Introduction for Teachers

As a public high school situated directly on the campus of California State University Northridge, Northridge Academy High School is afforded many unique opportunities.  Through thoughtful planning, we at NAHS can involve our students in exciting University activities and events.  This year, we will have our 11th grade students read the 2010 CSUN Freshman Common Reading selection, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  This activity will take place in all 11th grade Advisory classes. 

This site has been created to support you, the Advisory teacher, in reading and discussing this book with your students.  I hope that you will enjoy Haddon's story about the journey of Christopher Boone, a boy with autism, and how his own positive identity saves him.

By engaging our juniors with this book, we will be able to involve them in many CSUN events that have been planned around this novel.  Activities include book discussions involving CSUN freshmen, participation in CSUN events like the Walk for Autism fundraising activity, and a presentation by the book's author.


Our learners are the entire 11th grade class at NAHS.  We have about 280 students representing a wide range of academic, ethnic, socio-economic backgrounds.  We will need to be mindful that our students learn in all kinds of ways and provide them with many different entry points into our conversations about this book. 

In order to use this website successfully, teachers should have access to the Internet and an LCD projector.  In order for students to use the online games to which this site is linked, student computers should also be available. 

Subject Matter
Subject matter for this curricular unit will be primarily based on the novel -- its plot, characters, and theme.  Closely related curriculum will be an examination of autism spectrum disorders, In keeping with the overall NAHS Advisory curriculum, in addition to discussing the book, its themes, and related topics, students will also be asked to explore their own personal goals, challenges, and abilities. 

Goals and Objectives
Before beginning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,  students will --
·         Develop a basic understanding of autism spectrum disorders
·         Recognize some basic differences between British and American English
·         Speculate and make predictions about the book based on the title and cover art.
·         Assess own attitudes toward parenting, people with disabilities, and personal decision-making processes.

While reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, students will  --
·         Participate in discussions -- both face-to-face and online -- with CSUN faculty and students about the book's plot, characters, and themes.
·         Show their understanding of key ideas from the book through visual representations.
·         Formulate and support opinions about the actions and choices of several characters in the book.

After reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, students will --
·         Create a piece of art, skit, or video that represents their overall impressions of the book.

California State Content Standards
Through this project, you will be addressing two key English Language Arts Content Standards:

2.5 Analyze an author's implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

3.2 Analyze the way in which the theme or meaning of a selection represents a view or comment on life, using textual evidence to support the claim.

To see a complete list of Grade 11 English Language Arts Content Standards, go to