Beautiful Ending

I few weeks ago, I wrote about our school community's One Book, Two Schools experience reading Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate. When I first read this book, I passed it around to several colleagues. When my copy finally made it's way back to me, I placed it on the ledge in my office with a heart shaped post-it that read, "If you need a happy ending..." If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it!

We have been reading the book as a community and this is the first year that we have carved out time for classroom teachers to read the designated chapters each day in school, rather than kids just reading them at home with their families. This has really assured that all students on our community are reading the book. As we planned for a culminating activity to end the story, we decided to come together, via Zoom, to read the final chapters as a whole school. 

At 2:15, I signed into the Zoom session from a school across town, seating in an unfamiliar teacher's lounge, listening to our principal reading aloud the final chapters that really brought the story together. I scrolled through the gallery view of boxes, watching kids sitting in their classrooms, also listening. Once again, we were all together...yet apart. We've gotten so good at this.

As the final words hung in the air, our principal invited us to think about the lessons we could learn from the story. I watched classes turn and talk and then the chat exploded with idea after idea. 

I collected some of the lines from the chat and created this found poem, a little slice of the beauty that came from one book and one community of readers:

You can make a difference
The more you listen, the more you learn about others.

Good things happen to good people
Help those that are lonely
Friends stick up for each other
You can always count on friendships

Be brave

Be strong

Things that seem like they don't belong might actually belong
We are all different and that's what makes us beautiful. 

"It's a great thing, indeed, to love who you are."

When things are tough keep trying
If all hope seems lost, maybe it isn't
Life isn't always what you expect
Messy things can be beautiful

There is always hope...

Share your story.

9 thoughts on “Beautiful Ending

  1. You set up your poem with just enough back story for it to be truly appreciated and anticipated! AND, you choose just the right lines and placed them together artfully! Well done — The OBTS as well as the poem!


  2. A wonderful reminder/example of the power of a shared experience. I feel like I need a little print out of your found poem to keep in my planner as a daily motivator!


  3. I haven’t read this book, but your poem makes me want to run out and get it from the library. I think I will definitely read it this summer — perhaps alongside Isabelle!

    Love your poem and all of the positivity it reminds us of in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate your poem offers a culmination of a culmination. I am struck by the way these statements from individuals having a collective experience reveal a sense of community. What a wonderful way to bring the story to a close.


  5. Love every bit of this slice. From the one school one book to the carving out time to the ending all together. The poem you created from the words of the community at large is so powerful. I hope you share it.


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