Third Grade - Literature - Overview - January

Sayings and Phrases
Two sayings are introduced this month, One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel and Let bygones be bygones. They may be introduced at any time and in any order. Students are asked to write in response to these sayings, in one case with a paragraph that supports or refutes the saying and in the other with a letter of advice.
If you have been posting the sayings and phrases as they are introduced, be sure to add these.

Poetry
Lewis Carroll dominates the literature this month. His poem, "The Crocodile" should be introduced after Isaac Watts' "The Bee," and "Father William" should be introduced last of all.
A writing task, complete with rubric, is included in "The Crocodile." "Father William" has students working on a group activity. Be sure to read the Teacher Background for all three lessons before beginning any of the lessons.
Students should enjoy participating in the assigned choral reading and learning about Lewis Carroll's life.

Stories
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the selection for January. It provides a framework for the study of Carroll's poems that are included this month. If you do not wish to read the entire book to the class, two sources containing short selections are listed in the Suggested Books.
Students should enjoy the mixed-up world of Wonderland that allows them to use their imaginations as they listen and react to the story. While not included in the suggested materials, the Walt Disney film of Alice is worthwhile, however it includes some characters from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

Third Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases -
One Rotten Apple Spoils the Whole Barrel

Objectives
Explain the meaning of the saying, One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
Write a paragraph supporting or refuting the saying.
Recall other sayings and literature that mention apples (optional).
Make an illustrated booklet about sayings and stories that contain apples (optional).

Materials
Copy of the saying, One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel, on sentence strip or chart paper

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.

Teacher Background
The activity in this lesson is intended to give students an opportunity to write and express their opinions. If you wish, instead of writing, students could give their opinions orally and could even participate in a short debate.

Procedure
Ask the students to think about what happens when a piece of rotten fruit is next to other pieces of fruit that are still fresh. Ask: Does the piece of rotten fruit become fresh because it is next to fresh fruit, or does the fresh fruit turn rotten? (fresh fruit turns rotten) Point out that one piece of rotten fruit influences the freshness of many others.
Display and read the saying One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel. Tell the students that this saying refers to what they have been talking about, but it certainly refers to a lot more than that as well. Ask how many have heard the saying before. Can they recall when they heard it and what was happening at the time?
Ask students if they have ever been advised by their parents not to associate with someone because that person is a bad influence. Point out that their parents are concerned that the person's influence might lead to doing something wrong or getting into trouble. Suggest that one person's bad influence may be the reason this saying came to be.
Repeat the saying One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel and then ask students to tell if they agree or disagree with the saying by giving a thumbs-up, thumbs-down response. Then ask: Can one person have so much influence? Can one person influence a group to do good things? Ask the students if they can think of a time when one person influenced a group to do the wrong thing. How about a time when one person influenced others to do the right thing? Allow time for discussion.
Have the students write a paragraph agreeing or disagreeing with the saying. Remind them that the opening sentence should be a statement of their opinion and the rest of the paragraph should support that opinion. Caution students to indent when they begin the paragraph and to begin each sentence with a capital letter. Remind them that since they are giving an opinion, most of their sentences will be statements and should be punctuated with a period. Tell the students to end the paragraph with a restatement of opinion.

Additional Activity
Ask students why they think an apple is used in the saying, One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel. (Answers will vary.) Can they think of other sayings that have the word "apple" in them? List these on the board. (Possible answers are: "One bad apple spoils the whole bunch;" "An apple never falls far from the tree;" "An apple a day keeps the doctor away;" "as American as apple pie;" "the apple of someone's eye.") Tell students that "The rotten apple spoils the companion" is a saying by Ben Franklin.
Remind students that apples have been featured in folk and fairy tales and in legends they have read. Have them try to recall examples. (Possible answers are: Atalanta and the race [Greek mythology]; Idunna and the apples of eternal youth [Norse mythology]; the poison apple in "Snow White;" and Johnny Appleseed.)
Direct the students to groups of four and have them work on an illustrated booklet of "Apple Wisdom and Lore." Let each group decide who will draw and who will write, suggesting that the jobs can be shared and each member could do both if the team decided to work in that manner.
Have them copy the apple sayings from the board and illustrate them. Also have them tell how the apple figured in the stories listed. Place the completed booklets in an area where they can be enjoyed by all.

