Monday, March 9, 2020
Prompting Fictional Scenes in Response to a Novel by Jordan Sonnenblick
Using NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, by Jordan Sonnenblick, for a writing lesson on how to convey a distinctive narrative voice, I challenged two middle school boys to write their own fictional scenes in response to the novel. We had read aloud and discussed the opening pages of Sonnenblick's novel, just past the point when the self-deprecating narrator, who is hospitalized after an embarrassing drunk-driving accident, discovers that he now bears a scar on his forehead as a reminder of his recklessness. I asked the students, Oliver and Ryan (8th and 7th graders, respectively), to write a future scene about the protagonist, Alex, having to explain his scar to someone he has a crush on, without revealing the mortifying truth about his uncharacteristically irrational behavior. The aim of the lesson was to maintain the humorous voice of the narrator while flexing their own creative muscles. Here are the outstanding results. I hope that Jordan Sonnenblick will read and enjoy these scenes!
1) By Oliver T.: