Stargirls of 8th Grade English
After reading the new classic Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Mrs. Daryl Smith’s English 8 students spent a day in the title character’s shoes. In the story, the uniquely colorful, ukulele strumming Stargirl bursts onto the scene of Mica High School and captures the heart of Leo Borlock with her smile. Her vivaciousness and spirit initially enchant the student body, but the popularity tide soon changes and they shun Stargirl for her differences. The story is of emotional tensions and cruel popularity, while celebrating the sweetness of first love and celebrating nonconformity.
The students in Mrs. Smith’s classes dressed in colorful, eccentric outfits like Stargirl to feel what it is like to be different and to stand out in the crowd. Additionally, to counteract the cruelty felt by Stargirl in the book and to echo Stargirl’s acts of love, they performed random acts of kindness. The eighth-graders made cards that wished others well and gave them out, along with a piece of candy, to Grier students and teachers at random.
Stargirl day helped Mrs. Smith’s students relate deeply to the text and benefitted the Grier community with their acts of kindness.