After a term immersed in the book Alice in Wonderland, Years 3 and 4 students at St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary Arncliffe held a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to celebrate the culmination of their work.
The students also took part in an Alice in Wonderland character parade, donning costumes and hats and becoming the Mad Hatter, Jack Pot, Hattie Batty, Uncle Cosgrove, Woolstein, King of the Dragons, Orange Man, Front to Back Alice and many more. As they walked the red carpet their teachers recited the character description each student had written and everyone imagined the impossible – that actor Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice in the movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass would make an appearance at the event.
While the impossible did not come true that morning as Mia was in Japan, the students were excited to receive a signed Alice Through the Looking Glass poster from her thanking them for their invitation and saying she really wished she could come but unfortunately she had to ‘go through the looking glass again’.
We have … been inspired by the idea that anything is possible and that we can all be creative spirits.
Year 4 teachers’ Maria Egan and Marisa Casaceli and Year 3 teacher Dianne Wells, said as part of their study of Alice in Wonderland, the students had embraced one of the book’s themes – ‘believing in the impossible’ – and writing to Mia to see if she could attend was part of that positive attitude.
It was also one of many creative tasks the students did as part of their study of the book, which had a particular focus on writing skills. “If we want the children to write they need time to develop their stories,” said Dianne Wells.
“So each piece of writing they did individually and as a class involved many drafts and editing till they were happy with the final product. We also had a focus on feedback with each student having time with a teacher to review their character study and with other students to peer edit.”
Miss Wells said the students had so much fun with their learning and their parents had commented on how enthusiastic they’d been with the various tasks and activities.
Year 3 student Catherine Smith said her favourite things about learning about Alice in Wonderland have been making her hat, writing stories and letting her imagination run wild.
Year 4 student Sarah Dewberry said she enjoyed spending a lot of time with the writing and being able to go through a number of drafts and edits working on her character study and the class letters to Mia Wasikowska and to the St George and Sutherland Leader.
After the character parade the students gathered on the red carpet to dance to Just Like Fire, the theme song of the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass, which each class has been playing at the start of the school day, and connected to their study of Pentecost in Religious Education and a Science unit on heat.
Then it was time for their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with homemade cakes, slices and biscuits made by the parents including a teapot cake. As they sat around the table the children took on the role of their Alice in Wonderland character and had conversations as Alice, the white rabbit, the Cheshire cat, the march hare and the king of hearts. They also took part in Readers’ Theatre where they acted out their characters and played chess with enormous pieces just like in the book.
“We have lived and breathed Alice in Wonderland,” said Miss Wells, “and been inspired by the idea that anything is possible and that we can all be creative spirits whether that’s as writers, plumbers, nurses, teachers or doctors!”