Tea Party Projects: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Logic, Riddles & Nonsense



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Tea Party Projects:

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Logic, Riddles & Nonsense

Poetics, language, mathematics, and logic in Wonderland

lice in wonderland

Task: Working in your table group, please choose ONE of the following projects to complete and present at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Multiple Multiplication Tables

Multiplication tables are a necessary skill for elementary students to master, yet, Alice seems to have forgotten them when she is agitated about her own identity. She believes if she can just remember her multiplication facts she might be able to once again reclaim her identity: “Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and--oh dear, how puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is--oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate!” Most readers would know that 4 x 5 = 20, 4 x 6 = 24, 4 x 7 = 28 and instantly judge Alice for having forgotten her multiplication facts. They may even conclude that she is mad. But as American mathematician and writer Martin Gardner suggests, Alice created her own code, which can never reach the product of 20: 4 x 5 = 12, 4 x 6 = 13, and therefore 4 x 7, within her system, equals 14. Gardner also puts forth a theory of multiplying in various bases to achieve Alice’s products. It seems that Alice may not have really forgotten her childhood multiplication tables at all, but rather, she has begun a journey to a parallel universe of mathematics. Explore Alice’s relationship to multiplication and prove that she indeed created her own code. Then, using the logic of Alice and Carroll, create your own multiplication table or code for presentation. Present as poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi.



Prime Time Primes

In the Queen’s Croquet-Ground, Alice encounters three cards: two, five, and seven. The number of cards also important; Carroll has provided for his readers, after the number one, the next prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, and 7. Prime numbers, in Carroll’s time, were believed to possess inherent magical powers because they are irreducible. In fact, all numbers are either composites or primes. Notably, in 1859 (Wonderland was written in 1865), a German mathematician named Bernhard Reinman presented a paper to the Berlin Academy on the mystery of prime numbers. To this day, the wonder of prime numbers exists in mathematicians' continued pursuit to discover any possible pattern in the generation of prime numbers. Perhaps Carroll is inviting Alice, as well as his readers, to solve this mystery. Can you solve the mystery? Investigate the history of prime numbers, explain why Carroll might have been fascinated by primes and present your findings to the class. Present as poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi.



Two Negatives Equal a Positive

On another math topic, in the chapter titled “The Mock Turtle’s Story,” Carroll focuses on the concept of negative numbers. As a mathematician himself, Carroll would have been acutely aware that ancient cultures did not accept the concept of a negative number. As recently as the 1500s, many Western European mathematicians argued that negative numbers did not exist. The logic1 of the absence of a negative number was somewhat similar to “it’s impossible for anything to be less than nothing.” In Wonderland, Mock Turtle states there are to be 12 lessons that “lessen from day to day.” It is a clever play on the words lesson and lessen. So, Alice correctly answers that the “eleventh day must have been a holiday.” But there remains confusion about the twelfth day, because this would require a negative lesson. Is this, as Gardner suggests, when the student would begin teaching the teacher? May we only wonder how we would create a negative lesson? Or, would we spend hours unlearning material ? Explore Carroll’s anxiety with negative numbers and attempt to solve the riddle of “new math” in the Victorian era. Present as poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi.



Logic with Lewis Carroll

With an eye toward algebra, review the story of Alice in Wonderland and decipher the mathematics involved in the story by reading excerpts and deciphering it into if/then statements. Use this online link to help you, and present your findings to the class as a poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi: http://mathbits.com/MathBits/MathMovies/LogicLewisCarroll.pdf



The Immigrant Experience: Down the Rabbit Hole

Relocating to a new country can be a disorienting experience. Immigrants often find themselves in a strange new world where the rules have changed, the surroundings are unfamiliar, and the inhabitants speak in strange tongues. In some ways, the immigrant experience is like the dizzying journey taken by the lead character in Lewis Carroll's 19th-century novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Use primary sources from Social Studies to discuss the immigrant experience to America and explain how “wonderlands” exist for immigrants. Present your findings as a poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi.

Curiouser and Curiouser: Cast your Film

Imagine that you are casting directors for a student story-turned-movie. Consider how you will make the book's characters as accurate, interesting, and fun as they are in the original work. Investigate how casting directors choose the actors and actresses that they feel best suit roles in their movies or television shows. Who would you cast? How would you costume? What would be your soundtrack? Create a movie poster and script to present to the class.



The Art of Translation

Translate Alice in Wonderland into another genre (cartoon, poem, graphic novel, comic book, play, song, etc.). What must change in the switching of genres to tell the story accurately? Present or act out your new genre to the class.



