In 140 Characters:
Three 10th-grade Honors English classes tumble down the rabbit hole to discover Alice’s journey first-hand.
Over 6 weeks in the fall of 2009, Mr. Long challenged 57 students to analyze Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — via their copies of The Annotated Alice — by publishing their questions & reflections in real-time on a very global scale.
All student progress was transparently shared with anyone who visited project blogs.
Note: see below for complete list of student team blogs, various project highlights, and a longer summary of the project.
- Team 1 (“Alice’s Trifles”)
- Team 2 (“Not Your Average Wonderland”)
- Team 3 (“Wandering in Wonderland”)
- Team 4 (“C.S.I. Wonderland”)
- Team 5 (“Down the Rabbit Hole and Back”)
- Team 6 (“Our Own Wonderland”)
- Team 7 (“An-Alice-Is in Wonderland”)
- Team 8 (“Why Not? An Investigation into the Annotated Alice”)
- Team 9 (“The Alice Project”)
- Team 10 (“Welcome to Wonderland”)
- Team 11 (“Alice’s Pack of Cards”)
- Team 12 (“Don’t Lose Your Head”)
- Team 13 (“The ‘Liddell’ Things”)
A Quick Glance:
- Video Tour: Take a video tour of the entire project.
- Big Picture: Message to the students, Vision, Expectations, Rules, Grading, etc.
- Participants: Meet the 57 Students + the 35+ Jurors (from around the US/world who spent 2 weeks evaluating student work/blogs).
- Inspiration: Learn how the project came to exist and what the early goals were prior to knowing if it would work.
- Technology: Take a look at the technology that was employed to support the students and project over the 6 weeks.
- Stats & Numbers: See a break-down of what the students created along the way.
- Student Surveys: Survey feedback given during and after the “Alice Project.”
- Juror Comments: What the jurors had to say about all 13 team blogs.
- Mentions & Links: Various ways that the project is being discussed outside our classroom.
- Quotes: What students have said about the project/text.
- Advice: If I had to do it again, here are the pro’s & con’s of this project. Plus, I toss in few tangents that may be helpful.
While Mr. Long was available for one-on-one/small group consultation upon student request, he did not formally lecture or analyze the text in class.
The goal was for the students’ learning/discovery experience to conceptually mirror Alice ‘finding her way’ through Wonderland. Instead of directing the curriculum in a traditional manner, Mr. Long shifted to the role of ‘publisher.’ All entries and comments were moderated by Mr. Long, but students were expected to take responsibility for co-editing each each others work to ensure quality submissions. ‘Audience’ & ‘voice’ was always a central focus.
Each student joined a team of 3-4 peers to co-publish a team blog, sharing responsibilities as ‘editors’ and ‘authors’ both in and out of class. Each student was challenged to publish a minimum of 12+ individual blog entries (of two 7+ sentence paragraphs) and to comment at least 15+ times on the other 12 student blogs in order to be guaranteed a “gentleman’s C” at the end of the project. Additionally, each team was challenged to explore various web 2.0 tools (Prezi, CoverItLive, VoiceThread, etc) to showcase various ideas and conversations, as well as to re-design the team website thematically.
Finally, each student had access to his/her own wireless laptop, allowing the classroom to become a fully dedicated writing lab and publishing studio.