Add a CommentHow Doth The Little Crocodile
Lewis CarrollHow doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
It is our belief that when the lazy afternoons of summer ends and a new school year arrives, it is the “pawfect” time for celebration! School bells are ringing for class to begin, as are cash registers for new clothes, books and computers.
Throwing a tea party in the after-school mix with help sustain attention span for children's homework!Add a Comment
The most obvious theme that can be found in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the theme of growing up.
Lewis Carroll adored the unprejudiced and innocent way young children approach the world. With Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, he wanted to describe how a child sees our adult world, including all of the (in the eyes of a child silly and arbitrary) rules and social etiquette we created for ourselves, as well as the ego's and bad habits we have developed during our lives.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland represents the child's struggle to survive in the confusing world of adults. To understand our adult world, Alice has to overcome the open-mindedness that is characteristic for children.
Apparently, adults need rules to live by. But most people adhere to those rules blindly now, without asking themselves 'why'. This leads to the incomprehensible, and sometimes arbitrary behavior that Alice experiences in Wonderland.
When entering Wonderland, Alice encounters a way of living and reasoning that is quite different from her own. A Duchess who is determined to find a moral in everything. Trials that seem to be very unjust. But during the journey through Wonderland, Alice learns to understand the adult world somewhat more. In fact, she is growing up. This is also represented by her physical changes during the story, the growing and shrinking.
More and more she starts to understand the creatures that live in Wonderland. From the Cheshire Cat she learns that 'everyone is mad here'. She learns to cope with the crazy Wonderland rules, and during the story she gets better in managing the situation. She tells the Queen of Hearts that her order is 'nonsense' and prevents her own beheading. In the end Alice has adapted and lost most of her vivid imagination that comes with childhood. She realizes what the creatures in Wonderland really are 'nothing but a pack of cards'. At this point, she has matured too much to stay in Wonderland, the world of the children, and wakes up into the 'real' world, the world of adults.
Related to the theme of 'growing up', is the motif of 'identity'.
In Wonderland, Alice struggles with the importance and instability of personal identity. She is constantly ordered to identify herself by the creatures she meets, but she herself has doubts about her identity as well.
After falling through the Rabbit hole, Alice tests her knowledge to determine whether she has become another girl. Later on, the White Rabbit mistakes her for his maid Mary Ann. When the Caterpillar asks her who she is, she is unable to answer, as she feels that she has changed several times since that morning.
Among other things, this doubt about her identity is nourished by her physical appearance. Alice grows and shrinks several times, which she finds "very confusing". The Pigeon mistakes her for a serpent, not only because she admits eating eggs, but also because of her long neck. The Cheshire Cat questions another aspect of Alice's identity. He is not questioning her name or species, he is questioning her sanity. As she has entered Wonderland, she must be mad, he states.
However, it is not only Alice's identity that is instable. Some creatures in Wonderland have instable identities as well. For example, the Duchess' baby turns into a pig and the members of the jury have to write down their names, or they will forget them. Add a Comment
And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.
For the complete version--> http://harvardmagazine.com/2008/06/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination Add a Comment
"The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis.
There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.
In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as [the one's you'll find here]. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor. [...]
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend."
"-- But you make no remark?"
"I -- I didn't know I had to make one -- just then," Alice faltered out.
"You should have said, 'It's extremely kind of you to tell me all this' -- however, we'll suppose it said."
Sweet Iced Black Tea with Cream
This tea has lots of cream and sugar so it is definitely an indulgence. It looks pretty served in a low, clear glass. I had lots of whipped cream from the tart recipe so this was a great companion.
4 cups boiling water
8 Irish Breakfast tea bags
1/2 cup sugar (this sounds like a lot, but the tea is really strong so it's actually okay)
Crushed ice for serving
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pour water over tea, and steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove tea bags. Bring tea and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Let cool. To serve, pour 1/2 cup tea over crushed ice in 8 glasses, and then top each with 1 tablespoon cream.
