Author Feature-Beth Fehlbaum

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

High School

Featured Author

Beth Fehlbaum

Beth Fehlbaum

Big Fat Disaster

Beth Fehlbaum is a secondary English-Language Arts teacher and is a member of the RAINN (Rape , Abuse, Incest National Network) Speakers' Bureau. Beth is a survivor of childhood abuse and manages an eating disorder which gives her a unique perspective when developing YA characters. She currently lives with her family in the woods of East Texas. Big Fat Disaster is her most recent YA novel.

*Bio taken from website.

 

Find her on the web:

Author Website

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Book Trailer

 


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Book Discussion Questions 

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  1. What are the underlying causes of eating disorders?
  2. Why do political scandals affect the whole family of the politician? Is it fair to hold spouse and children accountable for an individual's actions?
  3. Does the cover art of Big Fat Disaster suit the book? Why or why not?
  4. Why do siblings give each other such a hard time about everything?
  5. Is the dad using the scandal as an excuse to avoid his family?
  6. Would you feel bad about yourself if you had a former Miss Texas for a mom and gorgeous sisters?
  7. Colby and her mother have a toxic relationship. What are signs that you are in an abusive or toxic relationship? (friendship, romantic, familial, etc.)
  8. Why would Ryan have recorded Colby getting dressed? What was his motivation? Is it ever okay to do something like that?
  9. Both Colby and Ryan were ostracized for telling the truth. Why do you think that happened? What would you do in their situations?
  10. Could Colby have done anything to change her situation? Was she in control of any aspect of her life?


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Academic Programs 

Printable Copy

Activity 1: The Truth About Eating Disorders - Research

Introduction

Research eating disorders either individually, in pairs, or in groups of 4. Groups of 3-4 allow for maximum use of resources and time ensuring that everyone will do their work.

TEKS

  • English 1 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 2 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 3 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 4 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • Health- 1d; 2a; 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 13f

Books to Display

Fiction

    • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Letting Ana Go by Anonymous
    • Skinny by Donna Cooner
    • Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
    • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
    • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
    • Shrink to Fit by Dona Sarkar
    • Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
    • Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Non-Fiction

    • Food as Foe: Nutrition and Eating Disorders by Lesli J. Favor
    • Eating Disorders by Jeff Hill
    • Eating Disorders: Opposing Viewpoints by Jennifer A. Hurley, Ed.
    • Truth about Eating Disorders by Mark J. Kittleson, Ed
    • The Eating Disorders Update: Understanding Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating by Alvin Silverstein, Virginia B. Silverstein & Laura Silverstein Nunn
    • Understanding Compulsive Eating by Carolyn Simpson
    • Nutrition and Eating Disorders by Lori A. Smolin 

Supply List

  • Books- either researched in the library or pulled and brought to your room by the librarian
  • Web sites 
  • Computers
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • MLA handbook
  • Son of Citation Machine or other citation generator 
  • Powerpoint or Google Presentation
  • Databases (as school subscriptions allow)

Description

Each group/person will research a different eating disorder and its effects on the human body. Students will create a presentation on either Powerpoint or Google Presentation to present their findings to the class. Each presentation must include a Works Cited page in MLA format to be graded with the attached rubric or one like it.

Resources

  • Google Presentation, Powerpoint or other presentation software
  • Books
  • Websites
  • Databases (as school subscriptions allow)
  • Power Point Presentation Rubric 

Activity 2: What is Beauty? Persuasive Essay

Introduction

Write a 26 line persuasive essay on the topic of beauty and body image.

