- Practice letter writing
- Demonstrate understanding of characters and plot in the novel
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
- Wonderstruck: A Novel in Notes Student Worksheet printable
- Various samples of stationery
Step 1: Begin by discussing how the characters in Wonderstruck use notes and letters to communicate. Why is note writing so important to Rose and Ben, who are both deaf? What do we learn from the note-writing scenes in the story? (For example, when Rose goes to visit her mother at the theater, on pages 244–295, we learn a lot about their relationship through the notes they exchange.)
Step 2: Explain to your students that a story written in notes or letters is an "epistolary story." If possible, provide other examples of epistolary stories or novels (such as P.S. Longer Letter Later, Dracula, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Absolutely Normal Chaos, to name a few).
Step 3: Challenge students to tell their own stories using notes and letters between two characters in literature, in history, or of their own invention. Distribute the student printable, which will help students plan their work.
Step 4: When students are ready to start writing, encourage them to use different styles of handwriting (print or cursive, fancy or plain) and stationery for each of their characters. Students should think about how the characters' personalities are reflected visually in the letters they exchange.
Step 5: Display the final letter sequences in a scrapbook or binder. Invite students to read and comment on one another's work. What did students learn about character and plot through this exercise?