Discussion and Activities for Rules by Cynthia Lord
Time Needed: 50 minutes to 1 hour
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Several hardback and paperback books that are OK to destroy
Several CDs, tapes, or floppy disks that no longer function and can be destroyed
Several rolls of receipt tape or toilet paper
10 rubber ducks
A large plastic box/container
Several pencils, pens
Several pieces of blank paper
Crayons, pencils, markers
Preprinted coloring sheets, coloring books
The activity portion of this lesson is designed to be experienced first. The activity focuses on a set of rules that participants must break or follow. Six stations (three to break the rules and three to follow the rules) should be set up throughout the instruction space. Participants will travel to each station and follow the directions printed on direction cards. Only allow 3-5 minutes at each station; then have the participants switch to the next. Below is a listing of each station and the rules to break or follow. Please note that the stations and rules can easily be altered depending on budget, supplies readily available, participant needs, and/or book relevance. Those stations listed are EXAMPLES only (however they were actually used for a book club presentation).
Rule to Break: No toys in the fish tank.
Supplies: 10 rubber ducks, large plastic box, container
At this station, participants get to be David for a moment; they are given a rubber duck and asked to TOSS/THROW it into the plastic box or container. If the instruction area allows, the container may be filled with water, but blue construction paper can just as easily represent water. The participants may play a game to see who can make the most baskets.
Rule to Follow: Make three new cards for Jason’s communication book. Make one VERB, one ADJECTIVE, and one NOUN.
Supplies: index cards, crayons, pencils, markers
At this station, participants take the place of Catherine and make some cards for Jason’s communication book. Participants should take the cards they make with them for later use.
Rule to Break: Don’t unroll the paper, unless you need it.
Supplies: Receipt tape or toilet paper
At this station, participants are allowed to unroll as much or as little of the paper as they’d like. Some children might toss the paper or play catch with a friend.
Rule to Follow: Choose a partner and WRITE a message to them. Communicate an entire conversation without saying a word.
Supplies: Pencils, blank paper
At this station, participants get to be Jason for a moment and experience what it is like to not be able to communicate through talking. Have children keep the conversation for later discussion.
Rule to Break: Don’t misuse or destroy books, tapes, CDs, or other things from the library.
Supplies: Books, CDs, tapes, and other materials that can be destroyed, pens or pencils
At this station, participants can tear pages out of books, snap CDs in half, pull the tape out of the cassette (like David does) or simply write on the materials
Rule to Follow: Color inside the lines.
Supplies: Coloring sheets, crayons, blank paper
At this station, participants can color the preprinted pages or choose to draw their own works. However, the focus should be on keeping the color inside the lines.
After the station part of the lesson is finished, have participants sit in groups of four or five for the discussion questions. The following is a list of discussion questions that could be used. Again, please note that the questions can be altered according to children’s/student needs and time.
1. How did it feel to BREAK the rules? Do you think David felt the same way when he broke rules? Why or why not?
2. How did it feel to FOLLOW the rules? Do you think Catherine wants to break more rules than she does? Why or why not?
3. Using your communication cards, come up with a group sentence to describe Rules. Each group will tell their sentence to the rest of the class.
4. How hard was it to describe something with limited words? Do you think Jason often felt frustrated with his lack of words? Why or why not?
5. What do you think of the rules Catherine created for David? Are they helpful or hurtful? Do the rules help or hurt Catherine most? Do the rules help or hurt David most?
6. Other assorted questions as time and discussion allow.