Gordon Korman’s Restart full novel study lessons HERE on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Gordon Korman’s Restart is a captivating middle-grade novel that follows the story of Chase, a boy with amnesia who must relearn his past. This book offers a unique and memorable teaching experience for students that will help them make real-world connections and practice important life skills. Below are some ideas for educators on how to teach this book in the classroom.
Exploring Identity Through Text
As you read through the book with your class, make sure to pause periodically so that students have time to discuss relevant topics that arise in the text. For example, when Chase first learns about his former self as a bully, ask your class what they think about this revelation? How does learning about Chase’s past alter our perception of him? What does it mean for us as readers? Do we expect him to remain good or revert back to being bad? These types of questions will help your students understand how complex identity can be and how quickly it can change depending on life experiences.
Building Empathy Through Reflection
At key points throughout Restart, guide your students in reflecting upon their own lives and experiences related to bullying or being bullied themselves. Ask them if they have ever been faced with similar decisions as Chase—whether or not they should follow through with something wrong even if everyone else is doing it too—and how they dealt with those situations in real life. Encourage them to consider different perspectives and how other people might feel if they were in similar circumstances. Through this kind of reflection work, students will begin developing empathy which will serve them well in their day-to-day lives as well as their futures as citizens of the world community.
Understanding Character Development
Chase’s journey makes for an excellent opportunity to discuss character development with students. Throughout the book, students can see how Chase grows and changes as he learns more about himself. Talk about how he handles different situations, discovers new parts of himself, and ultimately finds his true identity. Ask your students questions such as: What did Chase learn about himself? How did he grow throughout the story? What traits did he possess before his accident? You can also ask your students what they think makes up a person’s identity—are memories essential? Is it possible to be someone else without access to those memories?
Exploring Setting and Theme
The setting of Restart takes place in an affluent suburban neighborhood, which helps create interesting themes within the story, such as wealth inequality, privilege, bullying, and friendship. Your class can have meaningful discussions about these topics while exploring the setting of the novel. To engage with this aspect further, you could ask your students questions such as: How does Chase’s environment shape his journey? How does it contribute to or detract from his ability to find out who he was before his accident? Do you think this setting affects him differently than if it were set in another location?
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Learning Life Skills
This book is full of opportunities for your students to practice their own life skills such as problem solving, communication, self-esteem building and resilience in the face of adversity. Encourage your class to pay attention to how Chase manages these situations throughout the book—how does he communicate effectively with different characters? What strategies does he use when faced with difficult obstacles? You can also ask your students what strategies they use in similar situations or if they have any advice they would give chase if they were in his shoes.
Gordon Korman’s Restart is an engaging work of fiction that provides teachers with many opportunities for meaningful learning experiences that go beyond just reading a book! By discussing character development, exploring setting and theme, and learning life skills through Chase’s journey, your class will have an enjoyable yet educational time interacting with this novel. As always when reading literature in the classroom—have fun! Enjoy watching your students gain knowledge from this unique book by Gordon Korman!
Restart by Gordon Korman full novel study lessons HERE on Teachers Pay Teachers.