Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is a perennial favorite, and for good reason. In the story, Alice falls down a rabbit hole and ends up in a marvelous world full of frankly irritating creatures and surprising events. The story continues with Alice’s adventures as she tries to get home. Eventually, we discover with Alice that it was all a dream.
- Project Gutenberg has the whole text online.
- Enjoy Alice with illustrations.
- Experience a very interesting approach to the text at Text Arc.
- Robert Sabuda has done Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation as a paper tour de force.
Alice In Wonderland is a chapter book. Read it over a week or two, and try out some fun things as you go:
These arrows could be fun for decoration or you could use them to play games. Try identifying the reference each one has to the book, or use them as board game instructions, pulling them randomly and following the instructions.
Once you’ve read the story, check out some cross-curricular connections:
- Alice is a programming environment designed to help students learn basic concepts in programming, and to encourage young people to enter the field (there’s a shortage predicted). It has only a tangential connection with Alice in Wonderland, but it’s pretty exciting. Kids can make movies and video games themselves. An interesting background article on Alice could inspire you, but your best bet is to visit alice.org and download the program. The demonstration video is interesting and helpful.
- Alice is full of neat math stuff, which shouldn’t surprise us since the author was a mathematician (Charles Lutwidge Dodson was the author’s real name). The Lewis Carroll homepage has a fine collection of math/Alice links.
- With so much math going on in the book, you can easily find connections for many of the topics you might be covering in math: size, proportion, probability, time, arithmetic, speed… Take advantage of the opportunity.
- Check out an interesting point about bases here.
- A challenging story problem starring Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
- NPR has an interesting look at the mathematics at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
- If you play with the Alice programming interface, you’ll find that it includes logic, measurement, fractions, algebraic thinking. and more math concepts.
- Manners are a recurrent theme in Alice’s adventures. As a Victorian child, Alice would have spent a lot of time learning about them — or at least being corrected and lectured to on the subject. Check out some of the rules of the time. Use a Venn diagram to compare our modern ideas with those of Alice’s day.
- Alice’s companions in wonderland are irritating and unreasonable. Examine and discuss the strategies Alice uses to interact with them. What works best for her? Ask students to imagine other options, or to try out Alice’s strategies and see how they work in real life.
- Salvador Dali did illustrations for Alice. Compare them with the other illustrations you’ve seen.
- Arthur Rackham’s illustrations from 1907 are available for close-up examination. Ask students to list the differences between Rackham’s and Dali’s work.
- Coloring pages of the Disney version may not be a challenging art lesson, but young students will enjoy them anyway. These older illustrations are more challenging coloring for older students.
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