English task-Book study: The curious incident of the dog in the night time

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SEND PART 1 Task 1: Getting the events in order The following are things described in the first 18 chapters (2-67) Pages 1 to 55. Your task is to place them in order. You should also make a note of whether the item is: (a) a quote, (b) an event in the case, (c) an observation about life or (d) about Christopher. Order Item Type Christopher says he findspeople confusing 'for two main reasons' and then explains that he thinks metaphors should be called lies. Christopher does not like lies because it makes him think about the infinite things that did not happen, like a rhinoceros in the room. Christopher sees 4 red cars in a row and explains why that meant it was good day and decided he would try and find out who killed Wellington. Christopher punches a policeman. Christopher makes a plan of Randolph Street and talks to Mr. Thompson. Christopher pulls the fork out of the dog ,Wellington. Siobhan said that I should write something I wanted to read myself…But I do like murder mystery novels. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out all the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them. Christopher, who always tells the truth, is given a caution and wants to know if it is like a certificate he can keep. Father was sitting on the sofa watching snooker on the television and drinking whisky. There were tears coming out of his eyes. Christopher knocks on Mrs. Shears' door and she eventually tells him she will call the police. Quote P5 (Ch7) SEND Task 2: Asperger’s Research Task Although the novel does not specifically state that Christopher has Asperger’s Syndrome, it is worth considering what makes Christopher unique. This is especially important because the novel is not an exploration of what it is like to have a known condition – rather, it is an exploration and celebration of difference. Go to the following web sites and read about Asperger’s Syndrome, then answer the following questions. 1. Make a list of the main characteristics of this condition according to the web site. 2. Undertake some research and find the names of three famous people who are believed to have had Asperger’s Syndrome. What is it about Asperger’s Syndrome that enables them to have a unique skill and world view? How is Christopher similarly empowered through his experiences with Asperger’s Syndrome? 3. List five things that Christopher says he likes. 4. List four things he does not like. 5. Find two quotes where Christopher explains his reasons for two of the things he does not like. PART 2 Task 1: Use of narrative elements SEND 1. Graphics: Create your own mind map a) b) c) d) How does Christopher try to use the piece of paper that Siobhan draws faces on? Why doesn't this strategy help him? The author uses many graphical elements throughout the novel. For what purpose might he include these elements? “Other people have pictures in their heads, too. But they are different but the pictures in my head are all pictures of things which really happened. But other people have pictures in their heads of things which aren’t real and didn’t happen.” Christopher makes a key observation about the reason people store images in their minds. What is this reason and how is it similar to one of his key life strategies? 2. Reflection:Pick an example of a reflection such as: the reflection in Chapter 67 (p45) about strangers, or the one in chapter 113 (p. 96) about memory, or the reflection from chapter 181 (p.177) about what he does at new places. a) Explain what the reflection is about. b) What does it reveal about Christopher and his way of thinking? c) Write a short reflection of your own about yourself and the way you cope with either strangers, remembering things or new places. 3. Pick one other example of a narrative element from the tables above and explain: a) Why you think it is important in the book. b) How it contributes to our understanding of Christopher. SEND Task 2: Language features questions Create your own mind map Christopher tells the story in the first person (we see things only from his perspective), and as a result it is only his viewpoint that we see. In this story we must rely only upon Christopher’s version of events. When a writer uses this writing style it is called ‘the first person limited narrator’. 1. Write out the opening sentence. How does it set the scene and/or draw you into the story? 2. Try to copy the writing style that the author has used in the novel to describe a friend or someone in your own family. You might like to look at page 4 or 5 in chapter 23 for some examples of the way in which Christopher describes his own family. Themes in the novel The novel exploresseveral themes: • Truth: Christopher dislikes things which are not true. His quest is to find out the truth. To do so he finds that there are times when he has to avoid telling the truth. • Following the rules: Christopher lives by a strict set of rules about things he does and does not do. He also knows that he has been told not to investigate. Despite this he is quite selective about how he interprets what the rules really mean. He appears to be very inflexible, but he successfully finds a way around the rules when it suits him to do so. • Making difficult decisions: Christopher has to make some difficult decisions. His father has also made some difficult decisions which he believes are in Christopher's best interest. • Christopher's view of the world: Christopher's observations of the behaviour of the people he deals with are often very insightful. His observations serve to point out the peculiarities of many of the things we take for granted. The footnote on p.60 about telling the truth is an excellent example. His observations about metaphors and idioms are amusing and highlight the rather absurd nature of most of them. • The nature of intelligence: Christopher is very smart. His memory is excellent as are his use of logic and reasoning and mathematical skills. People underestimate him and his abilities on several occasions. Despite this, he is both empowered by his abilities and trapped by the fact that these are occasionally hampered by social skills. This raises a number of questions about the nature of intelligence. • Logic: The novel is full of small anecdotes about reasoning and decision making which are both useful and informative. SEND Task 3: A question on themes Create your mindabove map(or identify one of your own) and write a short 1. Pick one of own the themes paragraph about it. a. Which incidents best illustrate the theme? b. Provide a quote that illustrates the theme well. c. What can we learn from the book about the theme you have selected? Part 3 SEND Task 1: Key questions - chapters 7 to 101 Answer the following questions on the events and features of the novel. Adapted from: Chapter 7 1. A humorous and unique aspect of the novel