Thursday, October 13, 2011

Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper - Choice List

This story follows Melody Brooks, a fifth grader who suffers from cerebral palsy. Due to her condition we see her struggle throughout her middle school years and learn to deal with the circumstances that this disability has left her with. With limited mobility and verbal capabilities, Melody has difficulties expressing herself but through her loving parents, and special education teacher, Mrs. V, we see Melody gain a voice through her new “medi-talker.” Through this device, Melody is allowed to come out of her shell and express herself in a way never possible to her before and prove that she is just as strong as anyone else, despite being labeled as disabled.

Reading Level: 4.2

Readers: Below are a few websites that could assist in the learning and teaching of this book!

This is a website that should be looked at by the teacher and students before reading the book. It talks about what cerebral palsy is, and will be able to help your students better understand what Melody, the main character is going through.

Here is another great website that can be used in the classroom. This gives a short review of what happened in the story and then provides several links that can lead the reader to lesson plans, reviews, and autobiographical information on the author herself!

Some vocabulary that might need to be pre-taught include Agenda, cardinal, crumpled, evaluation, flailing, irritated, profoundly, swiftly and yakking.


Before reading it would be good to use the website listed above that talks about what cerebral palsy is, and have a discussion with your students about it. This website can be projected onto the screen and students can ask questions on things that they might not understand about this disability.

During Reading:
While your students are independently reading they can do a “compare and contrast” list where they can look at how Melody was before her medi-talker, and how she changed after her medi talker.

After Reading:
Once students are finished reading the book they can write a story called “in her shoes” where they extended their knowledge that they learned through reading Out of my Mind, and apply it to a short story where they write about how they think they would react and feel if they were in Melody’s shoes.

Draper, S. M. (2010). Out of my mind. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

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