Play “conversation in a jar" (or basket, or bin). Keep a container on the dinner table with blank slips of paper, and whenever you think of a cool question, write it down and toss it in. Some examples from Cox: “What’s something you can do better than your parents?” “If there were a holiday named after you, how would people celebrate it?” “Make up a nickname for everyone at the table -- nothing mean!” Once a week, use some of the questions in the basket to spark conversations at dinner.
Shake it up. Every so often, have a wacky family dinner night. “Sometimes we’ll eat with the big serving utensils, use serving platters instead of plates, and drink out of big pitchers instead of cups,” says Cohen. Or you can put food coloring in everything and make goofy food. Or just serve dinner as a picnic, on a blanket in the living room or playroom.
Have a “reading dinner.” Choose a book and read aloud while you eat. If your kids are old enough, they can take a turn. “I think the reason my kids ate all their vegetables when they were younger is that the rule was, you have to keep eating if I’m going to read!” says Cox.
Enjoy special food outings. Have a regular, simple ritual, like going for ice cream after dinner once a week, or walking to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning.
Cook together as a family. Even the youngest child can help in the kitchen by pouring or stirring. “Just remember, it’s about the process, not getting to the outcome,” says Cohen. “It’ll probably take you longer to make the cookies than if you made them yourself, and the kitchen will get a lot messier. But if you tell them to stop and let you do it because they’re making a mess, you’ve blown it. It’s about time together.”
Invite friends to a monthly “soup night.” This is about more than just your family -- it’s about connecting with a community of friends. On soup night -- maybe the first Saturday of every month? -- make a huge pot of chili or stew and let it be known that friends are welcome to drop by with a bottle of wine or a loaf of bread. “Having things like that, that sense of community, lets kids grow up in a place where they feel safe,” says Cox. “They know there are other adults who will look after them.”
Using children's literature for teaching friendship skills can be invaluable to students and to teachers. Children's literature is a resource for instruction that also incorporates other academic skills. The skills become meaningful to students through the stories, so that they are able to use the skills outside of classroom activities.
Reader response theory provides a framework for using literature in the classroom. Gunning (1996) defined reader response theory as "a view of reading in which the reader plays a central role in constructing the meaning of a text. The meaning is not found in the text or the reader, but is found in the relationship or transaction between the two" (p. 335). This theory can be applied to the use of children's literature as a tool for teaching friendship skills.
Strategy for teaching friendship skillsThe strategy for teaching friendship skills using children's literature has four parts: (a) the use of children's literature, (b) direct instruction of steps to follow, (c) practice in the natural environment, and (d) evaluation of the lesson and skills. Add a Comment
Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a divison of the U.S. Department of Education1, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not:
- Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.
- The NCES1 also reported that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to:
- count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
- write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
- read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
- According to NCES2, only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member (1999). Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty.
- The more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service.3
- The Educational Testing Services reported that students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores; however, students read less for fun as they get older.3
Children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills.
- According to the National Education Association, having kids read a lot is one of the crucial components of becoming a good reader. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to get good at it is to practice.4
- The U.S. Department of Education5 found that, generally, the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores. Between 1984 and 1996, however, the percentage of 12th grade students reporting that they "never" or "hardly ever" read for fun increased from 9 percent to 16 percent.
- A poll of middle and high school students commissioned by the National Education Association6 found that 56 percent of young people say they read more than 10 books a year, with middle school students reading the most. Some 70 percent of middle school students read more than 10 books a year, compared with only 49 percent of high school students.
"The adventures first...explanations take such a dreadful time."
Alice is having a conversation with the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle by the beach. Alice has been mostly listening to the other two telling their stories and songs but then the Gryphon asks Alice to tell about her adventures as well. When Alice begins her tale a little hesitantly, the Mock Turtle wants her to explain it all. But the Gryphon is impatient and wants to hear only the exiting parts.
Alice In Wonderland is just one book amongst many others that takes you on an adventure. You know, one of those stories that is just a perfect fit for a tea party...
