April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

RYNJ Has Afternoon of Wonder

RYNJ sixth grade middle school girls participated in an afternoon of wonder. The activities of the afternoon focused upon building awareness of various disabilities. The novels that are a critical component of the sixth grade curriculum all focus upon the theme of overcoming adversity; the novels “Wonder” and “Out of My Mind” have main characters with specific disabilities (cleft palate and cerebral palsy). Students have learned about some of the social challenges that disabilities can bring.

This special programming placed each student in a specific scene, in which senses were challenged or understanding was difficult. The girls were involved in small group exercises simulating Autism, communication disorders, hearing impairments, learning disabilities and intellectual disability. Famous people such as Beethoven, Agatha Christie and Helen Keller were also highlighted as attention was given to disabilities in the media.

As an outgrowth of their experiences, the girls created mood murals, a one sheet original scene, depicting a mood either from a novel or an emotion. These were collected and will be donated to Friendship Circle. Some students folded the images into fans for the Friendship Circle to use. Another meaningful activity was the creation of a T-shirt on which each student could write a favorite quote from one of the novels onto their shirt. A high point of the afternoon was a Wonder Escape Room event presenting challenging questions about the novel which focused on the girls’ knowledge of plot, setting, characters, figurative language and coded language. The RYNJ young ladies of 6G1 answered the challenging questions, broke the code and won first place!

All final projects throughout the year were showcased around the room and each student experienced other classes’ creative presentations of the novels, as well. A compassionate, “eye opening” and exciting time was had by all!

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