Third Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Let Bygones be Bygones

Objectives
Explain the saying, Let bygones be bygones.
Write a letter advising someone to follow this advice.
Assess the wisdom of the saying.
Describe situations in which this advice is appropriate.

Materials
Copy of the saying, Let bygones be bygones, on sentence strip or chart paper

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.

Teacher Background
In this lesson, students are asked to write a letter dispensing advice. Suggested as an alternative approach to simply having them write a friendly letter is to have them pretend to be advice column writers responding to a letter. If you decide to use this approach, providing a letter (complete with envelope) addressed to "Dear Owly" (the very wise) or some other title of your choice would be a perfect springboard.

Procedure
Display the saying Let bygones be bygones and read it aloud to the class. Ask the students if they have ever heard the saying before. Ask for a volunteer to tell the meaning of the saying. If no one volunteers a correct response or to better explain the saying, write the word "bygones" on the board and then separate it into its two parts--"by" and "gones." Next, drop the "s" and reverse the two words to present the words "gone by." Ask students to explain what it means if something has gone by (past, already happened, over). Restate the saying as "Let what's over be over," "Let what's past be past," or "Let whatever's already happened be."
Repeat the saying Let bygones be bygones. Ask: What do we call it when someone tells us what to do in a particular situation? (give advice) Suggest that this saying gives advice. Ask the students to tell when they think this advice, to Let bygones be bygones, or "Let what's over be over" would be given. If students hesitate or seem unsure, present a scenario like the following:

My best friend borrowed my favorite book and left it out on her porch in the rain. Every time I look at the ruined book it made me angry. When my best friend called me to talk I was rude to her on the phone. My mother overheard what I said and asked what was wrong. I told her about my friend and the book and she said, "That was 2 weeks ago. You need to forget about it. Let bygones be bygones."
Tell the students that the saying Forgive and forget is similar to Let bygones be bygones. It advises us to not hold on to bad feelings that may have resulted from arguments or
misunderstandings. Ask the students if they think it is good advice. Ask them if they can think of any benefits that come from following this advice. Can they think of any problems that could occur from following it? Are there certain things that we shouldn't forgive and forget? Do we ever forgive and not forget? Does anything good come from holding a grudge?
Ask the students to think of someone who could benefit from the advice. Tell them that they may choose someone they have read about or it may be someone that they know. Ask for volunteers to share the name of the person (or character) they would advise and then tell the reason that person needs to let bygones be bygones. List their suggestions on the board and provide suggestions if students seem unable. (the giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk," the Norse gods who were tricked or troubled by Loki, etc.)
Tell the students to choose someone either from the list on the board or from their life to advise. Tell them that they will write a friendly letter to this person advising him or her to let bygones be bygones. The letter should explain what the writer thinks this person should forget and why it would be a good idea to do so. Tell the students that the words let bygones be bygones should be included in the letter. Suggest that the letter might even be an apology, for instance they might be the best friend who left the book out in the rain and they might be sorry for it and hope that their friend will let bygones be bygones. Review the format of a friendly letter by having the students name the parts of a friendly letter (heading, greeting, body, closing, signature) and tell where they should be placed. (This assignment could also be presented to the students by having them pretend to be writers of an advice column who have received a letter from someone who is having trouble forgetting about something unkind that has been done to them.)
Post the completed (and corrected) letters, on a bulletin board, under the heading "Good Advice."

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - The Bee

Objectives
Identify the message in the poem.
Observe that the poem has two parts that discuss two different, but related, ideas.
Write a paragraph (or poem) about another model creature.

