In this lesson, students listen and look at the illustrations as you read aloud The Wall by Eve Bunting. The Wall is an excellent book to share with students of all ages; its powerful message can be interpreted at many levels. Reading The Wall will lead to a lesson in which students write letters or cards to U.S. military veterans in a local Veteran's Hospital.
In this lesson we will explore how the book portrays community, sacrifice , empathy, and faith.
- As they visit the wall, are the father and the boy feeling the same things? How is visiting the wall a different experience for the boy and the father?
- Why, do you think, did the father take out a pencil and make a rubbing of the name on the wall?
- Why did the boy put his picture against the wall?
- Why were others touching the names on the wall? (Students might infer that they were touching the names with love; the name is all that is left of a lost loved one.)
- What did you see in the book's pictures that shows how people were affected by the war? (Students might infer some of these things: People were hugging and crying because they found the name of a loved one and were remembering that person; people left things like flags, flowers, letters, and stuffed animals behind as tributes or mementos to people who were killed in the war; a man in a wheelchair, without legs, might have been a soldier in the war and might be remembering his fallen buddies)
- Why did the author and illustrator include a group of girls playing as others searched the wall for their loved ones' names? (The girls stand as a symbol of life marching on in spite of the loss suffered in the war. The final image of the book, as the boy and his grandfather walk away from the wall, offers another reassuring impression that life goes on after war and death.)
- You cannot see the faces of the boy and his father as they walk away from the wall, but how do you think they are feeling?
- How did the book make you feel? Do all books have to make you feel happy?
- Hopkins Gary (2017,23,May).The Wall Inspires Letters to Veterans
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