TEKS

  • English 1 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9, 10, 13, 15a, 15d, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 2 - 2a, 9, 10, 11b, 12a, 12b, 12c, 13, 15c, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 3 - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • English 4 - 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

Books to Display

Fiction

    • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Letting Ana Go by Anonymous
    • Skinny by Donna Cooner
    • Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
    • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
    • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
    • Shrink to Fit by Dona Sarkar
    • Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
    • Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff 

Non-Fiction

    • Food as Foe: Nutrition and Eating Disorders by Lesli J. Favor
    • Eating Disorders by Jeff Hill
    • Eating Disorders: Opposing Viewpoints by Jennifer A. Hurley, Ed.
    • Truth about Eating Disorders by Mark J. Kittleson, Ed
    • The Eating Disorders Update: Understanding Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating by Alvin Silverstein, Virginia B. Silverstein & Laura Silverstein Nunn
    • Understanding Compulsive Eating by Carolyn Simpson
    • Nutrition and Eating Disorders by Lori A. Smolin 

Supply List

  • Books (see Books to Display List)
  • Paper
  • Pens

Description

Students will write a persuasive essay in response to the following statements:

"Looks tell you everything you need to know about a person." Discuss the validity of this statement.

"Beauty is only skin deep." Discuss the truth of this idiom.

Students will have 26 lines to persuade their reader just as they do on the 10th Grade EOC. Use the End of Course STAAR grading Rubric to grade the essay. 

Activity Resources

Activity 3: Healthy Relationships - Are Your Relationships Healthy?

Introduction

The student will evaluate a relationship/friendship they are currently in or have been in to determine if it is indeed a healthy relationship.

TEKS

  • English 1 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 2 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 3 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • English 4 - 1a, 1b, 1e, 2a, 9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10a, 10b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 15a, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18b, 19, 20a, 20b, 21a, 21b, 21c, 22a, 22b, 22c, 23a, 23b, 23c, 23d, 23e
  • Health - 1d, 2a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 13f

Books to Display

Fiction

    • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Letting Ana Go by Anonymous
    • Skinny by Donna Cooner
    • Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
    • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
    • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
    • Shrink to Fit by Dona Sarkar
    • Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
    • Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Non-Fiction

    • Relationships: 21st-century Roles by Bethany Bezdecheck
    • But I Love Him: Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships by Dr. Jill Murray
    • The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Healthy Relationship by Judith Kuriansky
    • On Relationships: A Book for Teenagers by Kimberly Kirberger
    • Everything You need to Know About Dating and Relationships by Erin M. Hovanec
    • Dating, Relationships, and Sexulatiy: What Teens Should Know by Wendy hart Beckman

Supply List

Description

Students will select a relationship/friendship they want to analyze then read the article either aloud or silently depending on your teaching preference. Have students define their relationship using the graphic organizer (Is Your Relationship Healthy?). This does not have to be a group activity or discussion. Due to the sensitive nature of the activity, privacy is suggested.

After teens have filled out the graphic organizer and evaluated the health of the relationship, they should write a short essay about the relationship. Is it a healthy relationship? Why or why not? This is a guided reader response the article. It allows the students to search their souls and see that some relationships are toxic. The length of the response can be determined by the teacher. This activity can be adapted to most timeframes and should encourage teens to think reflectively.

Resources


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Active Programs


Printable Copy

Activity 1: Talk About It: Bringing Teen Mental Health Into the Light

Introduction

Plan a healthy discussion on mental health and wellness for your community.

Books to Display

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Sacred by Elana K. Arnold
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  • Teens, Health, and Obesity by Peter Owens
  • Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss by Stephanie Watson
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Exercise Addiction by Edward Willett
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Athletes and Eating Disorders by Barbara A. Zehensky

Supply List

  • Room for event
  • Guest speaker(s)
  • Table(s) for speaker and/or community groups
  • Chairs for audience
  • Refreshments (optional)
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils
  • Ballot box
  • Get Help Teen Resource Page
  • Brochures from local resources

Description of activity

This program involves reaching out to the local community and encouraging counselors, doctors, school administrators, local mental health organizations to engage in an honest discussion on teen mental health. Remember to invite individuals with personal experience dealing with mental health as their experiences will be more engaging to teens. This program can be tailored to suit the needs of your community; either make it a panel of experts or one expert talking about the issue and answering the teens' questions.

