- Explore ideas of community, self-identity, and family
- Practice expository writing
- Participate in a collaborative art project
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
- Wonderstruck Mural Project: Common Ties Student Worksheet printable
- Butcher paper
- Paint in various colors
- Make a class set of the Wonderstruck Mural Project: Common Ties Student Worksheet printable.
- Create a large heading for a bulletin board or wall that reads "Common Ties Bring Us Together." When students are finished with their murals, you will hang all of the murals underneath the heading and conduct a group discussion.
Step 1: 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?
Step 2: Ask students to think about a person in their life with whom they share a common tie. The person could be a family member, a friend, or a role model.
Step 3: Distribute the Wonderstruck Mural Project: Common Ties Student Worksheet printable, which helps students to identify and write about someone with a shared interest. Have students complete the worksheet independently.
Step 4: Divide students into small groups. Have group members share with one another the common ties they identified on their worksheets.
Step 5: Invite each group to use butcher paper and paint to create a mural that depicts each member's chosen figure.
Step 6: 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.