Petrillo, G., & Lyon, L. (2007). Keep your ear on the ball. Gardiner, Me.: Tilbury House.
Genre: Children/Character Education
Grade Level: 3rd – 6th
Age Level: 7 – 11 years old
This book is about a young boy who is blind. When he goes to school on the first day, all of his classmates offer to help him but he always responds with “Thanks, but no thanks”. For the entire day, he was able to do what everyone else could do (read and write with braille, etc.) but when they started to play kickball, Davey had trouble. The students help him and realize that he needs to hear in order to play; they tell him to keep his ear on the ball! Davey and his classmates finally learn about independence and interdependence. They let Davey do things on his own and Davey learns to take help when it’s offered.
This book is illustrated and written beautifully. Every color and gender is represented in the book, too, so it’s very relatable to students. It takes place in the classroom and playground; it’s familiar to students. It also makes aware an important concept by bringing up disabilities to young students.
Lesson Sketch: Given a journal, the student will be able to recall their experience with anyone who has had a disability or a time when they were unable to perform a task without help. I would have my students perform tasks without having a sense (sight, touch, hearing, smell) and ask them to write a journal on their experience with the task and disability. I would also ask them to define some terms (dependence, interdependence, braille, etc.) in their journals.
Grade Level: 3rd
Duration: 1 hour
Discussion Questions: Why does Davey not ask for help from his fellow classmates? How would you react to someone with a disability? Why did Davey’s classmates offer him help?
3rd Grade Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Great source to get discussion questions!
Site for Educators, Parents, and Kids! Perfect for an interactive site to teach children about disabilities.
Methods to reduce stress and remain an inclusive community from PBS! Very extensive!