As the Grade 10 class came to the end of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, they were given the chance to explore the very particular characterization of Christopher, the novel’s protagonist, through a creative task. These tasks ranged from figurative portraits of Christopher to police reports in reference to Christopher’s run-ins with the law.
One example is the fictional news article celebrating Christopher’s success that is hinted at at the novel’s end.
These varied, creative tasks allowed the students to not only showcase their knowledge and understanding of the novel, but express this knowledge and understanding in a completely different medium from what they have become accustomed to, such as an essay. This presents its own set of benefits to learning while allowing students to choose how they challenge themselves accordingly.
Through these creative tasks, students were also able to internalize how different Christopher is from the average 15 year old, not only in the way that he processes the world, but in the unique situations that he finds himself in. This acceptance of those who we might see as “strange” or “unusual” is something that needs to be emphasized in every area of life.