Group Web Project

Children's Literature Online | Project Description | Schedule | Grading Criteria | Resources for Research | EH 228 | Groups | 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 (from at least three sources) and a works cited list. See sample, though longer, of a biography at <>. Or view the "biography" sections of the sites at Children's Literature Online.
(2) A two-part bibliography, in M.L.A. format:
(3) Five or six of the following Critical Contexts, each 400-500 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).
For more, see the relavent sections of the sites at Children's Literature Online.
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 Grading Criteria handout for more details.

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 "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 (listed at top of syllabus) or over email, at
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
Sandra Boynton
Margaret Wise Brown
Wanda G'ag
Carolivia Herron
Ann Jonas
Ruth Krauss
David Macaulay
Christopher Myers
Allen Say
Jon Scieszka
Maurice Sendak
Dr. Seuss
William Steig
Chris Van Allsburg
David Wiesner
John Ciardi
Paul Fleischman
Langston Hughes
Randall Jarrell
Edward Lear
Early and Middle-Grade Reader Authors, Novelists
Lewis Carroll
Andrew Clements
Christopher Paul Curtis
Roald Dahl
Astrid Lindgren
Arnold Lobel
Patricia MacLachlan  
Tor Seidler  
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Children's Literature Online | Web Project Description | Schedule | Grading Criteria | Resources for Research | EH 228 | Groups | Completed Projects

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, January 22, 2003.