Children's Literature Online | Project Description | Schedule | Grading Criteria | Resources for Research | EH 228 | Groups | Completed Projects
of Labor |
- To learn how to locate, to synthesize, and to document both
print and online research materials.
- To learn how to create and upload a web page.
- To contribute to the on-going critical conversation about
children's literature by building an online web resource.
- Educated and interested readers of children's literature,
including (but not limited to) students of children's literature,
prospective teachers, and current teachers.
- Components of the Web Page:
- (1) Brief biography of the author (500-700 words), in
the group's own words, with citations (from at least three
sources) and a works cited list. See sample, though longer, of a
biography at <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/purple/biography.html>.
Or view the "biography" sections of the sites at Children's
- (2) A two-part bibliography, in M.L.A. format:
- a bibliography of all works written/illustrated by the author
("primary resources"), listed by genre, and organized by date
- a bibliography of 8-10 selected works about the author and
his/her works ("secondary resources"), annotated with a 1-2
sentence description about each selected work. At least four of
these selected works must be available from and listed as library
- See sample, though longer, of a bibliography at <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/purple/bibliography.html>
or view the "bibliography" sections of the sites at Children's
- (3) Five or six of the following Critical Contexts,
each 400-500 words in length:
- Literary Relations (comparison with another author
writing in similar style or genre)
- Example: Comparison between Crockett Johnson's
presentation of art and the imagination in Harold and the
Purple Crayon and Leo Lionni's in
- History of Literary Production (tracing the production
history of a particular work)
- Examples: Discussion of HarperCollins'
rejection of Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon
before accepting it for publication, as described in the letters
of Ursula Nordstrom. Discussion of adaptations/interpretations of
Harold and the Purple Crayon, such as the animated film
and the board game. Discussion of the translations of Harold
and the Purple Crayon.
- Cultural Connections (using biographical, historical,
and/or cultural information to analyze a particular work)
- Examples: Discussion of Johnson's Harold's
Trip to the Sky (1957) in connection with the rise in
American space exploration in the 1950s. Discussion of how
Johnson's fondness for dogs manifests itself in works such as
The Blue Ribbon Puppies and Terrible Terrifying
- Style of Illustrations/Art (analysis of the visual
presentation of a particular work, including comparison/contrast
with at least one other author-illustrator)
- Example: Comparison between Johnson's minimal,
representational cartoon-style of drawing in A Picture for
Harold's Room and the style of Syd Hoff in Danny and the
- Narrative Style and Structure (analysis of the
narrative form of a particular work)
- Examples: Analysis of Johnson's We Wonder
What Will Walter Be? When He Grows Up as a fable. Analysis of
Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon as a picaresque
- Theme (analysis of a theme, in one work or several
works, by the author)
- Examples: Analysis of gender in Johnson's
Ellen and Harold books and how these characters
challenge traditional gender roles by sharing similar qualities
(imagination, adventure, concern for others). Analysis of the
presence of imaginary companions in Johnson's Ellen and
Harold books and how they represent aspects of the child's
self (Harold's crayon representing the creative self, Ellen's lion
representing the super-ego).
- For more, see the relavent sections of the sites at Children's
- Division of Labor
Each group will have 5-6 students. At the first meeting, the group
will list its top three choices for an author; in the event two or
more groups select the same first choice, the final decision will
be made by a random drawing. Groups members should also exchange
contact information at the first meeting, since you will need to
be in touch with your group outside of class (by phone, email, or
face-to-face meetings) to make sure your project is on schedule.
See the Group Web Project Schedule for
- All group members will contribute their knowledge and
will pool their time and research to complete the "Biography" and
the "Bibliography" outlined above. Each group member will
then research and write a "Critical Context" entry; the group as a
whole will consider which "Critical Contexts" are appropriate for
the selected author and which topic for a given "Critical Context"
would be best, since each "Critical Context" entry contributes to
the quality of the Group Web Project. Your "Critical Context"
entry will bear your name, just as the "Biography" and
"Bibliography" will carry the names of all of your group members.
See the Grading Criteria handout for
I will use a composite grading system for the Group Web Project.
The Group Web Project is worth 25% of your final grade for the
course, so I will calculate individual grades as follows:
Grade assigned for "Biography" and
Grade assigned for your "Critical Context"
Grade assigned for the completed Web
- See the Grading Criteria handout
for more information. Group Web Projects that receive high marks
will become part of the
permanent online web resource.
- Note: If you have questions at any time about the goals
or process for the Group Web Project, please ask! We can speak
before class, after class, during office hours (listed at top of
syllabus) or over email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- List of Authors
(Note: Some authors have more primary or secondary materials than
others, and some authors fall into more than one category. The
genre of the author you choose will direct your group's focus and
- Picture Book Authors
- Margaret Wise Brown
- Wanda G'ag
- Carolivia Herron
- Ann Jonas
- Ruth Krauss
- Jon Scieszka
- William Steig
- Chris Van Allsburg
- David Wiesner
- John Ciardi
- Paul Fleischman
- Langston Hughes
- Randall Jarrell
- Early and Middle-Grade Reader Authors, Novelists
Christopher Paul Curtis
- Astrid Lindgren
- Arnold Lobel
- Tor Seidler
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
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This page was last updated on Wednesday, January 22, 2003.