The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Welcome to the Alice Project December 8, 2009

In 140 Characters:

Three 10th-grade Honors English classes tumble down the rabbit hole to discover Alice’s journey first-hand.

Brief Summary:

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.

Student Team Blogs:

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.  

Additional Summary:

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.


5 Responses to “Welcome to the Alice Project”

  1. Mr. Long,

    I am overwhelmed and supremely impressed with your project. I don’t know where to even begin because I’ve been skimming so many different pages. You have put SO MUCH work and passion into this. The techonology (your filming and editing of student projects) is very impressive. The team of jurors (from around the country), the many impressive student blogs, the scope and time of this project, and your willingness to just allow students to learn makes my head hurt just thinking about the effort.
    I am taking a class that encourages and teaches the use of Web 2.0/blogs in the classroom. I really appreciate your page of comments to other teachers considering doing a project like yours. While I would love to be as ambitious, I think, taking some of your advice, I may make it a bit more simple for my premiere. I would like to try and do something like your Alice project for Romeo and Juliet.
    I am very impressed and inspired.

  2. Gordon H. Says:

    Terrific project!
    Gordon, a high school teacher.

  3. Christian Long Says:

    @quasicoolwriter: Sorry for the long over-due reply. Just re-discovered your thoughtful message from January. [insert head slap here] If you decide to go forward with any scale of project like this (truly –> any scale), please do not hesitate to touch base. If I can help, it’d be my pleasure. Thanks for your kindness/enthusiasm; even late on my part, it meant a lot!

    @Gordon: Thanks so much!

  4. Steven Lorenzo Says:

    Mr. Long,

    I currently teach a freshmen class of 120 students that are reading “Alice”. May I post your website on my chalkboard so my students may read the student responses? Your themes and analysis are right up my alley and are exactly what I want my students to discover as well.

    • Christian Long Says:

      Steven: Absolutely. Please post the link for your students. All the best with the work you’re doing!

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