Materials
Copy of the poem, "The Bee" aka "Against Idleness and Mischief" on chart paper (see Procedure for format of presentation)

Suggested Books
Ferris, Helen, selected by. Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls. New York: Doubleday, 1957.
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Background
Isaac Watts was born in England on July 17, 1674; he died there on November 25, 1748. Watts was an ordained minister who is best known for writing hymns.
You may wish to focus only on the first two stanzas of the poem. If you are concerned that the religious aspects of the poem will cause difficulties for your students, limit their analysis to the first two stanzas and emphasize the work ethic that Watts commends.

Procedure
Display the first two stanzas of the poem and read them aloud to the students.

The Bee
Isaac Watts
How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour
And gather honey all the day
From every passing flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell;
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

Ask for volunteers to tell what the poem is about. (Answers will vary. Accept responses that indicate that the poet has written about what bees do.) Be sure that students are familiar with a honeycomb and the idea that bees carry nectar from flowers into the hive where it is stored as honey. Tell the students to look at the second stanza and silently read the first line. Ask: What kind of bee is Mr. Watts talking about? (a female bee--she) Tell the students that female worker bees are the only bees whose bodies can make nectar into honey.
Point out that the poet is telling us that the bee makes use of the day (improve each shining hour) to do her work. Ask students if bees choose their jobs or if nature chooses it for them. Ask what would happen if a bee didn't do its job. (It would probably die)

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - The Bee

Display and read the next two stanzas of the poem.

In works of labor or of skill
I would be busy, too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be past;
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

Ask the students if the poet is still talking about the bee (no). Ask: Who is he speaking about? (himself) What is he saying? (Answers will vary, but response should indicate that the speaker is hoping to do what he should and not be tempted to be idle, or sit around and do nothing.)
Be sure that students realize that "Satan" in the poem refers to the devil, or some evil being. Remind students that religion was very much a part of people's lives at the time this poem was written and the same religion was practiced by most of the people living in England. Tell them that the poet, Isaac Watts, was a minister. Have students recall that the Pilgrims left England for religious freedom.
Ask students who they think the poem might be intended for. Do they think that it was written for children or adults? Why? (Accept any thoughtful answer.) Tell the students that another name for the poem is "Against Idleness and Mischief" (write this on the board). Be sure that students know what these words mean. Ask if knowing this other title influences who they think the poem was written for.
Explain that memorization of poetry was a very common practice many years ago. It was believed that lessons could be learned in this way, and the act of memorization was considered a useful skill. Point out that it was quite useful to be able to recite a line of verse to fit a particular occasion. Being able to recite poetry indicated that a person was educated.
Ask the students if they can think of another insect or animal that might be put in the same kind of poem as "The Bee." Would it be worthwhile for someone to watch the actions of an ant or a housefly? Is there a message in the behavior of a squirrel or a frog? Could they think of a lesson to be learned by watching the behavior of any other creature? Ask for volunteers to share their suggestions for a "model creature" and list these on the board. (You may wish to remind students of the Aesop's fable of "The Grasshopper and the Ant.")
Have students select a model creature from the board and write a short paragraph (or poem) about the qualities demonstrated by that creature's actions.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - The Crocodile
Note: This lesson should be taught after the lesson on "The Bee."

Objectives
Enjoy the poem.
Identify the similarities to "The Bee."
Be introduced to the term "parody."
Hear some interesting facts about Lewis Carroll.
Write a letter to Lewis Carroll reacting to the poem, "The Crocodile."

Materials
Copy of the poem, "The Crocodile," on chart paper
Lewis Carroll's name in cursive handwriting on a transparency (see Teacher Background)

Suggested Books
Ferris, Helen, ed. Favorite Poems Old and New. New York: Doubleday, 1957.
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Livingston, Myra Cohn, selected by. Poems of Lewis Carroll. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973.
Contains poems from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, as well as several others. One section of the book, "Notes on the Poems," provides valuable insight into the collected poems.

