El Deafo By Cece Bell

El Deafo 

Publisher: Amulet Books                                                                 Publication date: 09/02/2014

Pages: 248                                                                                   Delivery: Independent Reading

Lexie: GN420L                                                                                        Age Range: 8 – 12 Years


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  1. Cece Bell Biography – Students can learn more about the Author before realigning El Deafo
  2. Video – A short 2 minute video on what it is like to be deaf


  1. An ELA lesson that could be taught using this novel is looking at the pictures of the graphic novel to help students further comprehend the details of the story.
  2. This book can be paired with a Science Unit when observing the human body and disease. Looking at Meningitis, students can build links between deafness, Meningitis and the balance issues Cece experiences in the beginning of the story.
  3. This graphic novel can be paired with a History Unit as well, looking at other famous deaf people over time and how to Deaf Community has changed as a whole over the past decades.
  • Key Vocabulary: Definitions taken from here.
    • Meningitisnoun; inflammation of the meninges, especially of the pia mater and arachnoid, caused by a bacterial or viral infection and characterized by high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles.
    • Persuasionnoun; the state or fact of being persuaded or convinced.
    • Foreignadjective; of, relating to, or derived from another country or nation; not native
    • Gesturalnoun; a movement or position of the hand, arm, body, head, or face that is expressive of an idea, opinion, emotion, etc.
    • Phonicadjective; of or relating to speech sounds.
  • Before Reading:
    • Before students start reading, have them create a wordsplash as a class. By using Wordle, students can visually see how their predictions are similar and different based on the size of the text. Doing this electronically enables the teacher to print out a copy for each student, so as they start reading the book, they can confirm or deny their assumptions. Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.05.23 PM.png
  • During Reading:
    • Every time a new character is introduced into the book, students can record it, not only to keep track, but create a visual hierarchy of the characters as an aid in their comprehension the story.
  • After Reading:
    • Having students create a one sentence summary sheet helps them visualize the plot as a whole and analyze the overarching theme represented in the book. Below is an example of the structure that this sentence could look like. Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.37.23 PM.png

Writing Activity:

  • On page 115 of the graphic novel, the word “special” appears, as well as a few other times throughout the text. How does this specific word and its many different connotations have an impact on the text? What is the dictionary definition (denotation) of special? What other meanings (connotations) can you think of that special might have? What are some better synonyms of the word special that could help future readers better understand the scenes in the novel?

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