Monday, January 23, 2012

Re-Write It!

I will sing you pirate songs and tell you pirate stories 
of Wendy when she'd had her fill of Peter Pan and the other Lost Boys 
Now, Wendy never was a girl to go against her friends 
But recall when Hook had kidnapped her and promised no good end 
Surrounded then by pirates and asked to join the crew, 
the story goes she told them no, but not all tales are true! 

In the Wendy Trilogy S.J. Tucker re-imagines the story of Wendy and Peter-Pan. Instead of walking the plank when Hook demands she join his crew, Wendy becomes the Red Handed Jill, outsmarts Hook, and becomes the captain of an all-girl band of pirates. Tucker exemplifies a tendency common to most readers. She continues, changes, and adapts her favorite stories. Haven't we all screamed at the pages of Romeo and Juliet and imagined all the seemingly simple things our heroes could have done to win a happy ending? Haven't we all occupied ourselves in the final minutes before sleep by spinning out the tale that follows "The End?" I think popular mash-up books like Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies illustrate our desire to transform books from finished works into springboards for our own new and innovative stories.

Del Rey's graphic novel adaptation of
Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies 

Re-writing and re-imagining popular stories combines literary analysis and creative writing in the classroom. For example, this lesson plan from Davideen “Dee” Treybig asks students to re-write the ending of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. According to Treybig, rewriting requires "expanding existing ideas, and synthesizing old ideas into unique or fresh approaches; ask “what if?” and show enthusiasm for new opportunities" and results in "creative thinking, curiosity, and wonder." The lesson plan was originally designed for a contest, but could easily be used in any classroom situation. Similarly Treybig's rubric could be adapted to fit any author or text.

1 comment:

  1. Very Nice! I really like your blog. It definitely makes you think. :)