There are two ways to run this program:

Option 1 - Single Presenter:

Feature a single speaker who will address a specific aspect of teen mental health. In the three weeks leading up to the event, have teens write questions to ask the guest speaker. Teens can do this by writing questions on index cards and depositing them in the designated ballot box located in a central location. Talk with your presenter to determine if he/she wants some of the questions before hand, otherwise give presenter questions about an hour before the program starts so that he/she can review them. If possible try to sort the questions by general subject (body image, depression, relationship, stress etc), this will give the presenter an idea of which topics the most teens have asked about the most. The speaker will give his/her prepared remarks and then answer questions from the audience. Teens can ask more questions in person if they desire. Make sure lots of information is available on mental health and suicide prevention for teens to take with them. Approximate running time of this program is 1 hour.

Option 2 - Panel Presentation & Resource Groups:

Instead of having one presenter, arrange for a diverse panel of 4-5 authorities on teen mental health. In addition to the panel speakers, invite community groups who support teen mental health to have tables around the room that the audience can visit after the panel discussion. In the three weeks leading up to the event, have teens write questions to ask the guest speaker. Teens can do this by writing questions on index cards and depositing them in the designated ballot box located in a central location. Get the discussion going by asking questions of the panel based on the submitted questions then open the panel to questions from the audience. Allow the panel discussion to run for 45-60 minutes depending on the amount of audience participation then wrap up the panel portion of the program and invite audience members to visit resource tables. Approximate running time of this program is 1.5-2 hours.

Activity 2: Eating Disorders: A Reality Check

Introduction

Gather teens together for a frank discussion on body image, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders.

Books to display

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner
  • Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  • Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
  • By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
  • Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price
  • The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
  • OCD, The Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn

Supply List

  • Room for event
  • Guest speaker(s)
  • Tables for speaker & resource table
  • Chairs for audience

Description

Locate 1-3 local community members who have suffered from an eating disorder and ask them if they would be comfortable discussing their disorder with local teens. Encourage the speaker(s) to share how coping with an eating disorder is an ongoing process but can be managed with help. Teens are encouraged to come to the event with questions in mind and end the session with a Q & A. Have a resource table with information for local counselors, doctors and teen resource information available at the end of the event. Approximate running time of this program is 1 hour.

Activity 3: Scandal TV Show Viewing Party

Introduction

The catalyst for the events of Big Fat Disaster is a political scandal, you and your teens could watch certain episodes of TV shows that revolve around political scandals.

Books to Display

  • Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson
  • Images, Scandal, and Communication Strategies of the Clinton Presidency edited by Robert Denton
  • Scandalous! : 50 shocking events you should know about (so you can impress your friends) by Hallie Fryd
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis by Gary Jeffrey
  • This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Unsolved Political Mysteries by David Southwell and Sean Twist
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
  • Watergate by Michael V. Uschan
  • History's Greatest Scandals: Shocking Stories of Powerful People by Ed Wright

Supplies

  • Permission slip to watch show (if needed)
  • Netflix account or DVDs
  • Snacks & Beverages (optional)

Description

The most recent television show to feature political scandals is ABC's Scandal which is about how politicians try to conceal or spin scandals to better their careers. However, there are several television shows that would be suitable for this program:

  • Commander in Chief (2005)
  • The Good Wife (2009-Present)
  • House of Cards (2013-Present)
  • Madam Secretary (2014-Present)
  • Scandal (2012- Present)
  • Spin City (1996-2002)
  • The West Wing (199-2006)

Before selecting a show, make sure to check your library's Movie Performance License to see which shows are covered.

Select several episodes of the TV show Scandal and view them one at a time. After each viewing discuss with teens the ways in which politicians and their handlers try to conceal scandals or spin certain events to be viewed in a certain way. Encourage teens to look behind the sensationalism of scandals to see how such events impact politics in general.

Permission forms may be necessary for this program.

Resources

  • Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson
  • Images, Scandal, and Communication Strategies of the Clinton Presidency edited by Robert Denton
  • Scandalous! : 50 shocking events you should know about (so you can impress your friends) by Hallie Fryd
  • History's Greatest Scandals: Shocking Stories of Powerful People by Ed Wright

Activity 4: Colby for President!

