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Facing History and Ourselves is an organization that works to instill intellectual vigor and curiosity in the world’s secondary school students, by providing ideas and tools that support the needs of teachers. Independent, critical thinking is at the heart of a free society, and adolescence is the time to develop those skills. Now, in partnership with myface.org, Facing History has created a curriculum for Wonder that explores topics such as inclusion and exclusion, difference, and multiple points of view:
One of R.J.P.'s personal favorite teacher-created resources was written by Mr. W on his wonderful website, mrwreads.blogspot.com. Mr. W went to the time and trouble of creating a visual resource companion guide—basically an annotated Wonder—to use while reading Wonder aloud to his classes. It's an amazing reference source, and I highly recommend it (and thank him for sharing it with the world).
Wonder Classroom & Community Reads Guide
Classroom & Community Reads Guide, with questions for group discussion, curriculum connections, Common Core correlations, and ideas for organizing a community-wide read
"Choose Kind" Activity Sheets
With classroom tie-ins from the start of the school year to Bullying Prevention Month to graduation
"Choose Kind” Printable Stickers
To give away to your students!
"Choose Kind" Paper Chains
With instructions on how to start a school-wide kindness chain
"Choose Kind" Pledge Poster
So your students can join the roster of children around the world who have pledged to choose kind!
Wonder Educational Planner
Great for organization!
We're All Wonders Educational Guide
A classroom full of wonders!
Choose Kind Caution Sign
Proceed with Kindness
In Wonder, Auggie refers to his condition as Mandibulofacial Dysostosis, which is also known as Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). This is an inherited developmental disorder with a prevalence estimated to range between 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 70,000 of live births. TCS is a condition in which the cheek-bones and jawbones are underdeveloped. Children with this condition have very small or partially absent cheek bones and notches in or stretching of the lower eyelids. The ears are frequently abnormal and part of the outer ear is usually absent. Hearing loss is also associated with this syndrome. In Wonder, Auggie's condition is further complicated by another unnamed syndrome that makes his particular set of craniofacial differences unique.
There are many children born every year with different types of craniofacial differences. There are also other things that happen that can cause facial differences in people as they get older, including accidents, fires, or diseases. There are various WONDERful organizations that have been created that provide support to these children and their families. Below is a listing of just a few, and a description of the valuable, valiant and wondrous work that they do.
myFace, formerly the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction, was founded to address the all-too-visible plight of those with facial deformity by assuring them access to the comprehensive and highly personalized team care at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (IRPS) at NYU Langone Medical Center. The IRPS provides integrative, highly specialized and personalized team care to all those who request treatment, regardless of the type or severity of the anomaly, the length of treatment, or the family’s ability to afford care.
A national, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the CCA's mission is to empower and give hope to individuals and families affected by facial differences. Nationally and internationally, CCA addresses the medical, financial, psychosocial, emotional, and educational concerns relating to craniofacial conditions. CCA was founded in 1989 to address unmet needs of families across the United States who were affected by craniofacial differences. Children's Craniofacial Association's National Spokesperson, entertainer Cher, became involved with the organization after having starred in the Movie Mask in which she played the mother of a child with a craniofacial condition. Since that time, Cher has supported the organization with her time and talent and has been CCA's most generous contributor.
Changing Faces supports and represents people who have conditions or injuries which affect their appearance. They're a charity based in the UK for people and families who are living with conditions, marks or scars that affect their appearance. Their work is divided into two areas: to help individuals lead full, confident and satisfying lives by giving practical and emotional support to adults, children and their families. They also provide training, support and advice to professionals in health and education.
Their second goal is to transform public attitudes towards people with an unusual appearance, to 'face equality' and promote fair treatment and equal opportunities for all, irrespective of how they look. They campaign for social change: lobbying for integrated health services; influencing schools and workplaces to create more inclusive environments; and pushing for anti-discrimination protection and enforcement.
Beyond Differences is dedicated to ending social isolation among students in middle school. They believe that all teens should feel included, valued and accepted by their peers. Beyond Differences was founded in memory of Lili Rachel Smith, a high school freshman who passed away in her sleep from medical complications in 2009. During the last few years of Lili’s life, particularly in middle school, she experienced the insidious effects of social isolation: lack of self esteem, loss of social skills needed to keep up with her peers, even academic decline and mounting frustration by her teachers and counselors. Beyond Differences believes that middle school and high school students can and will find ways to connect with one another in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Filmmaker Jaz Gray speaks at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN about the comparisons between her life as a rare birth defect survivor and life of fictional character August Pullman in the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio.