher paper and paint to create a mural that depicts each member’s chosen figure.
- Hang the murals side by side on a bulletin board or wall, with the heading “Common Ties Bring Us Together.” Talk about how family is bigger than moms, dads, sisters, and brothers, and includes all of the people in the murals.