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Creative Work

Don’t Laugh At Me

This song comes from the children’s story Don’t Laugh At Me, written by authors and song writers Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin. The book is about people who are teased or feel different than their peers. The characters include a boy with glasses, a girl with braces, a student in a wheelchair, and a boy who is always picked last for games. The message of the book and the song is to stand up to others and tell them that everyone is different and that is what makes everyone special. The chorus says “don’t laugh at me/don’t call me names/don’t get your pleasure from my pain” (Seskin & Shamblin, 2007). The song lyrics are the same as the words in the story, but accompanied to music.

I learned that children’s literature can be transformed into music in order to be accessed by students. The book can be introduced first to broach the topic of empathy and then accompanied by the song. As the students learn the lyrics and words to the book, they gain a deeper understanding of empathy. This book important to my guiding question because it portrays the realities that many students face. Students are able to see themselves represented in literature and feel connected to one another.

Seskin, S., & Shamblin, A. (2007, October 31). Don’t laugh at me. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTNVXlirF4Y
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Dr. Seuss’ The Zax

Dr. Seuss’ short story The Zax was converted into a video and conveys the importance of resolving conflicts. In this clip, two Zaxs, one a North going Zax and the other a South going Zax, block each others’ way so neither character can continue on their journeys. Both the Zaxs refused to come up with an agreement and find a solution that works for both of them, “even if it makes the whole world stand still” (Dr. Seuss, 1953). The story ends with the world moving on, but the Zax still in the same position. It highlights the importance of working through problems and not leaving conflicts unresolved.

Through this creative work, I gained further insight on the ability to convert a written work into another form as a means to reach various groups of students. Dr. Seuss’ story was converted into a video in which none of the words were changed, but the characters were brought to life. This video connects to my content question because it allows for a discussion about the importance of resolving conflicts. Students can embark on a class discussion about other options The Zax could have chosen, words to say, and compromises that could have been found. This literary work sets a solid foundation for students to discuss the importance of empathy and conflict resolution.

Geisel, T. S. (2011, May 31). Dr Seuss’ The Zax. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZmZzGxGpSs

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