Teacher Background
Both "The Crocodile" and "Father William" are contained in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but because not everyone will read the book in its entirety, they are introduced in individual lessons. Should you decide to read the entire book, rather than an excerpt, you may choose to discuss these poems as they are met. In that case, present the information on Lewis Carroll that is included at the beginning of this lesson before beginning the reading.
Lewis Carroll was able to mirror write (reversed, right to left), which means that in order to read what he had written it was necessary to hold it up to a mirror. You can demonstrate his remarkable writing for your students by writing his name in cursive on a transparency sheet and then turning the sheet over before projecting it.

Procedure
Display the mirror-image name of Lewis Carroll on a transparency. Tell the students that this is the name of the man who wrote the poem you are about to read. He is also the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Ask: What is different about the way his name is written? (reversed, mirror image) Explain that this type of writing can be read when it is held up to a mirror. Ask if anyone can decipher the name and if not, tell the students that his name is Lewis Carroll. (Turn the sheet over so that students can see.) Tell them that Lewis Carroll's real name was Charles Dodgson. Explain that in a similar way to how he reversed his name when writing, Charles Dodgson actually reversed his first and last names and then translated them into Latin and then back to English to get Lewis Carroll.
Tell the students that Mr. Carroll was a very clever man who invented games and stories. He was born in England on January 27, 1832 and lived until January 14, 1898. He was a mathematician and photographer, who had a terrible stammer and was very self conscious about how he spoke. When he was in the company of children, especially Alice Liddell and her sisters, Carroll would lose his speech problems. He was able to entertain these little girls by telling them wonderful stories and riddles in which he included their names.
Tell students that Mr. Carroll was a very prolific writer, which means that he wrote a lot. Explain that he wrote nearly 2,000 letters a year for almost 50 of the years of his life. Tell the students that we know this because he not only wrote this many letters, but recorded each one in a notebook as well.
Explain that Lewis Carroll not only had fun playing with his own name, but with the names and writings of others. Tell the students that the following poem is one example.
Display and read the poem.
 

The Crocodile
Lewis Carroll

How 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 spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

Ask the students if it reminds them of any other poem they have read ("The Bee" aka "Against Idleness and Mischief").
Ask: What is this poem about? (a crocodile) Do you think that this is a serious poem like "The Bee"? Is there any lesson in this poem? Tell the students that when a writer takes a serious idea and writes about it in a humorous way, we say that person has written a parody. Write the word "parody" on the board.
Explain that in the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the main character, Alice, tries to recite "The Bee," but "The Crocodile" comes out instead. This is a sign to Alice that she really isn't herself.
Invite volunteers to recite the poem and allow as many recitations as time permits. Ask students to identify the rhyming words (crocodile-Nile, tail-scale; grin-in, claws-jaws). Challenge students to identify the rhyme scheme (ABAB, CDCD). Ask students if they like the poem and invite them to tell why (or why not).
Write Lewis Carroll's name on the board and tell the students that in honor of Mr. Carroll's great love of letter writing they are going to write a letter to him. Tell them that they will not be writing as themselves however, they will be writing the letter from the point of view of Isaac Watts, the author of "The Bee." (Write Isaac Watts' name on the board.) Remind the students that Mr. Watts died in 1748 and Mr. Carroll wasn't born until 1832, so they never got to meet each other. Ask them to imagine how Mr. Watts might have felt about the "The Crocodile." Be sure to point out that he might have thought the poem was funny, or he might have felt either
angry or hurt. Tell students that they may write from any of those perspectives, but they must
explain in their letter why they feel that way.
Take a few minutes and allow students to discuss what Mr. Watts might say to Mr. Carroll. Write their ideas on the board, separating them into "like" and "dislike" columns. Then tell students to write a friendly letter to Mr. Carroll from Mr. Watts' point of view. Tell the students that this assignment has three requirements. The letter should tell whether they like or dislike the poem (1) and give at least two reasons to support that opinion (2). The letter should be written in the proper form, from Mr. Watts to Mr. Carroll, and should contain proper punctuation and spelling (3). Put a simple rubric on the board that shows how points are assigned. You may wish to develop your own rubric with the students or use the following suggestion.
 