Symbols & Messages

Analyze at least seven (7) different symbols and messages relayed in Alice and Wonderland. How do these symbols and messages reflect cultural values and ideas? Present your findings to the class as a poster, slide show, PowerPoint, or Prezi.



http://www.uh.edu/honors/Programs-Minors/honors-and-the-schools/houston-teachers-institute/curriculum-units/pdfs/2008/comedy/mcgowen-08-comedy.pdf


The “Myth” of Childhood
Essential Question: What vision of childhood did Lewis Carroll portray in his famous Alice stories, and how did the culture of Victorianism influence that vision?
Lesson:

This lesson explores the vision of childhood created by Lewis Carroll inAlice in Wonderland. Students begin by looking at Carroll's photographs of the real Alice for whom Carroll imagined his story. They then compare the image of childhood that he captured on film with images of children in our culture. Next, students read Alice in Wonderland with special attention to the illustrations that Carroll had made for his book, and explore the relationship between words and pictures by creating an Alice illustration of their own. For contrast, students compare Carroll's vision of childhood with that presented by the Romantic poet William Blake in his illuminated Songs of Innocence and Experience. Finally, students consider the interplay of image and text in their own favorite children's literature and how the vision of childhood presented there compares to their experiences as children.

Learning Objectives


  • Discuss Lewis Carroll and the vision of childhood he created in Alice in Wonderland

  • Compare Carroll's Victorian world of childhood with the world of "Innocence and Experience" portrayed by the Romantic poet William Blake

  • Explore the relationship between picture and text in children's literature

  • Consider the relationship between childhood fictions and the real experience of growing up


Background
Charles Dodgson was born on January 27, 1832. He lived his life and eventually died on January 14, 1898. "Lewis Carroll" was born on March 1, 1856, and is still very much alive. (Karoline Leach, Lewis Carroll: A Myth in the Making, via the EDSITEment-reviewed Victorian Web)
Lewis Carroll, of course, is Dodgson's pseudonym, the name associated with the wonderful tales of Alice and her adventures. The teacher of this lesson might review this brief biography of Dodgson at the EDSITEment-reviewed Victorian Web. The biography details some known facts—as well as thoughtful speculation—about Dodgson's upbringing, his employment as a mathematical lecturer at Oxford, and his eventual friendship with a new Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, his wife, and three daughters—including Alice—that led to the now legendary afternoon in which he sketched out the framework for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Though Dodgson had published under the name Lewis Carroll before Alice's Adventures was released in 1865, it was then that the persona of Lewis Carroll was truly born. Dodgson continued to write until his death from pneumonia in 1898, increasing the legend of "Lewis Carroll" and further obscuring Dodgson's true life from fans and biographers.
This lesson plan discusses views of Victorian childhood, as detailed by LuAnn Walthe ("The Victorian Invention of Childhood"), at Victorian Web:

On the one hand the child was the source of hope, of virtue, or emotion: along with the angelic wife, he was the repository of family values which seemed otherwise to be disappearing from an increasingly secular world.... But at the same time, and of course much less obviously, the child was a hardship, an obstacle to adult pleasure, and a reminder of one's baser self. He might be innocent, untainted by sexual knowledge, uncorrupted by the world of business, free from the agony of religious doubt; yet he was also potentially wicked and needed constant guidance and discipline.


Portraying images of childhood, then, tended toward two somewhat contradictory perspectives:

First, is the need to emphasize childhood adversity, to portray oneself as not having been spoiled by overindulgence, even, in some cases, to have deserved hardship.


Second, and in conflict with this, is the desire to present childhood as an Edenic, blissful state, a time of past blessedness, a world completely different from the grating present.
Carroll's Alice stories illustrate this combination of childhood adversity and Edenic bliss.
Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, reviewed in Activity 3, also nicely illustrates a kind of tension between the idyllic lifestyle and those marked by hardship. Notably, however, Blake's vision focuses less often on childish wickedness and more often focuses on societal problems that plague and hamper children's growth. A review of potential differences between the visions of Blake and Carroll is the focus of Activity 3.
For more background on the "myth of childhood" in the Victorian era, visit the Victorian Web essays on Beginnings, Myths of Childhood, and Autobiography and Childhood as a Personal Myth in Autobiography. For the final activity on William Blake, the following biography and textual history of the Songs of Innocence and Experience may prove useful:

  • Biography of William Blake at the EDSITEment-reviewed Poets.org (and a longer biography is available at the Blake Archive)

