Descriptions of Other Lessons and Activities:
Science - Include a detailed discussion on the kinds of swans, especially what are called "mute swans," the kind of swans found in the book. Mute swans are considered to be the most beautiful types of swans--so majestic even in their silence. Relate the grandeur of these swans to the beauty of Charlie, who is silent, too. Also, include under Science a simplified discussion on Charlie's disability approached from a scientific/medical point of view. Present a number of videos and resources to which they can refer, to adequately understand how it is to have a mental disability.
Social Studies - Include a detailed discussion on geography: the mountainous terrain of West Virginia and the coal mines that greatly figured in the lives of those who live in the area. Discuss how the terrain dictated the sources of income and the economy of the area, and how the coal mines became an integral part in the lives of the people of West Virginia. Also, present the several mining accidents that happened in the area and relate these to what Aunt Willie in the novel experienced when she lost her loved ones to coal mine accidents before, making her the "nag" and "overprotective" aunt that she is in the novel.
Mathematics - Present a lesson on computing land areas, using geographic examples from the novel. Modify these land areas, though, by establishing a limit to only exact shapes like the circular, triangular, and square pieces of land.
PE - Teach and guide them in executing the proper breathing and limb exercises to prepare for a brisk walk. Initiate a recall among your students about the long walk--almost hike--that the main characters in the story did in relation to Charlie's being lost and the people's search for him.
Art - Using small, cut-out squares, make a mosaic of the pong with the beautiful mute swans. Model how to do this by using the document camera. Present a finished output using PowerPoint or SMART Board.
Music - Organize your class into presenting a choral singing (in two voices only) of a song on acceptance and loving someone for who they are. Allow the class to deliberate and choose the song that they like to perform best. You can also give them a set of options to choose from, based on the profile of students--their interests, likes, and dislikes. Consider the genre (pop? classical? RnB?) in choosing the song that would appeal to their emotions the most.