 

3 points 

Evidence of all 3 requirements. Letter states whether the writer likes or dislikes the poem "The Crocodile" and gives at least 2 reasons. It is written in proper form with correct spelling and punctuation.

2 points 

Evidence of 2 of the 3 requirements

1 point 

Evidence of 1 of the 3 requirements 

0 points 

No evidence of any of the 3 requirements

Assign partners and have them exchange papers for proofreading purposes. You may wish to put a checklist on the board for students to reference as they read their partner's work. Collect the papers for grading purposes.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - Father William
Note: This lesson should be taught after the lessons on "The Bee" and "The Crocodile."

Objectives
Enjoy the poem.
Answer questions about the poem that:
Recognize the question and answer format of the poem.
Identify the speakers.
Gather evidence of humor.
Participate in a choral reading of the poem (optional).
Write about a favorite stanza from the poem (optional or homework).

Materials
Copy of the poem, "Father William," attached, on chart paper or transparency and for each student
Vocabulary/Questions for each group of four (attached)
Vocabulary/Questions Teacher Sheet (attached)

Suggested Books
Livingston, Myra Cohn, selected by. Poems of Lewis Carroll. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973.
Contains poems from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, as well as several others. One section of the book, "Notes on the Poems," provides valuable insight into the collected poems.

Teacher Background
A biographical sketch of Lewis Carroll is included in the lesson on "The Crocodile." If you decide to use this lesson while you are reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, be sure to use the introductory portion of the Procedure in the lesson on "The Crocodile."

Procedure
Remind the students that they have already learned a little about the author Lewis Carroll. Invite volunteers to recall something about him and his life. Ask the students if they would consider Carroll a serious or a humorous writer (humorous). Ask them to recall the names of other poets and authors who write humorous pieces. (Answers will vary. Nash, Silverstein, Prelutsky, Belloc are a few of the names they would know.)
Tell the students that the poem they will be reading today is one of Lewis Carroll's poems from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, just as "The Crocodile" was. Tell them that the poem is called "Father William" and it is from Chapter 5, "Advice from a Caterpillar."
Remind the students that "The Crocodile" was intended to make fun of the poem "The Bee." Explain that "Father William" makes fun of another poem that was written by a man named Robert Southey. That poem is called "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them."
Divide the class into groups of four, then distribute copies of the poem "Father William" to each student. Give each group a copy of the Vocabulary/Questions. Assign the roles of reader, recorder, speaker and leader to the members of the group. Tell the students that the reader will read the poem aloud to the group; the recorder will write down the group's ideas; the speaker will share those ideas with the class; and the leader will keep the activity moving and call on members of the group to speak.
Tell the students that first the reader should read the poem as group members follow along, then they should use the Vocabulary sheet to find the meanings of unknown words in the poem. Next, they should read the poem again silently. Then they should answer the questions and be prepared to share their answers with the class.
After the class has had several minutes to work on the activity in groups, ask the class to reconvene. Invite the speakers for each of the groups to respond to the questions. Discuss any disputed responses.
Divide the class into two parts and ask one group to be Father William and one group to be his son. Have the students read the poem alternating stanzas and characters. You may wish to pronounce any troublesome words for the students before they begin.
Ask students, if after reading this poem, they have any different opinion of Lewis Carroll. Invite anyone who might have another idea for Father William to share it with the class. For example, could Father William ride a unicycle or a pogo stick; could he walk on stilts; could he hear a coin drop to the floor a block away or hear someone whisper about him?

Activity/Homework
Have students write about their favorite stanza of the poem. Do they like Father William standing on his head, balancing an eel, doing a back somersault, or eating a goose? Have them tell the stanza they like best and why they like it. An illustration of the stanza could also be assigned.