  • Chronology of Blake's life and work

  • List of Songs of Innocence and Experience copies, accompanied by a brief print history

Lesson Activities



  • Activity 1. Victorianism and Childhood

  • Activity 2. Down the Rabbit Hole

  • Activity 3. Songs of Innocence and Experience



Activity 1. Victorianism and Childhood
Whether they have read Alice in Wonderland or not, most students will probably have some familiarity with the story. Begin by having them talk about their thoughts, memories, and knowledge of Lewis Carroll's classic story. Do they know when it was written? What do they know about the author? From what they know of her, does Alice seem like a "real" child to them? Do they identify with the character and her experiences?
Explain to students that Alice in Wonderland began as an improvised story told to a real little girl named Alice Liddell by a man named Charles Dodgson, which was the real name of Lewis Carroll. Provide a brief introduction to Carroll's life and his relationship with Alice Liddell, drawing on the resources available through the EDSITEment-reviewed Victorian Web website, including:


  • A short Biography of Dodgson, and other biographical materials

  • Some of Carroll's photographs of Alice Liddell (scroll down to find the pictures of Alice), and other photographs by Carroll.



Discuss the vision of childhood that Carroll offers in his photographs. How does it compare to students' impressions of the world of Alice in Wonderland? Is this childhood as it appears to an adult or as children see it? Is it realistic? fantastic? sentimental?
To sharpen students' awareness of the image of childhood Carroll captured on film, have them compare his photographs to present-day images of children. Ask them to describe advertisements that feature children, such as those familiar from catalogs for children's clothing, and the visions of childhood offered by television and film. Again, consider whether these reflect an adult or a child's point of view. What sort of story do these images tell about being a kid today? As students prepare to read Alice in Wonderland, ask them to keep in mind the following question:


  • What sort of story is Carroll telling in his photographs? How does that story compare to the story he tells in Alice in Wonderland?

Have students brainstorm the first question by discussing how the images portray the children. By looking at the pictures, what does it seem like childhood is like in the Victorian era? [Teacher note: refer back to the "myth of childhood" material in the Background section to remind yourself of the self-conscious portrayal of childhood in Victorian England, both for now and in preparation for Activity 3 below].




Activity 2. Down the Rabbit Hole
Next, have students read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with its original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. Explain to students that Carroll closely supervised the illustrations in his book. They are not simply decorations, in other words, but part of his story, an extension of his fiction.
As they read Alice in Wonderland, have students make comparisons between the words and the images, using the following questions as a guide. They can use the following PDF or MarcoPolo interactive This javascript opens up a pop-up window with a Flash interactive on the page Venn diagrams to make notes of their comparison.

  • How does the Alice in the text compare with the Alice in the illustrations?

  • How do both compare with the Alice of Carroll's photographs?

  • What is the vision of childhood that each conveys?

  • Could the illustrations in Alice be telling a different story from the text? How?

To see Alice and its illustrations in a different light, introduce students to The Nursery Alice, a version of the story that Carroll prepared for very young children. If time allows, allow them to play the EDSITEment Sizing Up Alice quiz game, testing their knowledge of the first few chapters. Otherwise, turn to the following questions:



  • What is the relationship between text and illustration in this telling of the story?

  • What vision of childhood does Carroll offer here?

Have students produce their own illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, choosing an episode or even an object described in the text. When they have finished, discuss how the process of finding a passage to illustrate and forming a visual impression based on the text opens a new perspective on the story. Note: this is useful either as an in-class or an at-home activity.



  • What is more difficult to visualize and why?

  • What stands out when illustrating a passage?

  • What elements of the picture did they invent to supplement the written scene, or what parts of the written scene did they have to leave out?

Have students brainstorm the answers to this question for 5 minutes individually or in groups and then return to share their reactions with the larger class. Students might note, for example, that it is more difficult to visually capture emotions effectively (whereas it is relatively easier for an author to write about feelings); or, students might note that the use of animals in writing and in drawing allows the author or artist to bring certain characteristics to the foreground (this would be a wonderful time to review the concept of personification).



Activity 3. Songs of Innocence and Experience
To provide a contrast to the Victorian view of childhood behind Carroll's storytelling, have students look at the very different vision offered by the Romantic poet William Blake in his Songs of Innocence and Experience. Be sure to note to students that William Blake published these poems and images in 1789 and 1794 (Innocenceand Experience, respectively; via the Blake Archive chronology). Carroll's Alice, on the other hand, was published originally in 1865. An electronic text of Songs of Innocence and Experience, with Blake's illustrations, is available through the EDSITEment-reviewed William Blake Archive.
Have students compare, for example, Blake's contrasting visions of childhood in the two poems titled "The Chimney Sweeper," one from the Songs of Innocence (plate 20) and the other from the Songs of Experience(plate 46).

