Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Engaging With Literature

About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

Hints for Site Leaders
Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the Conversation

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature

5. Sharing the Text

6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground

9. Discussion

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9. Discussion Strategies

Featured Text

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Fourteen-year-year-old Shawn McDaniel suffers from such severe cerebral palsy that he cannot give the faintest sign that he is an alert, thoughtful, and intelligent human being with a powerful memory. Although he cannot even focus his eyes on his own, he is still happy to be alive. He loves the taste of smoked oysters and chocolate pudding, the scent of Comet in the sink, and his mother's hugs.

Shawn begins to believe that his father is planning to kill him as a way of releasing his suffering and Shawn has no way of communicating to his father the enormous pleasure he has in living. The ending is ambiguous, with Shawn and his father alone in the house.

Much of the power of this novel comes from the author's personal experiences; his teenaged son also suffers from cerebral palsy.

In choosing this text for his students, Mr. Hoonan considered a number of factors including accessibility, level of interest, and quality. Although Stuck in Neutral is Trueman's first book, it has won several awards and is generating a great deal of positive energy among teen readers.

You can access additional resources related to this video clip's text in the Additional Resources section.


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