Unit 1 – The Power of A Personal Story

In this unit, we will explore the unique power that literature gives us in terms of understanding the lives of others. In particular, we will see how unique characterisation and the first-person narrator can, arguably, build more empathy and understanding than an objective or factual text. We will read Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and learn more about the lives of those with autism.


Session 1 – The Power of a Personal Story
We introduce the new unit by reviewing our background knowledge of autism before using the ‘step-inside’ thinking routine to examine extracts from poems that explore the perspectives of those with autism.

Session 2 – A Personal Perspective
Today we will learn about some different types of narrative points of view. In particular, we will be focusing on first person POV and the benefits/drawbacks of this narrator.

Session 3 – All About Autism!
We can learn about the world from both fiction and nonfiction texts. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? We will evaluate these while adding to our knowledge about autism spectrum conditions.

Session 4 – Experiences for Empathy
We have previously discussed using both fiction and nonfiction as sources of information for learning about autism. But what about direct experience? Today, we will participate in exercises that are designed to give us direct experiential learning about sensory overload – a common condition experienced by those with autism.

Session 5 – Reading the Novel
Good readers are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and set goals to continually improve. We will learning about reading skills and strategies and apply them by setting goals and reading the rest of the novel.

Session 6 – Christopher’s Characterisation
When considering a first person narrator, we must remember that they are also a character within the story, so we should consider their characterisation as well. Today, we will revise direct and indirect characterisation and the STEAL model.

Session 7 – Personal Narratives
In these lessons we will learn about the purpose and stylistic features of the personal narrative text type. We will learn some creative brainstorming strategies to find narrative topics that matter and then craft a story around a significant event in our lives.

Session 8 – Response to literature essay


  • Personal narrative
  • Literature response essay


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