  • How are these two visions related? As dream and reality? As spiritual and worldly? As a child's view of childhood and a view of childhood from adulthood?

  • In what way do these visions forecast or differ from the Victorian views of childhood as seen through Carroll?

Note that each 'plate' opens in an interactive window that allows zooming and panning. The "Compare" button below the image enables users to compare the versions of Blake's plates (each is distinct). On the left, below the image, a drop-down menu labeled "Show Me…" has several options for viewing, including a larger static image of the plate and a transcript of the poem (for easier reading).



Encourage your students to spend time looking at the different versions, as well as comparing each 'pair' of poems from both Innocence and Experience. Once the class reviews the two chimney sweeper poems together, break students into groups and randomly assign them a Blake poem to examine (concentrate on those directly or indirectly related to children, in keeping with the theme of the lesson plan). Some poems directly relate to children; others come across as child-like in tone or verse (such as "The Lamb" and "The Tyger," both of which share the sound of a nursery rhyme). As students read the poem and compare the images, ask them (as with the first set of poems):


  • What vision of childhood is being portrayed in the poem?

  • How does it compare to the views offered by Carroll?

  • How does the illustration enhance or challenge the your interpretation of the poem's words?

Have students think about the idea of innocence, which can range from naïve (and ignorant of what is 'really' going on) to idealistic (portraying a utopia). How else would they define innocence? Discuss how the alternative visions that Blake presents compare with the vision of childhood in Alice in Wonderland. Does Carroll present a vision midway between the extremes envisioned by Blake? Or does he combine these visions to some extent by creating a fantastic world around a realistic little girl?


Assessment


Have students compare a pair of illustrated texts from Carroll, Blake, or both (e.g., a selection from a Carroll book, and a single poem from Blake). Ask them to discuss thematic similarities and differences for both the text, the illustration that accompanies it, and conclude with a comparison of the portrayal of childhood in the selected text. Depending on assessment needs and time, the length of the comparison can vary from a simple in-class response paper (or oral presentation) to a lengthier at-home assignment.

Extending The Lesson


Explore a related aspect of the Victorian sensibility by introducing students to the tradition of Fairy Painting that developed during the era, and to Victorian illustrations of fairy tales.
Have students look at the illustrations in their own favorite books from childhood—Dr. Seuss books, Charlotte's Web, the Little House on the Prairie series, etc. Discuss the vision of childhood presented by the authors they loved. How does that vision compare to their experiences as children? How would they change these illustrations to reflect those experiences?
The Tate Liverpool: Alice in Wonderland Exhibition contains an Educator's Pack which includes a variety of additional actviities as well as discussion questions to engage your students and extend their understanding of the story. Your students take off on further exploration when they Go Down the Rabbit Hole through a Wondermind interactive for a learning experience that mixes art with science available from Tate Kids.

Curiouser and Curiouser!


 FEBRUARY 26, 1999 12:00 AMFebruary 26, 1999 12:00 am

Note: This lesson was originally published on an older version of The Learning Network; the link to the related Times article will take you to a page on the old site.

esson plans - the learning network
esson plans - the learning network

Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.



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Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students analyze the important elements of characterization in literature through examining a review of the television movie ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ developing a character sketch of a favorite character from a piece of children’s literature, and devising a cast list of actors and actresses well-suited to portray the main characters in the chosen story.

Author(s):


Alison Zimbalist, The New York Times Learning Network

Suggested Time Allowance: 45 minutes

Objectives:
Students will: 
1. Imagine that they are casting directors for a children’s story-turned-movie, and assess considerations for making the book’s characters as accurate, interesting, and fun as they are in the original piece. 
2. Examine characterization by reading and discussing “TV Weekend; Remembering, Yet Again, What the Dormouse Said.” 
3. Develop a written character sketch of a favorite character from a children’s book, fairy tale or nursery rhyme that analyzes how the character’s appearance, actions, reactions to other characters, and thoughts correspond to our understanding of the character as a whole. 
4. Devise a casting list of actors and actresses well-suited to portray the main characters of the chosen story in a movie.

