Pre- and Post-Reading Writing Prompts for Gordon Korman’s Novel of Transformation
by Alana Pedalino
Can people change? Gordon Korman was drawn to this question…and in exploring the answer, he wrote Restart!
Below, you can download a free two-part essay prompt to use before and after your class reads Restart.
In part one, have students answer the question that inspired Restart (Can people change?) using their persuasive writing skills. They should organize their thoughts in complete sentences before reading the book. They can support their responses with real-world examples from other stories, history, or examples from their own lives.
Consider discussing part one of the prompt together after students finish writing. Your class can also take a vote on whether they think people can reinvent themselves. In addition to their written responses, it’s helpful to have students pull out three distinct reasons that support their answers. You could also try hosting a virtual debate. If you need a debate organizer for students, see an example we made for the book The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo.
After they’ve read the book, have students fill out part two and demonstrate their reading-comprehension skills. In part two, students can explore whether they think Restart’s protagonist, Chase, evolved during the course of the story.
Want to take part two a step further? After students write their responses, host a second class discussion and ask students to explore whether their answers to part one changed after reading Restart.
So, can people reinvent themselves? What do your students think? If you’d like to share your students’ experiences reading Restart with us and other teachers, please tag us on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs. We may even feature your post on our pages!
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