Beyond IQ

Animals in Alice in Wonderland

  • 22 Jan 2020
  • 11 Mar 2020
  • 8 sessions
  • 22 Jan 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 29 Jan 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 05 Feb 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 12 Feb 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 19 Feb 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 26 Feb 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 04 Mar 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EST)
  • 11 Mar 2020, 4:00 PM 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • online
  • 10


  • Ages 7-12
  • Ages 7-12

    Student's family must be a member of GHF, MAGE, NHAGE, or SENG to get this discounted price.

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Instructor: Maria Johnson

This is intended as a fun course to teach children the basics of reading a text closely through studying animals in Alice in Wonderland.

Since the book is not very long, we will read the entire thing. Each week we will tackle another three chapters. Our approaches for analyzing the text will vary. Sometimes, we will read together and make observations; other times, we will form a comparison using the Disney animated movie and original book. Our goal is not to make one definitive thesis about animals, but rather to make a first foray into literary analysis using a fun topic.

Recommended ages: 7-12

Course Outline:

       Chapters 1-3

       How is Carroll preparing us to read the story?

       What kind of child are we following throughout the story?

       How does the White Rabbit compare with Alice?

       How does the book White Rabbit compare with the Disney one?

       Chapters 4-6

       Which animals are human-like? Which animals are not even animal-like?

       Why is there such a variety of animals, who are outside of our earthly zoo, in the book?

       What is unique about the caterpillar?

       How is the caterpillar similar or dissimilar to a human?

       How does the caterpillar compare between the book and the Disney movie?

       Chapters 7-9

       Are the card-people men or animals?

       Few animals are inside the Queen of Heart’s court. Does that mean animals are considered wild?

       Are the animals inside the court only ever dumb?

       Alice makes friends throughout the story. Why do they always talk?

       Does ability to think mean ability to talk?

       Chapters 10-12

       What role do Gryphon and the Mock Turtle play?

       Does Alice belong in wonderland?

       What kind of animals populate the jury box?

       How do the animals change as Alice begins to wake up at the end of the story?

Final Assignment:

We will have one assignment due at the end of term. Students may choose from the following


       Write your own story which includes animals.

       Use some of the quirky characteristics of Carroll’s animals.

       Minimum -  500 words


       Create your own comic strip using the animals from Alice in Wonderland.

       Write about what makes Tenniel’s illustrations unusual.

       Explanation minimum - 250 words.


       Explain the significance of one of the animals in shaping the story..

       Minimum - 500 words.

Required Texts:

Alice in Wonderland - Link


Our class is structured as a discussion. Questions fuel our class. Therefore, participation on the part of the student is very important. I want to hear the student’s thoughts and opinions. That said, I do not need the “perfect” answer. You cannot edit a blank page, nor can you strengthen a silent response. I hope the student will feel comfortable to share without worrying about their grade or my opinion of them. If the student does not feel comfortable speaking in class, there will be a document open where they can write. This document will be open in between classes if the student wants to reflect and contribute later. I count participation because I want the student’s voices to make up our discussions.


For the lecture itself, we will use Zoom. Class communication, discussion, and homework will be done through Google Drive.


Students should always do their own work. Cheating and copying are not allowed.


Students’ age, experience, and limitations will be taken into consideration and potentially accommodated for. Let me know if assistance is needed.

The instructor reserves the right to change this syllabus at any time. Students and parents will be informed of these changes by email and/or in class.

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