Resources / Materials:


-student journals 
-pens/pencils 
-paper 
-classroom blackboard 
-copies of “TV Weekend; Remembering, Yet Again, What the Dormouse Said” (one per student) 
-multiple thesauri

Activities / Procedures:


1. WARM-UP/DO-NOW: In their journals, students respond to the following scenario (written on the board prior to class): You are casting a made-for-television movie of a children’s book. What types of things do you need to consider in making the book’s characters as accurate, interesting, and fun as they are in the original piece?” Students then share their ideas, and the teacher should write them on the board.

2. Read and discuss “TV Weekend; Remembering, Yet Again, What the Dormouse Said,” focusing on the following questions: 


a. The first paragraph of the review offers a specific scene from the movie. Why is this choice an effective header for the review? What does it indicate about the tone, characters, and plot of the movie? 
b. The article offers several vivid descriptions of characters in the movie. How does the review offer insight into characters by describing their appearances and actions? 
c. The third paragraph states that “the film is a series of set pieces that look pretty but are never engaging.” What do you think is the difference between something that simply looks pretty and something that is engaging? 
d. How does technological innovation affect the author’s opinion of the film? 
e. According to the reviewer, how do the stars cast in the various eccentric roles in “Alice in Wonderland” enhance or distract from their characters? 
f. Paragraph 9 discusses the “frame” aspect of the movie, one in which the main story is placed within the frame of another story (in this case, the party hosted by Alice’s parents). What other movies and literature can you think of that follow a similar frame structure? Does the reviewer feel that this is an effective tool in this case, and why? What do you think? 
g. How does the reviewer feel different actors and actresses succeeded or failed in capturing the characteristics of the characters as written in Lewis Carroll’s novel? 
h. What specific lines from the review demonstrate the critic’s opinion of the film? 
i. After reading this review, would you want to see “Alice in Wonderland”? Why or why not? What about the review affected your opinions, and what did not?

3. Each student selects a favorite character from a children’s book, fairy tale, or nursery rhyme as the subject of a character sketch. On a piece of paper, students should thoroughly describe, in full sentences, the following aspects of their characters (to be written on the board): 


-What does your character look like, and why are these physical attributes important in fully understanding the character? 
-What are some of the character’s actions in the story, and how do they impact our understanding of this character? 
-How does this character interact with other characters in the story, and what do these reactions to others indicate about the character? 
-What does this character think about the situations around him or her, and how do these affect what we know about the character? 
Students should be encouraged to use thesauri to enhance the descriptions of the characteristics.

4. WRAP-UP/HOMEWORK: Based on the characterization work done in class (which should be edited at home and submitted for evaluation), each student develops a casting list of actors and actresses who they feel are well-suited to portray the main characters of the chosen story in a movie. In a future class, students may create movie posters or other advertisements for their children’s story-turned-movie.

Further Questions for Discussion:
–What is characterization? 
–How do a character’s physical attributes, actions, interactions with others, and thoughts lend to one’s full understanding of that character? 
–What difficulties might one have in adapting a children’s story to a movie with humans portraying the characters? 
–What children’s books have been adapted into movies you have seen, and how do those movies attempt to recreate the characters accurately? 
–What common character types might one find in children’s literature, and why? 
–What morals or themes tend to be found in children’s literature, and why? 
–How do film critics use language to relay their thoughts about a movie?

Evaluation / Assessment:


Students will be evaluated based on written journal response, participation in class discussions, written character sketch of a children’s story character, and thoughtfully-created cast list for a movie version of that children’s story.

Vocabulary:


croquet, animatronic, tableaux, eccentric, quasi, pinafore, episodic, exiles, laden, Freudian, savoring, scrutiny, petulant, pallid, traipsing, sufficient

Extension Activities:


1. Script a fairy tale or nursery rhyme as if it were a movie. Then, offer a list of actors and actresses that you would like to cast in the starring roles.

2. Watch NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” production and write a review of it, assessing characterization, plot, and adaptation from its original novel form.

3. Compare NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” to the animated version, which can be rented at most video stores. Which version do you prefer, and why?

4. Investigate how casting directors choose the actors and actresses that they feel best suit roles in their movies or television shows.

5. Write a biography about Lewis Carroll.

6. Translate a novel or short story into another genre (cartoon, poem, play, song, etc.). What must change in the switching of genres to tell the story accurately?

7. Read the croquet scene from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and compare the text to the review of the scene offered in the featured article. How does the review describe this scene? How would you have scripted or casted it differently?

8. Analyze the symbols and messages relayed in “Alice and Wonderland.” How do these symbols and messages reflect cultural values and ideas?

