Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wonder Precepts & Quotes

Mr. Browne's precepts play an important part in Wonder. In addition to his precepts, Auggie and his classmates offer some of their own over the summer. Finally, if we pull some important and powerful lines from the book itself, we get some quotes that can stand on their own as precepts. 

Take a look at the following list of  Mr. Browne's precepts and quotes from the story. How would you explain what they mean? How would you illustrate the truths that each one states? How might the message of these precepts and quotes apply to our lives in class, in school, at home, and in our community?

As we discuss these quotes further, you will choose one to explain in more detail. We are making a display in the hallway of our explanations. Your poster should include the quote itself, illustrations of what that quote looks like, and if needed, additional explanation of what it means to you.

Before you start, think about these things.
  • These will be on display in the hall. Show others in school your best work. 
  • Write neatly.
  • Plan ahead. Make a sketch. Rough drafts aren't only for writing. They work for posters too.
  • Put in the effort necessary to do you best.
  • Make the lesson clear to others. We learned a lot from Wonder. Help others learn from Wonder too by making your message clear and easy to understand.
And now, here are the quotes:
  • "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind." —Dr. Wayne Dyer
  • "Your deeds are your monuments." —Inscription on ancient Egyptian tomb
  • "Have no friends not equal to yourself." —Confucius
  • "Fortune favors the bold." —Virgil
  • "No man is an island, entire of itself." —John Donne
  • "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." —James Thurber
  • "Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much." —Blaise Pascal
  • "What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful." —Sappho
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." —John Wesley
  • "Just follow the day and reach for the sun." —The Polyphonic Spree
  • "Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world." —Auggie Pullman
  • “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” —Mr. Tushman
  • “Now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.” —Auggie Pullman
  • “Sometimes you don't have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone.” —Wonder
  • "Don't try too hard to be cool. It always shows, and that's uncool.” —Amos Conti
  • “Learning who you are is what you're here to do.” —Mr. Browne
  • “It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.” —Charlotte
  • “We carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.” —Mr. Tushman
  • “What's cool about really little kids is that they don't say stuff to try to hurt your feelings. . . Big kids, though: they know what they're saying.” —Auggie
  • "Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than necessary." —J. M. Barrie
  • "Don't judge a book boy by its cover his face." —Wonder
Here are two examples from Mr. W. The first one uses a picture to help show the meaning. The second uses words to explain the meaning and the pictures are used mainly to decorate the poster.


  1. Love all the resources you've posted. I can't wait to do this culminating activity with my fourth graders. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for this amazing resource! I appreciate all the clips, pictures, and mostly the time you put into this. My students loved connecting through your resources, as so did I. As they looked on the side of the screen one student said, "Wait, is there one of these for all our books?" I guess I better step it up:) Thank you!!!!

  3. Mrs. Schmitt10/26/14, 3:35 PM

    I plan on doing this activity with the 6th grade class I'm teacher assisting in. Is there any way that you could send me the directions that you would give to students explaining this activity to them? I would so greatly appreciate it! I need the help :)

    1. Everything I did for this activity is posted on this page. Actually, I displayed it using the projector and used the page itself as the guide for our discussion of the assignment.

      We reviewed what precepts are, including how we could pull precepts straight from the text itself. We talked about how to show a precept in a poster/display using things like using symbols or speech bubbles or additional text. Then we discussed the two examples. (Like why does the one poster include a person but only from the neck down?)

      Then I turned the student loose. :-)

  4. I love this bookkkkkkkkk

  5. This is really good!

  6. I taking reading class and this is the book I have to read ..I need to know what that mean each precept

    1. It's just what Mr. Browne says. Precepts are words to live by. Statements you believe to be always true. Lessons that can guide your decisions. As far as what each one means, I'll leave that to you. Each person will get something different from each precept.

  7. MR. W.
    I just want to THANK YOU for the time and effort you used putting all of this together. I read this with my class for the first time last year and was awe-struck by all of the potential in this book as well as all of the things I was going to need to find images/clips for in order to help my students really grasp the text. I cannot wait to do the culminating activity next year. I am so IN LOVE with your site and I can't wait to give you the props you deserve in my classroom next year. Fabulous!! Thank you, again.

    1. You are very welcome. Each time someone tells me about using this site with their students, I'm thankful that it has found such a life beyond my classroom.

  8. Thank you! I will use this with my 4th grade social skills class!

  9. so cool bro!!!!!

  10. Pretty cool. I am a student and I have to write a page, not double spaced, about what the precepts mean to me, how do they connect to characters in the book, and how do they connect to my life. It is pretty cool I guess but half the time i don't know what the precepts mean. So i just have to look them up. I did find this website.

    So ya. Have a good life peeps.

  11. We loved using this resource!! Did you by any chance do one for Auggie and Me too?

    1. Sort of. I did a resource for The Julian Chapter right after it was released as an ebook. You can see it here: http://mrwreads.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-julian-chapter-read-aloud-resources.html

      I have notes made for the other two parts, but never posted them. (I really should do that.)

  12. I have used your wonderful work for a few years now and realized I have yet to thank you. Thank you so much for helping me bring this book to life for my children. They especially enjoy the music and theater videos and references. As I have used it this year, I noticed a few of the image links no longer appear, but those are simple enough to find. Your generosity is much appreciated.

    1. You are so welcome. We are all in this together, aren't we? I want your students to be successful as much as I want success for my own students. We might as well help one another along the way, and these resources a just a small way of doing so. I'm glad you find them useful!

      I try to find the dead links at the beginning of each school year, and I thought I found them all this year. Let me know if you find some more pictures that have vanished.

  13. This book is cool
    I did a book project on it
    I made August's face out of clay
    It was 2 feet tall and 1 1/2 feet wide
    you should have seen the 100 precepts I made for the project
    It was amazing

    1. Not gonna lie, I would TOTALLY love to see this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Just "WONDER"ing... what page number in Wonder is Ximena Chin's "To thine own self be true? Thanks!

    1. To my knowledge, it's only mentioned at the very end when it's listed as her postcard precept.

  15. "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." —James Thurber
    analysis please

    1. Why should we ask questions? What's wrong with the answers? Who is James Thurber? Is this request from a student?

      Seriously, I'm way more interested in YOUR analysis than giving you mine. What do YOU think the quote is all about?


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