Resources for: Tell Me Three Things, a YA novel

Tell Me Three Things

Book Information:                                                                                                                        

Written by Julie Buxbaum; Published by Delacorte Press, 2016. 325 pp. $9.99 pb. Contemporary Fiction.

ISBN 9780553-535679

Awards: ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

Review:                                                                                                                                                   Jessie, the protagonist, is uprooted from her childhood home in Chicago when her father remarries a wealthy woman that he met online.  The marriage and move are a complete surprise to Jessie because she has not yet dealt with her grief after her mother’s death. She also had not realized that her father had started dating a woman serious enough to get married.  The move to Los Angeles is a culture shock to Jessie in more ways than one.  She has to learn to navigate her new and expensive private school, learn to live and get along with her new stepbrother, and also learn how to make new friends, all while trying to maintain her relationships with friends back in Chicago.  Just when Jessie is thinking about how everything in her life is a mess, Somebody/Nobody (SN) enters her life as an anonymous person that she talks to everyday.  Initially Jessie is sure that someone playing a prank on her, but as she and SN get to know almost everything about each other through instant messenger (except SN’s real identity), a surprising friendship forms and Jessie slowly learns how to cope with the many sad changes in her life.  Highly recommended for teens and adults.

Grade level: 10 +                                                                                                                                  

Rating: Highly Recommended                                                                                                                  

Byline: Jaimie Davis, Graduate Student, School Library Science Program, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.

Teaching Ideas/Invitations to the Classroom (5)

#Teaching Idea 1: Book or Movie Trailer

10.1 The student will participate in, collaborate in, and report on small-group learning
activities.  10.2 The student will analyze, produce, and examine similarities and differences between visual and verbal media messages

  • Activity: Students will make their own book trailer or movie trailer to introduce the novel using a video tool. Students may select from the following video tools: Animoto, Adobe Spark, Powtoon, Sharalike, Stupeflix, or WeVideo.  The teacher and the librarian will collaborate on this lesson.  The librarian will give students an overview of how the difference between all of the video tools and how to use them.  If a student has a preference for use of a different video tool, he or she must receive permission from the teacher.  Students will work in groups to create either a book or movie trailer.  For the movie trailer, students will be assigned roles to direct, act, and produce the video.  The trailer must include audio (voice over and music), and scene changes and transitions.  Students will need to collaborate as a team to produce the final product.  The teacher will bring students to the library computer lab for the video creation.  The teacher and librarian will monitor and assist students as needed.

#Teaching Idea 2: Mystery Skype Geography Lesson

10.4 d) Analyze the cultural or social function of literature. 10.5 The student will read, interpret, analyze, and evaluate nonfiction texts.

  • Activity: Students will mystery skype with another class from a different state in the United States.  The librarian will first be responsible to find a class to mystery skype with by registering with the Mystery Skype website. The librarian will find a class to play mystery skype from either Chicago or Los Angeles, because these are the two cities used in the novel’s setting.  Mystery skype is a fun game that builds students’ cultural awareness, geography skills, and allows them to hone their critical thinking skills.  The teacher will show the students the mystery skype video as an anticipatory set, a week or two weeks before the scheduled mystery skype call.  Students will be given the date for the call, and the teacher will use the Mystery Skype Office Curriculum from the website to prepare the students for the actual skype.   The teacher and librarian will collaborate to give a library lesson so that the students will learn about Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as their own city and state to prepare them for the mystery skype call.  During the scheduled skype phone call, students will use skype and a series of questions to guess each other’s locations.  Students will work in small groups or with one partner for the call preparation and during the call.  Mystery Skype is suitable for all students of all ages, and allows students to interact with other students from different locations that they may not otherwise interact with. The mystery skype call will take place in the school library computer lab.  Students should find this activity interesting because of the element of mystery that the protagonist encountered trying to figure out the identity of Somebody Nobody.

#Teaching Idea 3: Double Entry Response Journal

10.4 b) Make predictions, draw inferences, and connect prior knowledge to support
reading comprehension. d) Analyze the cultural or social function of literature.
e) Identify universal themes prevalent in the literature of different cultures.
f) Examine a literary selection from several critical perspectives.
g) Explain the influence of historical context on the form, style, and point of view of
a literary text.

  • Activity:   Good readers make connections to text as they read, so for this assignment students as students read the novel, they will be required to make at least two-three connection/responses to each chapter.  In the left column, students will record events, situations or quotes from the novel that they can relate or react to.  In the right column, they will record their connections/reactions to make a connection between the text and themselves (text-to self), another text (text-to-text), or the world (text-to-world).  Students will also be required to share their reaction to the connection by writing down how it makes them feel and why.  The teacher will model for students how to complete the Double Entry response journal by using the first chapter as an example.  The teacher will use a document camera so that students can see in real-time the teacher’s event, situation, quote, connection, and the reaction to the text connection.

