Alice in Wonderland
About the Book
Text Type: Classic fiction
Page Count: 22
Word Count: 1,625
In this excerpt from the much-loved children's novel, Alice finally catches up with the White Rabbit, whom she had chased down the rabbit hole. But the Rabbit surprises her by sending her to his house on an errand. Unfortunately, once she's there, Alice can't help taking a sip of another mysterious potion, and she grows until she fills the house. How will she get out?
About the Lesson
Targeted Reading Strategy
- Make text-to-text connections
- Identify and describe story elements
- Identify prepositional phrases
- Identify multiple-meanings words
- Work with content words
- Book - Alice in Wonderland (copy for each student)
- Chalkboard or dry-erase board
- Story Elements, Prepositional Phrases, Multiple Meaning Words, Content Words worksheets
- Word journal (optional)
Indicates an opportunity to use the book interactively (all activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are not consumable)
- Content words: errand, fetch, master, pattering, resort
- Involve students in a retelling of the story of Alice in Wonderland. If one is available, show students a simple picture book version of the story to prompt the retelling. Students may have seen a movie of the Alice story and can use that to draw on as they retell the story.
Preview the Book
Introduce the Strategy: Make text-to-text connections
- Give students a copy of the book and have them preview the front and back covers and read the title. Have students make a prediction about what might be happening in the picture. Have students compare the illustration to what they know about the story of Alice.
- Have students preview the book by looking at the illustrations up to page 16. Have students predict what is happening in the story. Then ask them to predict how the book will end. Have them draw on their previous experience with the story to make their prediction.
- Think aloud: I can use what I already know from reading other books about Alice to help me make predictions about this story and its characters. I know that Alice usually encounters some very confusing, and sometimes mean, characters in her adventures. I know that a good reader always tries to make connections to what he or she already knows.
Introduce the Vocabulary
- Remind students of the strategies they can use to work out words they dont know. For example, they can use what they know about letter and sound correspondences to figure out the word. They can look for base words, prefixes, and suffixes. They can use the context to work out meanings of unfamiliar words.
- Model how to apply word-attack strategies. Point out the word took on page 5. Have students follow along as you read the sentence in which it is found. Explain that this is a familiar word but it is used in a way that might not be familiar to them. Read the previous page with them to build context and then have them try to use the context to work out the meaning. Also point out that the word took is part of the word mistook, and that the two words are close in meaning.
- Tell students that this story was written some years ago and that some of the words may sound old-fashioned. The author was English, and many of the words are more common in England than in the United States. Encourage students to use the context to work out any words that sound strange or are unfamiliar to them.
- For additional teaching tips on word-attack strategies, click here.
Set the Purpose
- Have students read the book to see how this story of Alice compares with the version they know.
- Guide the reading: Have students read through page 8. Tell them they should go back and reread the pages if they finish before everyone else.
- When they have finished reading, ask students how the story compares so far with the version they know. Ask whether knowing about Alice and what happens to her helps them understand this version of the story.
- Ask students to point out any vocabulary that is not commonly used or familiar to them. They may suggest words and phrases such as alas, I do wish, what will become of me.
- Tell students to read the rest of the book, keeping in mind what they know about Alice and her adventures.
Tell students to make a small question mark in their books beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.
Reflect on Reading Strategies
- Ask students what words they marked in their books. Use this opportunity to model how they could read these words by looking at the structure of the words and context clues. Have them point out any old-fashioned use of the language or English dialect that they found.
- Discuss how connecting the text they are reading with past knowledge and experience of other texts helps them better understand the characters and the plot.
Comprehension: Identify and describe story elements
- Model: Review with students the features of narratives: characters, setting, problem (conflict) and solution, and plot.
- Check for understanding: Use a familiar story that all students have read or heard and have them orally tell you the story elements.
- Discussion: Ask students to retell this excerpt from Alice in Wonderland, listing the main events in the plot. Discuss the problem that Alice had.
- Independent practice: Give students the Story Elements worksheet. Have students record the story elements on the worksheet. When they are finished, discuss the features. Have them return to the book to justify their ideas about the characters, setting, problem and solution, and plot.
- Extend the discussion:
Instruct students to use the last page of their book to write what they think might happen to Alice next.
Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage: Identify prepositional phrases
- Call attention to the way the writer uses words to describe the action of the story. Have students note the phrases that tell where or in what direction actions take place. Point out sentences such as She ran off at once in the direction he pointed; She went in without knocking and hurried upstairs; By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table by the window.
- Explain that prepositional phrases can modify verbs to tell where or in what direction the action takes place. Point out the prepositional phrases in the examples above: in the direction he pointed, upstairs, into a tidy little room.
- Have students work in pairs. Assign several pages to each pair. Have pairs find examples of what they think are prepositional phrases that place the action. Have them share the phrases they find.
- Have students practice identifying prepositional phrases on the Prepositional Phrases worksheet.
Vocabulary: Identify multiple-meaning words
- Point out the word mind on page 13. Ask students to read the sentence in which it is found. Have them use the context to figure out the word. Ask what is happening at this point in the story and what the speaker is trying to say to Bill. Lead students to understand that the meaning of mind in this context is "look out" or "watch out for." Have students tell you another meaning of the word mind.
- Repeat with the word fancy, also on page 13.
- Have students complete the Multiple Meaning Words worksheet. Have them share their definitions when they are finished.
Vocabulary: Work with content words
- Give students the Content Words worksheet and have them use the context to fill in the blanks with a word that makes sense and means the same as the word in the story.
- Allow students to read their books independently or with a partner. Partners can take turns reading in the book.
- Give students their books to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.
Expand the Reading
- Have students rewrite the story of Alice giving it a modern twist. Have them use words and expressions that are commonly used today.
Monitor students to determine if they can:
- identify story elements.
- identify action verbs and the adverbs that modify them.
- use context clues to figure out missing words in sentences.
- create sentences to demonstrate the different meanings of words.