I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About A Simple of Kindness by Kerascoët
I Walk With Vanessa is wordless book that provokes a conversation about bullying. All readers will relate to the concern of finding a way to stop aggressive behavior. When a new girl at school feels alone, a bully decides to make her feel worse by yelling at her. Another young girl witnesses this and is shocked and saddened by what she saw. After pondering for some time, she comes up with a brilliant plan that is sure to make Vanessa feel better. Learners will immediately connect with stories of their own. The wordless platform encourages readers to voice their experiences around bullying.
Response to Literature
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Include/Create II.B.1 Learners adjust their awareness of the global learning community by interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives.
- Introduce the story by asking learners to look at the cover and read the title. Ask what they can expect to learn from the book.
- Explain that this is a wordless story, so they will need to look closely at the illustrations and think about what is happening.
- Ask the following questions as you read the story:
- What is happening on this page? (title page)
- How do you think the little girl feels about moving to a new place? (title page)
- How is Vanessa feeling about being in a new class? How do you know? (pages 1-2)
- Why do you think the children don’t notice her? (pages 1-4)
- Why is the boy yelling at Vanessa? (pages 5-6)
- How is the girl in the yellow dress feeling about the boy yelling at Vanessa? (pages 7-8)
- What is the girl in the yellow dress saying to her friends? How do the friends feel about it? (pages 11-12)
- What do you suppose the girl is thinking about? (pages 13-18).
- What do you think the girl is saying to Vanessa? (pages 19-20)
- How does Vanessa feel now? How do you know? (pages 23-28)
- Invite learners to share their own experiences of bullying. Ask for examples of people helping others who were bullied.
- Create a toolbox of ideas for learners to prevent bullying. Divide learners into groups to create pamphlets or slideshows to share with other classrooms.
Tip: Take a look at the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and Best Apps for Learning to find the best platforms for your learners.
Extension Idea: Pair this book with “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson. Ask learners to think about how they would make a new student feel welcome in their classroom.
If you like these lesson ideas, please check out our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes detailed lesson plans, essential questions, worksheets, rubrics and assessments.