#Teaching Idea 4: Take Action Against Bullying

10.4 b) Make predictions, draw inferences, and connect prior knowledge to support
reading comprehension. d) Analyze the cultural or social function of literature.

  • Activity: After completing their reading of Tell Me Three Things Students will analyze the instances of bullying that occurred within the plot of the novel.  Students will work with a partner to create a campaign against bullying in their high school.  Students will chart out an action plan to create their own Public Service Announcement that they will put together in a video presentation.  In order to chart out this action plan, the librarian will provide students will stations of information about bullying.  There will be a variety of books, and digital information that students will provided access to in order to complete the assignment.  Students may use the following tools to create their Public Service Announcement video: Animoto, Adobe Spark, Powtoon, Sharalike, Stupeflix, or WeVideo.  The school librarian will give students an overview of how to use the video tools.  The librarian will explain that the video must answer the following questions: What is bullying?, What do you do when you see bullying? Who might you talk to?, Where might you get information about bullying from?, What action can you take to stop bullying?  The librarian and the teacher will collaborate to monitor and assist students as they create their Public Service Announcements.  The final product of PSAs the librarian will broadcast on the school television channel.

#Teaching Idea 5: Become a Character

  • Activity: Students will take on the persona of one of the characters from the novel.  Students will use adjectives, character traits, and given an understanding of perspectives and point of view, the students will become one of the characters from the novel.  Acting as the character, students will describe the other characters that the character they are interacts with in the novel.  Students will use the novel, internet resources, and digital tools to work in pairs to compile their lists of character traits using details from the novel to support their character trait selections.  The teacher and librarian can collaborate on this lesson to provide students an overview of character traits, point of view and perspective.  Students will be able to explain their reasons for the traits they selected by citing evidence from the text.  Students should have a minimum of a five minutes monologue or dialogue that they will present to the class to demonstrate their knowledge of the character that they have become from the novel.  The students will also create a 8.5×11 that reflects their character’s traits, and uses the STEAL acronym to show and demonstrate their knowledge of the character.

#Teaching Idea 6: Research Paper

The teacher and the librarian will collaborate for this lesson to have students research one of the following topics: teen grief, teen dating, step families, or teen friendship.  The librarian will give students a lesson on how to use the digital reference resources and materials, and how to cite sources using either MLA or APA.  Students will sign up for their research topic.  Students will work in small groups based on the sign up sheet for their topic.  The librarian will have stations for each of the research topics that students will explore depending on the topic that they have for their research paper.  Each student will type a 4-5 page well-researched paper on the topic they signed up for.  Students will present their research information along with the other students that also selected the same topic.  Presentations will require a audio or visual element and students will collaborate for the final presentation.  The final presentations will take place in the library.

Further Explorations

1- P, K. (2017, March 14). Tell Me Three Things Trailer. YouTube Video.  Retrieved from [https://youtu.be/0VYs_bK2uPM]

This is a trailer that was created by a student for an independent reading project.  Students will be able to see another student’s trailer to give them a model for how to create their own trailer.

2- Dougy Center, The. (2017). The National Center for grieving children and families. How to help a grieving teen. Retrieved from https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/how-to-help-a-grieving-teen/

This website provides information on how to help grieving teens.  Provides insight on how to handle grief for teens that also may be grieving a loved one like Jessie from Tell Me Three Things.

3- Doka, K.J. M.Div,.Ph.D. (2014, April 18). 6 Ways that Adolescent Grief is Different. Huff Post Blog. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kenneth-j-doka/six-ways-that-adolescent-_b_5148211.html                                                                                                                           This blog post by a professional in the field discusses how teenagers cope with grief differently compared to adults and younger children.  It provides an appropriate format from an authority to effectively explain teen grieving and would be a subject of issue to students, for all people must deal with grief at some point in their lives.

4- Anderson, M. (2017) Teen Voices: Dating in the Digital Age. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/online-romance/.    

This is an interesting compilation of research that explores how digital technology effects teens in how they seek out, establish, maintain, and end romantic relationships.  The Pew Research center compiled research from teens across the U.S., who shared their experiences with social media and romantic relationships.  This is accessible online and students can use the information to discuss the relationship between Jessie and Somebody Nobody.

5- Lenhart, A., Anderson, M., and Smith, A. (2015). Chapter 2: How Teens Meet, Flirt With and Ask Out Potential Romantic Partners.   Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/01/how-teens-interact-with-potential-romantic-partners/.

This article with research discusses how teens meet other teens online, and then flirt and ask a romantic interest out from the relative safety of the internet without face-to-face interaction. This is a digital material accessible online and students can use the information to discuss and explore why Somebody Nobody felt more comfortable getting to know Jessie while hiding his identity.

