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Neurodiversity Book Club — "Fish in a Tree"
A book discussion for tweens and teens on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette, OCD, anxiety, and other neurowonderful ways of being in the world, and the neurotypicals who support us. This is for the book "Fish in a Tree."
US Grade 5 - 8
Fish in a Tree is about a girl named Ally who hides her inability to read, and some of the difficult, awkward, funny, and frustrating situations that creates. Then everything changes when she gets a new teacher and opens up to two potential friends. She learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. Why join me for this book? 1. It's a deeply compassionate and sometimes funny story that will resonate with those of us who struggle with reading, who don't...
This class is taught in English.
Learners will experience acceptance of their own unique neurotype and personality, and have the opportunity, through reading and discussion, to see the world through another's experience. This discussion may provoke some difficult questions around students' own feelings of inclusion and exclusion, however it is not intended as mental health counseling therapy for anyone. While this is a safe space to bring up questions and anxieties, we will not be delving into personal experiences or attempt to treat or provide therapy in any way.
I am neurodiverse myself, having four decades of life experience on the autism spectrum, and I am an autism coach, helping autistic and other neurodiverse kids and their families find and remove the hidden barriers to success and then build positive life experiences. I am also a certified teacher with several years of experience teaching middle and high school. I also am a graduate of the Great Books Program at St. John's College, a school where every single class, in every single subject, is taught in small group, socratic seminar discussion style, so I have extensive experience leading and participating in small group discussions on difficult, unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable topics. As a high school teacher, I led my students in socratic seminar discussion regularly on a wide variety of books and topics.
Homework OfferedPlease read the entire book before the class meets. Learners may read via a paper book, e-book, listen to an audiobook, or have someone read it to them—all learning styles are welcome.
Assessments OfferedStudents are invited to participate in our small group discussion to whatever extent, and in whatever way, they feel comfortable. No formal assessment is given to provide a low-pressure opportunity to engage with literature and peers.
Book Title: Fish in a Tree Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt ISBN: 9780142426425 Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/9847/9780142426425 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PziIlT Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Fish-in-a-Tree-Audiobook/B00RUJ4S34 Description: "Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” —Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. This paperback edition includes The Sketchbook of Impossible Things and discussion questions. A New York Times Bestseller! * “Unforgettable and uplifting.”—School Library Connection, starred review * "Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”—Booklist, starred review * “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control." —School Library Journal, starred review
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
The main character's father is separated from the family while on army deployment, and she deals with some minor school bullying. I don't want to give away spoilers here for those who don't want it, but if you message me I will be happy to go into more detail.
Meet the teacher
Hi. I’m Heather. I'm a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), licensed teacher, and I’m Autistic. And I’m building a life I truly love. It wasn’t always that way. Well, I was always Autistic. But the life I love part, that’s had its ups and downs....
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(7)
Completed by 29 learners
Live video meetings
4-7 learners per class