Along With Alice


We meet nine Tuesdays to go on one of literature's most imaginative, hilarious and outrageous trips: down the rabbit hole, along with Alice into Wonderland. We will revel in the madness and marvel at the methods of author, Lewis Carroll. 

Every writer is world creator. Fantasy writers create fantastical worlds. If ever a piece of literature decried and defied seriousness and study, it is perhaps the whimsical Alice in Wonderland. Yet even in the reality of a rabbit hole there are rules and laws, an order and design. Young writers glean much from our excursion equipped with magnifying glass to study the architecture of a perfectly zany world.

We will focus on one of literature's most famous females, young Alice. We will note how Carroll creates his cast of characters -- including, a tardy bunny, a grinning kitty, a soporific mouse and a dangerous queen. We will note how he employs special language -- rhyme, verse, song, pun -- to set the tone for his strange tale. 

Words are to a writer what colors are to a painter. The richer the palette, the more vivid the picture. Each week students gain about ten new words. We discuss the definition of the word, note how Carroll uses it, then students create sentences of their own and practice using these words. 

By speaking and writing sentences, students gain confidence in the currency of what I call Silver Dollar words, (others call them SAT words). Words, like Abide, Absurd, Accustom, Advise, Adjourn, Assemble, Attend, Audible, Avail, Bonkers, Cauldron, Chrysalis, Civil, Contempt, Coax, Commotion, Conduct, Consult, Denial, Despair, Dispute, Edict, Execute, Feeble, Fluster, Grave, Graze, Humble, Hoarse, Immense, Imperious, Impertinent, Incessant, Incline, Insolence. Languid, Latitude, Leisure, Livery, Longitude, Melancholy, Moderate, Mournful, Ply, Pretense, Pretext, Proceed, Prosecute, Remedy, Resource, Savage, Sage, Severe, Stern,  Solemn, Subdued,  Submit, Sulky, Supple, Trample, Usurp, Vain, Venture -- among many others. Alice in Wonderland is studded with Silver Dollar words.  Through reading this great book, students will learn as many as 100 SAT words. 

Along With Alice is lively and accomplishes many things.  Students write by hand, in notebooks which I provide. (Along With Alice is a screen-free zone.) Each week, students model chosen sentences of Carroll. They will also  compose stories of their own stories, and people them with creatures cut from the fabric of their own imagination. 

There will be pizza! Towards the end of each session, while students write, I will put a home-made pizza into the oven. As we munch on a warm slice, students will share their written work. 

We have a wonderful time: reading, writing and learning. During such meetings I have been so happy to hear students exclaim: "I love this book!" Even more fantastic: "I want to write!  When can we write?!" I love literature. I love to write. I am dedicated to helping students become sophisticated and appreciative readers, articulate and insightful responders, and to encourage their own fluency in writing. This is what we do in Along with Alice.  Join us!

Sign up with a friend. Or, come and make new ones. 

  • Nine Tuesdays, 2 hour sessions, starting @ 4:30
  • Tuesday, April 4 - Tuesday May 30.
  • $800.00
  • Enrollment is extremely limited. My house is small. 
  • Larchmont Village