6- Herring, S. and Kapdzic, S. (2015).  Teens, Gender, and Self-Presentation in Social Media.  J.-D.-Wright-(Ed.),-International*encyclopedia*of*social*and*behavioral*
sciences,*2nd edition.-Oxford:-Elsevier.  Retrieved  from http://info.ils.indiana.edu/~herring/teens.gender.pdf.

This is a chapter on a research and study that explores how teenage boys and girls present themselves through online social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and chat forums. The research and the information describes and considers the implications of social media use, profile construction, visual and textual self-presentation, profile visibility, truthfulness, other ways teens present themselves online in relation to their gender.

7- American Psychological Association. (2017). Making stepfamilies work.  Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stepfamily.aspx. 

This article from the APA discusses ways for parents trying to blend their families can make stepfamilies work.  The article is organized into effective subheadings to better provide information about a topic that effects society.  Stepfamilies have become a norm and provides information on how to make this dynamic work.

Partner Titles

1. The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

  • In this novel India Maxwell the protagonist finds her life swirled upside down when her mother tells her they are moving because she plans to marry her rich fiance.  Like Jessie, India has to learn to adjust in new surroundings, make new friends, and learn to live with her new step sister.  This partner title would help students gain an awareness of our pluralistic society and is relevant to today’s world.

2. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  • This is an interesting story about a teen that faces a few life-changing tragedies in his life and learns how to make his life more purposeful and intentional.  This partner title is relevant to today’s world and reflects some problems, and attitudes of society.

3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

  • In this novel Eleanor is the new girl in town that is trying to make her way but her red hair and lack of style make her the object of teasing and outcast in her new school.  Eleanor ends up sitting next to Park on the school bus and though very opposite in their backgrounds the two slowly develop a relationship that teeters on a tightrope between their two very different worlds. This partner title supports students and provides a different scope of teens that have to deal with moving, family issues, and new friendship.

4. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes- This novel is about a teenage girl named Maguire, that survives a series of really bad accidents where she ends up with barely a scratch.  From these accidents Maquire lost her father, uncle, and cousin, and they seem to keep happening.  As a result she begins to feel like she is a magnet for disaster.  This novel represents a different view of a female protagonist that feels like an outsider and grieving a tragedy, though a different kind than Tell Me Three Things.  Ultimately this protagonist also ends up in a romance and I think readers that appreciate Tell Me Three Things would like that aspect of this novel.  This partner title is relevant to today’s world and represents some of the problems, aspirations, attitudes, and ideas of society.

5. When We Collided by Emery Lord.- This novel is about a teenage boy, Jonah,  whose father dies and he tries to hold together the family  business, be supportive to his younger siblings and a pillar of strength for his mother who becomes very depressed.  Jonah meets Vivi and she is very exciting of fun but he learns she also has struggles of her own.  This partner title is relevant to today’s problems that occur mentally and physically, and presents a side of an issue that children can develop skills in critical analysis to support their learning needs.

References

Anderson, M. (2017) Teen Voices: Dating in the Digital Age. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/online-romance/. 

American Psychological Association. (2017). Making stepfamilies work.  Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stepfamily.aspx. 

Buxbaum, J. (2016). Tell Me Three Things. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

Doka, K.J. M.Div,.Ph.D. (2014, April 18). 6 Ways that Adolescent Grief is Different. Huff Post Blog. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kenneth-j-doka/six-ways-that-adolescent-_b_5148211.html  

Dougy Center, The. (2017). The National Center for grieving children and families. How to help a grieving teen. Retrieved from https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/how-to-help-a-grieving-teen/      

Herring, S. and Kapdzic, S. (2015).  Teens, Gender, and Self-Presentation in Social Media.  J.-D.-Wright-(Ed.),-International*encyclopedia*of*social*and*behavioral*
sciences,*2nd edition.-Oxford:-Elsevier.  Retrieved  from http://info.ils.indiana.edu/~herring/teens.gender.pdf.

Lenhart, A., Anderson, M., and Smith, A. (2015). Chapter 2: How Teens Meet, Flirt With and Ask Out Potential Romantic Partners.   Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/01/how-teens-interact-with-potential-romantic-partners/.

Lord, E. (2017). When We Collided. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA Childrens.

Mardis, M. (2015). The collection program in schools: concepts and practices (6th ed). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. 

P, K. (2017, March 14). Tell Me Three Things Trailer. YouTube Video.  Retrieved from [https://youtu.be/0VYs_bK2uPM]

Rowell, Rainbow. (2013) Eleanor and Park. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin.

Schneider, Robyn. (2014) The Beginning of Everything. New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books.

Stokes, Paula. (2016). Girl Against the Universe. New York, NY. Harper Teen.

Young, Samantha. (201) The Impossible Vastness of Us. New York, NY: Harlequinn Teen. 

 

 

 

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