is Christopher’s descriptions of the different characters. Christopher has his own way of describing people like Siobhan, (p.5) Mr Jeavons (p5) and Mrs Shears in chapter 5 (p.4). a) What sorts of details does he choose to report about Mr Jeavons? b) How do the descriptions of people add humour to the novel? Chapter 17 2. Although the main story develops in a linear fashion (beginning, middle and end in the order that things happen), the chapters and sections of the chapters often digress or move away from this central story. a) Find an example of a digression in chapter 17 b) How do the digressions in the book help us to understand Christopher’s way of thinking? Chapter 17 3. The dialogue between Christopher and others highlights the barriers between them. a) What is Christopher thinking about as he is driven to the police station? b) Why is this surprising and what does this emphasise about Christopher? Chapter 19 4. Christopher believes that prime numbers are like life: ‘They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent your time thinking about them’. a) Do you agree? b) Why do you think Christopher believes this? Chapter 29 5. Christopher cannot understand and does not intentionally use metaphors such as ‘They had a skeleton in the cupboard' or 'We had a real pig of a day'. a) Look at Christopher's explanation of why he thinks these are lies, then pick one of the other examples of a metaphor from Christopher's list on p.19 and explain: 1. What the metaphor usually means. 2. Why Christopher would say it is a lie. Chapter 31 6. This chapter includes a footnote. This is just one of several distinctive features of this novel. a) In what type of text are footnotes normally found? b) Why is it appropriate for Christopher to use them in his story? c) Why does Christopher not object to the idea of a simile? Chapter 37 7. Christopher is a complex mixture of opposites. He is logical but he can also appear to others to be irrational and unable to control his emotional responses. a) Why are lies and fiction (stories made up) challenging for him? Chapter 73 8. This chapter provides us with a clear description of Christopher’s family dynamics. a) What do the footnotes and the list reveal about Christopher and the effect on his family of his condition? b) What is the significance of the last sentence? Chapter 97 9. When Christopher sees 5 red cars in a row he knows he will have a ‘super good day’ and that something special will happen. Christopher continues his investigation of the murder despite instructions from his father not to. In this chapter Christopher uses logic to free himself so that he can justify his decision to find out more. He shows that it is possible for him to select which rules he will obey and which ones he will ignore. a) What is his reasoning in this case? (p72) b) Is it completely logical in your view or an example of a 'version' of the truth? c) What is your response to discovering that Christopher can be quite selective about which ‘rules’ and ‘truths’ he prefers? Chapter 101 10. In this chapter Christopher explains about the Monty Hall Problem. a) What comparison does Christopher make between the Monty Hall Problem and life? b) What is the message of the Monty Hall Problem described in this chapter? SEND Task 2: Key questions – chapters 107 to 167 Answer the following questions on the events and features of the novel. Adapted from: Chapter 107 11. This chapter appears to be a digression. This one isabout Sherlock Holmes and it actually reveals an important part of Christopher's thinking about the value of the information he has collected in his investigation. a) What two lists does he make about the story? b) Why does Christopher like Sherlock Holmes and how has reading the story helped Christopher in his thinking processes about his own investigation? c) In what ways is Christopher's mind like Sherlock Holmes' mind? Chapter 113 12. Christopher explains why he is so good at remembering things in this chapter. a) How does he describe his memory? b) What are the benefits and disadvantages of this type of memory? Chapter 139 13. Christopher includes ‘The Case of the Cottingley Fairies’. It appears to be another digression about a story but like 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' in chapter 107, it also records an important step in solving the curious incident. Christopher makes two very important observations about this and the Shepperson article. a) What observations does Christopher make? b) How does each one relate to Christopher's investigation? Chapter 149 14. Christopher displays some very good detecting skills in this chapter. a) What are two of the skills Christopher displays when he finds the letter but hears his father coming home? b) What conclusionsdoes Christopher draw from what he discovers? Chapter 157 15. A large section of this chapter is devoted to Christopher’s mother’s letters. a) How does Christopher respond to the discovery of the letters and their contents? b) Why does the author choose to include so many of them? c) What do we learn about Judy Boone and her relationship with her son? d) Why did Christopher’s father hide the truth about Christopher’s mother? Chapter 167 16. This is the chapter where we discover who killed the dog. a) Who killed Wellington and why? b) What does this tell us about human relationships? SEND Task 3: Key questions – chapters 179 - 223 Answer the following questions on the events and features of the novel. Adapted from: Chapter 179 1. Christopher is forced to make some difficult decisions in this chapter. a) What techniques does Christopher use to make a decision? b) How does the author show us Christopher’s thought processes and emotions? Chapter 191 2. In the first section of the book Christopher is in a familiar and (relatively) safe environment. Although we learn of many of his disabilities, he also displays his remarkable abilities. a) What do we realise about him in this second section of the novel? Chapter 227 3. In this chapter Christopher finds the courage he needs to use the underground even though he does not understand it. a) Why does Mother make ‘a loud wailing noise like an animal on a nature program on television’ when she discovers Christopher had been told she had died? b) Why does she want to hold his hand? c) What does Christopher’s refusal tell you about whether Christopher’s adventure has changed him in any way? Chapter 229 4. Christopher dreams his favourite dream. a) Describe Christopher’s favourite dream. b) Why is it his favourite? Chapter 233 5. Christopher takes his A level examination in Mathematics. a) Why is it so important to Christopher that he takes his Maths A level examination? b) What is the relevance of Christopher’s mother’s failure to recognise this? c) The novel ends on a positive note. What is your response to the closing paragraph? How would you like the novel to end? ...
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