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Start with Joy by Katie Egan Cunningham


Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness links what we know from the science of happiness with what we know about effective literacy instruction. By examining characters in the books they read, children develop empathy for others and come to understand that we all struggle and we all love. When given a choice about what to write, children express hopes, fears, and reactions to life’s experiences.

Literacy learning is full of opportunities for students to learn tools to live a happy life. This study guide may be used with a group of teachers who meet to discuss the book or individually as a reflective structure for those reading the book alone. The suggestions offered in this guide are designed to foster collaboration, spark new thinking, and support the transfer of new ideas into the classroom.