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Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Teacher Resource

365 Days of Wonder (Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts)

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“We carry within us the wonders we seek around us.”
This precept from Sir Thomas Browne, author, scholar, scientist, and supporter of tolerance, inspired the author of this book, providing him with guidance for his life as a graduate student, Peace Corps participant and student teacher.
A whole year’s worth of daily precepts are intended as  ‘words to live by, to elevate the soul and celebrate the goodness in people.’  Each precept provides an opportunity for discussion or reflection as they wonder, discuss and reflect about the precepts individually and as a community. At the beginning of each month, the author speaks clearly to his intended audience – students. Varied font and simply drawn graphics using black, white and hues of blue, seem to make the words jump off the page, calling readers to action.
Divided into months, beginning with September, it would be a powerful resource for upper elementary to adult teachers to begin each new schoolday throughout the year. Using Mr. Browne’s strategy for teaching ‘words to live by’ begins with introducing a new precept on the classroom board monthly. Students copied  it, discussed it and at the end of the month, wrote an essay about the precept.  Each student would send him a precept during their summer vacation on a postcard.  The collected precepts were from famous people and from the students themselves.  Over ten years, he collected two thousand precepts from his students and turned them into a book.  Focused upon the character traits of kindness, character, perseverance, and  good deeds, he selected some precepts from his own and his students’.  This book is authentic in that it arose from words which guided and changed the teacher and students alike. It would make a wonderful gift for any classroom teacher or graduate.
This book will be a welcome tool for teaching Character Education, Health and Writing, as well as pausing in our classrooms to ponder and wonder about life itself.

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