Group Web Project
(Completed projects accepted for Children's Literature Online.)
Project Description | Schedule | Grading Criteria |
Resources for Research | Completed Projects
Project Description
Goals | Audience | Components | Division of Labor | Grading | List of Authors

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 and a works cited list.
(2) A two-part bibliography, in M.L.A. format:
(3) Five or six of the following Critical Contexts, each 250-300 words in length:
Example: Comparison between Crockett Johnson's presentation of art and the imagination in Harold and the Purple Crayon and Leo Lionni's in Frederick.
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.
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 Toby.
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 Dinosaur.
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 narrative.
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).
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 more information.
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 handout "Grading Criteria and Schedule for Group Web Project" for more details.

I will use a composite grading system for the Group Web Project. The Group Web Project is worth 20% of your final grade for the course, so I will calculate individual grades as follows:
 Grade assigned for "Biography" and "Bibliography"
 Grade assigned for your "Critical Context" entry
 Grade assigned for the completed Web Project
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 (T, W, R, 8:30-9:30 am), or over email (
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 research.)
Picture Book Authors
Molly Bang
Margaret Wise Brown
Ann Jonas
Ruth Krauss
Leo Lionni
David Macaulay
Christopher Meyers
Peggy Rathmann
Faith Ringgold
Allen Say
Jon Scieszka
Maurice Sendak
Dr. Seuss
Chris Van Allsburg
David Wiesner

Randall Jarrell
Edward Lear
Shel Silverstein
Early and Middle-Grade Reader Authors
Andrew Clements
Arnold Lobel
Patricia MacLachlan  
Lewis Carroll
L.M. Montgomery
Christopher Paul Curtis
Tor Seidler
J.K. Rowling
View the Schedule | View Grading Criteria | View Research Resources |
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Last updated 29 June 2001
This page is © 2001 by Karin E. Westman.