Introduction

In this program teens will create political ads featuring characters from their favorite novels or their favorite historical figures.

Books to Display

  • The Brains Behind Great Ad Campaigns: Creative Collaboration between Copywriters and Art Directors by Margo Berman and Robyn Blakeman
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns by Sasha Issenberg
  • I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
  • The Hard Sell: The Tricks of Political Advertising by Dee Madigan
  • Bully!: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt: Illustrated with More Than 250 Vintage Political Cartoons by Rick Marschall
  • Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Richard H. Minear and Dr. Seuss
  • This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
  • Campaigning for President by Jordan Wright

Supply list

  • Paper Ad:
    • Paper (white & colored)
    • Pencils, Pens, Markers, Colored Pencils
    • Magazines 
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Computers (optional)
    • Printer (optional)
  • Digital Ad:
    • Computer/Tablet with Internet Access
    • Graphics software such as GIMP, Picmonkey or other free softwares

Description

In Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum, the protagonist is covered by a postage stamp on her father's political ad because she does not fit the physical appearance of the perfect family. Discuss with teens the motives behind political propaganda and what public image politicians are attempting to portray with political ads, then have teens create modern day ads. There are two types of ads teens can create:

Paper Ad - Teens create an ad that would appear in a newspaper or on a mailed flyer

Digital Ad - Teens create a digital ad to be used for social media campaigning

Paper Ad

Set up the supplies and provide teens with examples of political campaign ads either via books or clippings from current papers and magazines. Teens have one hour to create their political ads. If desired, teens can display their campaign ads in the Teen Area of the library or on a bulletin board.

Digital Ad

Provide teens with current examples (see resources) of digital campaign ads - these can be gifs, video clips, logos and more. Set up computer lab with Internet access for teens and turn them loose to create their own digital political ad. Digital ads can be shared on the Library's social media sites as well as the teens' personal social media if so desired. This program should take 1-2 hours.

Resources

Articles

Books

    • The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns by Sasha Issenberg
    • The Hard Sell: The Tricks of Political Advertising by Dee Madigan
    • Campaigning for President by Jordan Wright


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Passive Program 

Printable Copy

Activity 1: Stress & Health Awareness

Introduction

Library patrons will learn about Stress & Health Awareness through an informative display.

Books to Display

  • Letting Ana Go by Anonymous
  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
  • Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
  • Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  • Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan
  • It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  • A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Supplies

Description

The purpose of this bulletin board and display is to raise awareness and provide resources about suicide, suicide prevention and suicide survival. Teachers and Librarians should use the Fast Facts Page and the Get Help Teen Resources handout to highlight information about Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Feature several statistics and provide copies of the Fast Facts, Get Help Teen Resources and the Stress Test for teens to take with them. Remember that teens can be embarassed by admitting they need help; try placing the display in a lower traffic area to give the illusion of privacy for teens interested in perusing the display. If that is not possible try discreetly placing copies of the handouts in several areas of the library.

Activity 2: History of Scandals

Introduction

Political scandals are nothing new; this display highlights some of the most famous scandals in history.

Books to Display

  • Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies by Marc Aronson
  • Images, Scandal, and Communication Strategies of the Clinton Presidency edited by Robert Denton
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis by Gary Jeffrey
  • This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Unsolved Political Mysteries by David Southwell and Sean Twist
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
  • Watergate by Michael V. Uschan
  • History's Greatest Scandals: Shocking Stories of Powerful People by Ed Wright

Supplies

Description

Use the History of Scandals Sheet to pick out scandals that you would like to feature on your bulletin board. Use databases available to you to print out newspaper headlines, magazine covers etc about these scandals and arrange them in an eye catching manner. Display books about political scandals, historical and recent, near the display. You might even check your local newspaper archives for local political scandals!

 

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Created on Apr 2, 2015 | Last updated July 15, 2015