Video Writing Prompt: ParaNorman

Stephen Eldridge, TeachHUB

ParaNorman was a little overshadowed this year by box-office hits like Brave, Madagascar 3, and The Lorax. However, it was praised by critics for its beautiful stop-motion animation and solid storytelling. Now, ParaNorman is getting its due with an Academy Award nomination.

In the film, a boy with the power to see the dead is forced to stop a witch from destroying his town—and deal with the ridicule of the townsfolk, who dismiss him as a weirdo. Use this video writing prompt to get your students thinking and writing about how we treat people who are different, and how our differences can be valuable.

3-5: Creepy but Useful

People in Norman's town think he's strange and creepy because he can talk to dead people. Later, it turns out that Norman's weird way of seeing the world might save his whole town! Can you come up with another weird power that might be useful one day? Write a short story to tell how.

6-8: AbNorman

The kids at school call Norman “AbNorman” and make fun of him because he's different. Have you ever felt like you were excluded or ridiculed because you were different? Write a brief personal narrative explaining how you were treated and how you dealt with it.

9-12: It Takes All Kinds

In ParaNorman, a Norman isn't the only one who's different--to save the town, he relies on help from his stuck-up sister, a lonely schoolmate, and the school bully, among others. Although they're all very different people, they work together to save their town.Tell about a time when you had to work with someone who was different from you, and how those differences helped you to succeed.


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Video Writing Prompt: ParaNorman

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