83 pages 2 hours read

Nora Raleigh Baskin

Anything But Typical

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2009

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Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“The ABC’s of You: An Exploration of Letters and Language”

In this activity, students explore the communicative possibilities of various linguistic devices, taking Jason’s own language experimentation as their inspiration.

Jason is a prolific writer throughout Anything but Typical, exhibiting a unique relationship with words, language, and letters. The way Jason connects with letters helps the reader gain insight into the way he relates to the world at large. He gets lost in thought as he plays with words and their letters like a puzzle. When “his mind is focused on the words, it separates from his body, his body that almost becomes a burden, a weight” (Chapter 1). He also sees letters in an unusual way, sometimes even anthropomorphizing them: “Some of the letters look like they came from the same family, tall and thin, and their children, the lowercase letters, look exactly like they do” (Chapter 8).

In this exercise, you will play with words, letters, and language just as Jason does. Write a one-page letter to Jason, introducing yourself and telling him about the kinds of things you like to do in your free time, your favorite subjects in school—anything about yourself, really.