9. Find other reviews of NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” in newspapers and magazines. What do different critics say about the casting, special effects, and acting, as well as other aspects of the movie?

10. Imagine that you are a character in a movie or television show and write a character description of yourself. Then, list three actors or actresses and discuss why each one would portray you well.

Interdisciplinary Connections:
Fine Arts 
-Illustrate a scene from “Alice in Wonderland” using proper perspective and shading. 
-Study the art found in children’s books. What techniques seem to be frequently employed, and why? 
-Work with a language arts class (or use one of your original stories) to illustrate student-generated children’s books.

Foreign Language 


-Research children’s stories in other cultures and how these stories reflect the society in which they were written. 
-Translate a portion or chapter of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into the language of study.

Journalism- Examine the persuasive and point of view language of movie and television reviews.

Technology- Create a timeline of the evolution of a specific form of movie technology (cameras, film, sound, lighting, or different types of special effects).

Other Information on the Web:


NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” site (http://www.nbc.com/tvcentral/mms/alice) offers games, contests, a photo gallery, background, cast information, credits, video interviews, and transcripts.

Alice in Wonderland- An Interactive Adventure (http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/wonderland) is a fun and educational site for children of all ages.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (http://www.megabrands.com/alice/goalice.html?) provides the full text of the novel, illustrated and accompanied by music.

Academic Content Standards:


Grades 6-8 

Language Arts Standard 6- Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts. Benchmarks: Recognizes devices used to develop characters in literary texts; Makes inferences and draws conclusions about story elements; Understands the effects of the author’s style on a literary text; Explains how the motives of characters or the causes for complex events in texts are similar to and different from those in his or her own life; Understands that people respond differently to literature 


Language Arts Standard 8- Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning. Benchmarks: Plays a variety of roles in group discussions; Asks questions to seek elaboration and clarification of ideas; Listens in order to understand a speaker’s topic, purpose, and perspective; Conveys a clear main point when speaking to others and stays on the topic being discussed 

Theatre Standard 5- Understands how informal and formal theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions create and communicate meaning. Benchmarks: Understands the perceived effectiveness of artistic choices found in dramatic performances; Understands the perceived effectiveness of contributions (e.g., as playwrights, actors, designers, directors) to the collaborative process of developing improvised and scripted scenes

Grades 9-12 
Language Arts Standard 6- Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts. Benchmarks: Identifies the simple and complex actions (e.g., internal/external conflicts) between main and subordinate characters in texts containing complex character structures; Understands the effects of complex literary devices and techniques on the overall quality of a work; Understands historical and cultural influences on literary works; Makes abstract connections between his or her own life and the characters, events, motives, and causes of conflict in texts; Relates personal response to the text with that seemingly intended by the author 

Language Arts Standard 8- Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning. Benchmarks: Evaluates own and others’ effectiveness in group discussions and in formal presentations; Asks questions as a way to broaden and enrich classroom discussions; Adjusts message wording and delivery to particular audiences and for particular purposes 


Theatre Standard 5- Understands how informal and formal theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions create and communicate meaning. Benchmarks: Articulates and justifies personal aesthetic criteria for critiquing dramatic texts and events that compare perceived artistic intent with the final aesthetic achievement; Understands how the context in which a dramatic performance is set can enhance or hinder its effectiveness; Knows how varying collaborative efforts and artistic choices can affect the performance of informal and formal productions; Identifies and researches cultural, historical, and symbolic clues in dramatic texts; Understands the validity and practicality of cultural, historical, and symbolic information used in making artistic choices for informal and formal productions

This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed above. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education; 3rd and 4th Editions and have been provided courtesy of the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning in Aurora, Colorado.

  • SHARE

1. Script a fairy tale or nursery rhyme as if it were a movie. Then, offer a list of actors and actresses that you would like to cast in the starring roles.

2. Watch NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” production and write a review of it, assessing characterization, plot, and adaptation from its original novel form.

3. Compare NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” to the animated version, which can be rented at most video stores. Which version do you prefer, and why?

4. 5. Write a biography about Lewis Carroll.

6.


7. Read the croquet scene from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and compare the text to the review of the scene offered in the featured article. How does the review describe this scene? How would you have scripted or casted it differently?

8.


9. Find other reviews of NBC’s “Alice in Wonderland” in newspapers and magazines. What do different critics say about the casting, special effects, and acting, as well as other aspects of the movie?

10. Imagine that you are a character in a movie or television show and write a character description of yourself. Then, list three actors or actresses and discuss why each one would portray you well.


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