Friday, December 7, 2012

Wings by Christopher Myers

Students who have ever been made fun of or who have stood up for what is right will quickly connect with the characters in Christopher Myer's thought provoking picture book, Wings.  Based on the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus, Wings is the story of a boy named Ikarus who is made fun of because he is different. Despite the snickers and snide remarks of his peers, Ikarus stays true to himself and uses his beautiful wings as they were intended: to fly. The narrator of the story, a young girl at Ikarus's school, is also made fun of because she is so quiet. She can't help but notice how Ikarus's wings droop and sag when others make fun of him. Regretfully, she doesn't say anything. As the bullying continues, she eventually finds the courage and her own voice to stand up for what is right. She boldly tells Ikarus what he needed to hear, "Your wings are beautiful." This is a story about bullying and second chances and standing up for what is right when others are being treated poorly.

Literature Connections: Wings is the perfect read aloud to spark meaningful conversations about bullying, being yourself, and standing up for others. This would also work well paired with the Greek myth Icarus and Daedalus. After reading both stories, compare and contrast the character traits of Icarus / Ikarus in each story. Discuss the authors' purpose for each story as well as why the author may have chosen to name the character Ikarus in Wings. What else could the wings in Myer's story represent? Check out the educator's guide, extension activities and vocabulary scaffold for Wings provided by RIF (Reading is Fundamental) here. 

Recommended Ages: Pre-K through 6th grade

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