|Group Web Project Description:
Goals | Audience | Components | Division of Labor | Grading
* 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 Literature Online.
(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 (oldest first).
* 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 print materials.
* 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 Literature Online.
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(3) Five or six (depending on the number of group members) 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 Frederick. Comparison between the versions of "Cinderella" written by Charles Perrault and the Grimm Brothers.
Translations, Adaptations, Process (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. Discussion of the different versions of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, including changes in her words and different illustrations.
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 Toby. Discussion of the Civil Rights era and "Black Power" as reflected in Zeely. Discussion of Beverly Cleary's desire to write books about her own experience rather than of Victorian children's stories settings. Discussion of historical context of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
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 Dinosaur. Application of Molly Bang's theories of design to a selected text. Connect to another, similar text.
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 narrative. Analysis of the unusual plot structure of Julie of the Wolves. Why does the book begin in the middle of the story? Analysis of importance of plot changes in two versions of the same fairy tale. Analysis of tension between realistic and romantic techniques in The Great Gilly Hopkins.
Theme (analysis of a theme, in one work or several works, by the author)
Examples: Analysis of coming-of-age issues in Zeely or many of the books we've read. What it takes to survive in Hatchet or Julie of the Wolves. 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 relevant sections of the sites at Children's Literature Online.
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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 .
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 more details.
I will use a composite grading system for the Group Web Project. The Group Web Project is worth 30% of your final grade for the course, so I will calculate individual grades as follows:
Grade assigned for "Biography" and "Bibliography" (Group grade): 10%
Grade assigned for your "Critical Context" entry (Individual grade): 15%
Grade assigned for the completed Web Project (Group Grade + Individual grade): 5%
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.
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Copyright © 2001-02 Karin Westman, Philip Nel, and Naomi Wood.
- This page was last updated Sunday, May 23, 2004
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