Vocabulary/Questions

incessantly - without stopping (The phone rings incessantly until someone answers it.)
pray - an expression that means "I beg of you"
sage - a wise person
limbs - arms or legs
supple - flexible, easily bent
shilling - a coin that was used in England
suet - fatty part of the meat of beef or sheep
airs - haughtiness ("Don't give yourself airs" - Don't be so snobby! Don't be a show-off!)

Questions
1.Who are the speakers in this poem?

2. The same person speaks in stanzas 1, 3, 5 and 7, while the other person speaks in stanzas 2, 4, 6 and 8. What is different about what they have to say to each other. (Hint: Look at the punctuation at the end of each line.)

3. Can you find four examples of humor in the poem? Who is the person saying the lines that are funny?

4. How are all of the stanzas alike?

Vocabulary/Questions - Teacher Sheet

incessantly - without stopping (The phone rings incessantly until someone answers it.)
pray - an expression that means "I beg of you"
sage - a wise person
limbs - arms or legs
supple - flexible, easily bent
shilling - a coin that was used in England
suet - fatty part of the meat of beef or sheep
airs - haughtiness ("Don't give yourself airs" - Don't be so snobby! Don't be a show-off!)

Questions
1.Who are the speakers in this poem?

Father William his son

2. The same person speaks in stanzas 1, 3, 5 and 7, while the other person speaks in stanzas 2, 4, 6 and 8. What is different about what they have to say to each other. (Hint: Look at the punctuation at the end of each line.)

The son asks questions Father William gives answers

3. Can you find examples of humor in the poem? Who is the person saying the lines that are funny?
Father William
Stanza 2 - says he's sure he has no brain
Stanza 4 - tries to sell the ointment he uses
Stanza 6 - says his jaws got strong by arguing with his wife
Stanza 8 - threatens to kick his son downstairs
Son mentions the following about Father William:
Stanza 1 - says Fr. Wm. stands on his head all the time
Stanza 3 - says Fr. Wm. turned a back somersault
Stanza 5 - says Fr. Wm. ate a goose with bones and beak
Stanza 7 - says Fr. Wm. balanced an eel on the end of his nose

4. How are all of the stanzas alike?
All the stanzas have four lines. All the stanzas have an ABAB rhyme pattern.
 
 

Father William
Lewis Carroll Stanza

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
AAnd your hair has become very white; 1
"And yet you incessantly stand on your head -
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, 2
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
AWhy, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before, 3
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

 "In my youth,"  said the sage, as he shook his gray locks, 4
"I kept all my very limbs supple
By the use of this ointment--one shilling the box--
Allow me to sell you a couple."

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak 5
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law, 6
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose 7
That your eye is as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What makes you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough," 8
Said his father, "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs."
 

Third Grade - Literature - Stories - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Note: This lesson should be taught after the lesson on "The Bee."

Objectives (according to Activities provided)
Enjoy the story.
Identify examples of nonsense in the story.
Evaluate Alice's actions in the story.
List new words and their meanings.
Discuss the convenience of using a dream when telling a story.
Determine favorite and least favorite characters.
Find examples of cause and effect within the story.
Materials
Copy of the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or a selection from it

Suggested Books
Blishen, Edward. Children's Classics to Read Aloud. New York: Kingfisher Books, 1991.
Contains the chapter "Alice Meets a Duchess," a reading that takes approximately fifteen minutes.
Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. New York: Puffin, 1946, 1994.
Contains the wonderfully clever pen and ink drawings of John Tenniel.
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Contains several brief excerpts from the book, a good selection for introducing Alice.
Livingston, Myra Cohn, selected by. Poems of Lewis Carroll. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973.
Contains poems from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, as well as several others. One section of the book, "Notes on the Poems," provides valuable insight into the collected poems.

