“It’s like you sacrifice yourself for something.” Jack quietly said.
He had been listening to a read aloud, How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham.
His first grade class was deep into describing Will, the main character –
helpful, sad because the bird is hurt, caring, thoughtful, really kind, simply nice, selfless
The book is light on text, heavy on pictures. The book is meant to be read with intentional lingering. The reader needs to make sense of the images and the story.
As I lingered on one page, Teddy noticed the one feather that had fallen off of the bird. He noticed that Will was carrying it.
“Do you think Will is doing the right thing by taking the bird off the sidewalk?” I asked.
“Yes because he can take care of the bird and then let it go.”
“Yes because he can bring the bird to a doctor and the doctor can fix the wing.”
“Would you do what Will is doing?” I wanted to hear more of their thinking. They were riveted to the book, I knew there was thinking happening. I need to probe and wait for more.
“Well, I mean, I would want to take care of the bird but sometimes birds carry germs.”
Heads shook in agreement at this thought.
“I agree with Teddy, you have to be careful when you see a hurt animal.”
So, here’s a big question, “Do you put yourself in danger – harms way – to help someone else?”
Reece chimed in right away, “It depends. If a bird fell near a volcano, I don’t think I would go help that bird. I might fall in.”
Jan responded, “But what Will is doing, that’s OK.”
During this exchange, Jack sat and took it all in, and right before we had to wrap up for recess, I heard him softly say –
“It’s like sometimes you sacrifice yourself for something or someone.”
There’s nothing more powerful than a read aloud with time to think.