Engaging students and teachers throughout a schoolwide read
Writes Diana Greenleaf, school librarian at the Windham (NH) Middle School:
Prior to Doug's visit, the entire student body took a survey on bullying. It included what behaviors they felt were considered bullying, if they were bullied, how and how often, if they bullied others, how and how often, where and when the bullying occurred, what types of groups/cliques we have at our school, and suggestions of how to make it stop. When the results were tabulated, they were rather surprising to the staff.
Our entire school read The Revealers over the month of November. Each teacher had a copy of the book and read a designated number of pages each day. This was done during an academic class, so each grade-level team decided when the reading would be done according to what was happening in their team that day/week. We provided follow-up discussion questions and a few optional activities, such as creating a graphic organizer of what bullying consists of, a chart to fill in the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, and a journaling activity.
All students were also given small cards and were asked to write down either how the book affected them, something new they learned about bullying, a tactic they could try to stop bullying, or something they wanted to share with Doug Wilhelm. These were put into a scrapbook and given to Doug after his last assembly. Doug presented to each grade level and answered questions that the students had.
One of the best parts of Doug's visit was his interaction with students during lunch. He seemed to know which students would benefit from some one-on-one time with him, and he solicited ideas from them from future books. Having him visit the school after everyone read the book was very powerful for our school community. Teachers still talk about that experience as one of the highlights of last year.
To find out more, Diana at