Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Falker by, Particia Polacco

Summary: One of the most touching children's books I've read in recent memory. This book is very close to my heart since I can relate to the feeling that the character Tricia goes through. This autobiographical story by the great Patricia Polacco tells how "Tricia" overcame her reading problems with the help of a compassionate teacher. In the book, Tricia, who has a yearning to learn to read because of her family's love of learning, discovers that letters in books seem to be all just wiggling shapes. As Tricia moves through school, students call her dumb. She sadly begins to except their teasing and begins to believe she truly is dumb; until, Fifth Grade when she is blessed with an outstanding teacher, Mr. Falker.


  • I would use this book in the beginning on the school year as a read aloud to teach the students tolerance in the classroom. I want the students to understand that there is no reason for teasing and name calling especially in “our” classroom. After the read alond we would have a class discussion about the book and hurting peoples feelings.

  • It also can be used to show that everyone is different and its ok to be different. And as a class we could sit in a circle and tell something that makes us different from the rest and how that makes us all special. This is another activity that would be done in the beginning of the school year. This activity can also help us introduce ourselves in the beginning of the school year.

  • You can also have the kids go back to ther seats and write a letter to Tricia letting her know that its okay to be different and that she is not alone. Or they can also write about how they would feel if they were in Tricia's shoes.

Curricular units:

  • Tolerance (social studies)

  • Class room behaviors

  • Literacy

  • Self esteem (social issues)

Social Justice Education:

  • Self love and acceptance: This book shows the students that its ok to be different and that they sohould love themselves for who they are.

  • Respect for others: This book skows how they should have respect for others that are different then them reguardless of the difference and that everone should be treated the same way

  • Exploring issues of social justice: This book taught them how it felt to be put down all the time. It shouwed them a form of oppression.

  • Social movements and social change: This book really doesn't fit into this area of social justice.

  • Taking social action: This may show the students that its not right to tease and put other peole down. If they see that happening to someone one day they will have the strengh to help that person out that is getting teased and teach the peson who is doing the teasing something new.


  1. I witnessed this book being put to use in a 3rd grade CTT classroom at the beginning of the year, and I think it help create an atmosphere of appreciation of children's different talents.

  2. After reading this book, it also made me thik of all the children in the schools they attend that are being called dumb because they aren't good at a specific thing. I feel that this is a great book to use in the beginning of the year for the class so it teaches them to appreciate others for who they are regardless of what they are good at or what they aren't good at. This is a great book to use to teach the class about respect for others and about bullying. I believe that there are a lot of students that have been in a position like that, but are just too embarrased to tell someone about it.
    I would definately use this book in my classroom and let my students write letters of appreciation to each other.