The website mentioned below is a children's book club resource. I hope this can be a good source for keeping the tea parties going!
By LISA BELKIN
In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama spoke of the responsibility of parents in educating their children. “That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities,” he said. “It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child.”
Yes. And it works the other way around, too. Teaching our children educates us anew. Becoming a parent often feels like taking an out-of-town friend on a tour, allowing you to see familiar sights through a visitor’s eyes, and asking you to remember what it is you love (or don’t) about where you live.
Lee Skallerup Bessette feels this duality keenly when reading to her two young children. Yes, she reads aloud because of all those studies that show that children do better at everything in life if their parents read aloud. And she reads aloud because it’s cozy and fun. But there are other reasons, too. As she writes in a guest post today, her children are not the only one learning from the stories.
READING MAKES MY CHILDREN (AND ME) BETTER
When I was an undergrad, I took a course in children’s literature. One of our assignments was to revisit some of the books we remembered reading as children. I was a voracious reader, and I have no real memories of reading anything other than chapter books. As I wandered the children’s chapter-book shelves at the local library, books that I had long forgotten jumped out to me: “Tales of the Fourth-Grade Nothing,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Ramona the Brave.” I excitedly borrowed those books and more to read and write about.
There is a moment at the end of “Ramona the Brave” where Ramona is overwhelmed and frustrated by circumstances in her life. She declares that she will scream a very bad word, the only way she can think of to express the depths of her feelings to her parents. Stomping her feet, she yells: “Guts!” Her parents burst out laughing, and, rereading it as a college student, I was reduced to tears. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the memory of feeling at a loss for words, like no one heard me or understood how I felt. And how dare they laugh at this poor girl’s very real attempt at releasing her frustrations?
Almost 15 years later I am now the mother of two young kids. My daughter is still too young for chapter books, but she recently discovered my old childhood copy of “Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” We read it and, like any good piece of literature, I can use the opportunity to talk about a bad day she may have had. But I am also reminded as a parent how completely overwhelming a bad day can seem to a child, as trivial as the events may seem to me as an adult. We have also repeatedly read the classics “I Was So Mad” and “All by Myself,” which I use as reminders as to not only how frustrating life can be to a child, but also how wondrous common events and milestones are to that same child.
Parents need to be reminded of the uncomfortable realities of a child’s perception of the world. One way that I try to empathize with my children is through the stories we read together. I might lose my patience with them, but I am reminded of their worldview through the books, reminded of my own childhood full of my own ups and downs. If I can remember what it felt like when I, like Ramona, was laughed at or seemingly dismissed by my parents, then maybe I can try to do better for my own kids.
But the stories also remind me (and hopefully my kids) that no parent is perfect, Add a Comment
Wondering what children’s book to read next? These resources will help to point you in the right direction!
Part of the Read Across America program, this resource features lists of recommended children’s literature. The program works to highlight America’s diversity through lists covering Asian-American authors, Spanish/English bilingual books, Native American authors, and African American authors. Other lists include Teacher’s Top 100 and Author’s Favorites. Users can also download posters for Read Across America and the Reader’s Oath.
For kids, by kids. In conjunction with the Children’s Book Council, the International Reading Association annually publishes a list of recommended children’s literature with titles selected by children themselves. This resource features annotated versions of the lists from 1998 to the present. The website also features fact sheets about Children’s Choices, information about the list and an application to become a Children’s Choice Team Leader, as well as pre-formatted bookmarks that can be downloaded and used to promote the resource.
This ipl2 pathfinder offers strategies and resources for finding half-remembered children’s books—those books you may have enjoyed in the past, but for which you cannot recall the author or title. Print and electronic resources are listed.
The Newbery Medal Homepage (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Literary Awards)
This is the homepage for the Newbery Medal, an annual award given by the American Library Association for distinguished contributions to children’s literature. The site features a list of nominees, past winners, information about children’s literature, and links to related websites. Add a Comment
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