Instructors’ Teaching Experience

I taught this for the first time this semester and my students unanimously voted that I should teach it again. While Christopher can be difficult to approach at first—something students are often not sure what to do with—this provides an excellent opportunity for the class to discuss the way conditions like Asperger’s and more severe forms of autism are handled. As the text goes on, questions about responsibility and honesty become a great source of discussion and our last few classes were devoted to the question of whether it is fair to suggest that Christopher has Asperger’s, and how labels such as this can cause difficulties. [Jacob Horn,]

Classroom Strategies

Advocating for Christopher

At one point in the book, Christopher’s father lies to him and Christopher decides to leave and live with his mother. Since the mother was not always the nicest to him, and his father has taken care of him but has had problems doing so, it can be fun to ask students to serve as ‘lawyers’ for the different parties. Break them into groups and assign them ‘clients,’ then ask them to argue for their interested party. This can provoke really interesting discussion—especially if you have them vote for possible outcomes, including Exclusive Custody with either parent, Joint Custody with one parent primary, or Government Supervision. [Jacob Horn,]