Life Skills

Battle of the Books Club

In this 4-week flexible-schedule course, learners will discuss award-winning chapter books written to "broaden the human experience;" leading to conversations about empathy and new perspectives.
66 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
Class

No live meetings

Over 4 weeks

9-12

year olds

2-9

learners per class

per learner - per week

How does aFlexible Schedulecourse work?

No scheduled live video chats
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great if your learner prefers independent pacing or is uncomfortable with live video chat

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Description

Class Experience

Dr. Tory is neurodiverse (autistic/ADHD) and practices inclusive advocacy in both her personal and professional engagements; she is skilled in facilitating discussions on inclusion and empathy with children. In her day job, she provides professional development to college instructors on creating an inclusive classroom culture and adopting equitable teaching strategies. She also serves on the advisory board of her institutions Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging. Her background is in behavioral biology and psychology; she also has several years experience in education research to promote inclusive reform in high school STEM curricula. Dr. Tory has experience coaching a (4th place!) Battle of the Books Team (ages 9-10) who became expert-readers of the focal books in this class. She also has four years experience leading youth scouts, the majority of whom experience one or more disabilities. Dr. Tory believes in listening to and validating others' lived experiences, the social definition of disability, and that Black lives matter. The (award-winning) books selected for this class have been written by authors with expertise in diverse experiences.

The author of Operation Frog Effect, Sarah Scheerger, is a clinical social worker who provides mental health services to school communities. This novel is a "Winner of the 2020 Mississippi Library Association Children's Book Award," a "2020–2021 Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee," and a "2021-2022 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Nominated Title."

The author of Song for a Whale, Lynne Kelly, is a former special education teacher and now a sign-language interpreter/writer. This novel is a "New York Public Library Best Book of the Year" and a "Schneider Family Book Award Winner" (recognition for authors' excellent portrayal of disability experiences in youth literature, given by the American Library Association).

Brenda Woods, the author of The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA, has won many awards, such as "The Coretta Scott King Honor, PEN Center USA Finalist, Focal Award, ALA TOP Ten Books for Reluctant Readers, and the International Reading Association Book Award." Her novel chosen for this class is a Kirkus Review Best Book and CCBC Choice; the New York Times Book Review says “Woods casts a much needed spotlight on the history of African-American troops in World War II.”
It is strongly recommended that learners finish reading a book prior to the respective week/session. As an inclusion-friendly class, learners are more than welcome to have books read to them, buddy-read, or listen to audiobook versions, in lieu of independently reading each book.
Accessing the books on the book club list, in time enough to read prior to the class session, is the responsibility of the learner. Consider borrowing the book(s) from a library or accessing audiobooks through public/private listening platforms. If you choose to purchase the book(s), they often cost less than $10 (each).

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Learners will have multiple opportunities to share their interests, ideas, and growth in a variety of formats (written, photo/video, drawings, etc); Dr. Tory will provide explicit, personalized feedback to affirm learners' efforts.
No live meetings, and an estimated 4+ hours per week outside of class.
The books chosen for this class have the potential to expose young readers to life experiences different from their own. Although presented in an age-appropriate manner, and important lessons arise, some topics may cause feelings of discomfort. For example, Operation Frog Effect shares the stories of children with varied challenges, including a family that has experienced eviction and a family that recently immigrated. Song for a Whale shares the first person experience of a deaf girl, including her frustration with constantly being misunderstood and how she misses her late grandparents. The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA tells the story of a white boy learning the harsh reality that racism is not just a thing of the past. All stories share lessons and themes of how we, as a community, must keep learning from each other and growing together. Dr. Tory believes in creating "Brave Spaces" for learners to listen & share authentically, and grow from new experiences and conversations. Please see "Teacher Expertise" for more information. 
We will refer to each of the following books in their respective scheduled session:
Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods

Teacher

Dr. Tory - The Diverging STEM
🇺🇸
Lives in the United States
Educator, Researcher, Advocate
66 total reviews
118 completed classes

About Me

My name is Tory Williams and I enjoy teaching a variety of STEM topics, especially related to animal behavior and engineering. As someone with invisible disabilities, I also love to teach on topics related to disabilities, mental health, and... 
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