Picture Book SEL: The Invisible Boy

We started this lesson by reading The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, a story about a boy who feels as though no one, not even his teacher, sees him at school.  While we were reading, I paused a certain points to talk about what the boy was feeling and why.  We took particular notice of when color started to appear in the boy.  What did that mean?  How was he feeling?  This proved to be quite an engaging conversation with my 3rd graders.

After the story, we created a T-chart detailing what it meant to be INCLUDED and EXCLUDED.  We began with the "excluded" side, siting evidence from the text and examples from our own life where we noticed people being excluded.  Then, we moved on to the "included" side.  This again allowed the students to head back into the text to find evidence for our chart.

Next, we talked about how feeling included in situations is something that all human beings want.  We talked about how excluding people doesn't make anyone feel good and how our words in certain situations can make people feel invisible.  So we set out to make sure that we had a HUGE list of words, compliments, and phrases that we could use on a daily basis to help create a feeling of visibility and inclusion in our classroom.

Using the initial list we brainstormed, and then adding on from there, I had the students write those phrases on Avery labels.  They could write as many or as few as they would like.  I began to stuck them onto a classroom door (that I had previously covered with paper) and added a mirror.  This created our own "Don't Feel Invisible" station (like one of those affirmation stations that are so popular, but this was kid made!)  Now, whenever the kids walk by it, they see phrases and words they can use to help themselves and others feel less invisible throughout the day.

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