Let’s Hear from Algernon

There was a storytelling convergence. The students had just finished reading Daniel Keyes’s  novel, Flowers for Algernon, and the first quarter summative assessment was to have students write a narrative. So, why not have students use the journal format used by the main character, Charlie? Why not have students tell the same story from a different point of view? Why not have students write as Alice Kinnian, the teacher? Why not have students write from Dr. Strauss’s point of view? or maybe write as Professor Nemur’s point of view?

In fact, why not tell the story from Algernon’s point of view?

“No,” said some teachers, “not from Algernon’s point of view…Algernon is a mouse. A mouse would not keep a journal.”

So, the instructions went out. The choices of the narrative were clearly posted on the assignment sheet:

You may choose to write your journal narrative as Alice Kinnian, Dr. Strauss, Professor Nemur, or another important character in the novel.

mouseAnother important character? I bet there will be at least one student who writes as Algernon. There will be a student who imagines that a mouse can keep a journal.

That student can tell a story.


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