Websites
http://www.cstone.net/library/alice/aliceinwonderland.html
Site contains the text of the book and some images. Material is copyrighted and may not be republished, however text and images can be downloaded and printed for a class.
Http.//www.arti.es/Disneymania/alice.htm
Images from the 1951 animated film produced by Walt Disney.

Teacher Background
If you decide to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and incorporate the study of the poems "The Crocodile" and "Father William," you may do so, however be sure to complete the lesson on "The Bee" before any others.
Background on Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) is included in the lesson that accompanies "The Crocodile." Use it with this lesson if you choose to read the story prior to the poems.
If you read the Carroll-Tenniel book, be sure to show students the illustrations and the unusual way that the text is written in the mouse tale in Chapter Three. If you decide to have the students do an original illustration of a particular scene be sure to share John Tenniel's interpretation later.

Procedure
Remind the students that Lewis Carroll had an usual way of looking at things. Suggest that we might say that he turned things upside down or looked at them backwards. Tell the students that as you read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, they are to think of themselves as inspectors whose job it is to make things right--to turn them back around, right side up, and forwards. Tell them to keep their ears and eyes open because as they enter Wonderland, they will have a lot to consider.

Eat me - Drink me
In several places in the story, Alice's size is affected by what she has had to eat or drink. Be sure to discuss the foolishness of her actions in eating and drinking unknown things. Point out to students that while Alice does check to make sure "poison" is not written on the bottle, she really doesn't know what it contains.
Have students respond to Alice's changes of size. When Alice shrinks to her minuscule size ask students to think of other literary characters who are tiny. Ask: How did Thumbelina get by being so small? What was Tom Thumb able to do in spite of his short stature?
When Alice towers above everyone else, ask students to compare her problems to those of other giants they may recall (from Jack and the Beanstalk, the Selfish Giant, etc.). Then ask students to consider the adjustments they would have to make if they were suddenly very tall or very small. Pair students and let one partner tell the Tall tale while the other tells the Short tale.

New Words
Keep a running list of new vocabulary encountered in the stories of Alice. Have students make a dictionary of new words. Encourage students to write a short line about each and do an illustration (if possible). You may wish to explore other English words as well.

Just a Dream
Ask the students: Was Alice's adventure only a dream? Why do you think that? Ask them to think of other stories they have read that involve dreams. (Just a Dream by Van Allsburg, The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, etc.) Tell the students a dream provides a convenient way for an author to end a story. Ask them to explain why making what happens in a story be a dream could make an author's work a little easier (uses make-believe, doesn't have to be logical or come to a reasonable conclusion).

Who are You?
Students will meet unusual characters (the Mock Turtle, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the Gryphon, the Duchess, the March Hare, and all the characters in the court of the King and Queen of Hearts to name a few) and hear about their outlandish behaviors. Have students select their favorite character and write a paragraph about him or her. Then have them turn their papers (so that the bottom is now the top) and write a paragraph about their least favorite character in the story.

Cause and Effect
There are many opportunities to examine cause and effect, beginning with Alice's boredom and the adventures that occur when she follows the rabbit. List cause-effect examples on the board as they happen in the story and be sure to show students how the effect of one action can become the cause of another. You may also wish to provide part of the action and ask the students to fill in the missing reaction or cause.

Bibliography
Blishen, Edward. Children's Classics to Read Aloud. New York: Kingfisher Books, 1991. (1-85697-825-7)
Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. New York: Puffin, 1946, 1994. (0-14-036-675-X)
Ferris, Helen, ed. Favorite Poems Old and New. New York: Doubleday, 1957. (0-385-07696-7)
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31257-1)
________. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31260-1)
Livingston, Myra Cohn, selected by. Poems of Lewis Carroll. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973. (0-690-00178-9)

Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. (0-395-65597-8)
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. (0-395-59901-6)
Morris, William and Mary. Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper & Row, 1977, 1988. (0-06-015862-X)
Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.(0-304-34911-9)
Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. (0-06-270133-9)