The 4th Grade just completed a multi-disciplinary unit that addressed an array of social issues using literature as the focal point to engage in discussions and activities. The book Fort by Cynthia DeFelice and the graphic novel Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham were used to initiate reflection on issues such as social aggression, bullying, friendship, peer pressure, body image, and mental illness.
With a host of adult mentors, the class separated into two groups to address these important topics. The boys read Fort led by Mr. Dayno, with special guest appearances by Mr. Valence. The girls read Real Friends led by Mrs. Stanton, Ms. Marks, and return appearances from Mrs. Skelly and Mrs. Geoghegan.
The two groups have been coming together during "Stanton Time" to compare and contrast how these issues were addressed in their two books. The similarities have been striking as the class discovers that their daily lives are filled with many of the same social challenges the characters in the books had to face. There is so much to learn about the daily choices we have to make each and every day. The 4th Grade, with the guidance of several helpful adults and the use of literature continue to try to make the "healthy choice" for themselves and others.