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Wonderland learning resource

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Wonderland offers learners the opportunity to explore a rich literary text across multiple curriculum areas. Engage with evocative storytelling, creative filmmaking and innovative technologies. The more curious you are, the more you discover.

Wonderland activities

This 1903 film was the first film adaptation of Lewis Carrol's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and was memorable for its use of special effects, something you didn't see in a lot of films back then.

Watch Alice in Wonderland (Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow 1903).

- List all of the special effects you see.

- How do you think the filmmakers used the camera to make these special effects?

- Can you make the same effects using only a camera and tripod? How might you go about it?

Alice (1988) Dir Jan Švankmajer_Czechoslovakia

The image above shows the character of Alice in the famous Hallway of Doors from a 1988 film adaptation called Alice.

Create your own Hallway of Doors or Rabbit Hole by drawing a one-point perspective drawing. 

You can check out this great example or watch this how-to video to help get you started.

Read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a class. You can find a digital version of Lewis Carroll's 1895 book online here.

Some strange things happen to Alice in the book; she is forever growing and shrinking. 

Write a short story about growing enormous or becoming really small.  What problems does your character encounter, and how do they get back to their original size? 

Alice (1988) Dir Jan Švankmajer_Czechoslovakia_Rabbit 2

Choose a chapter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as inspiration for a film or animation, then design your sets and characters through illustrations.

After you've sketched your sets and characters,  plan a storyboard for your Wonderland scene. A storyboard contains sketches of what all the camera shots for a film scene will look like and show. You can learn about creating storyboards here.

Alice (1988) Dir Jan Švankmajer_Czechoslovakia

In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice grows and shrinks. To make a character appear either big or small in a film or in a photo, you can use a trick called forced perspective.

Take a photo of a friend that makes them appear either giant or tiny.  To create the illusion, think about where you place the camera and what is in the frame.

Here are some great examples of forced perspective photos for inspiration.

The Lost Map of Wonderland activities

After visiting Wonderland at ACMI, make sure you hang onto your Lost Map of Wonderland so you can complete the following activities. You'll find a special key code on your map that will unlock online materials.

A Letter to Lewis Carroll

Read the letter from Lewis Carroll inside the Lost Map of Wonderland. Can you understand it?  It is a rebus letter. A rebus letter replaces words with pictures and symbols.

Write your own rebus letter addressed to Lewis Carroll. Tell him about your visit to Wonderland.   

The Lost Map of Wonderland

Use a mirror to read the riddle around the edge of the Lost Map of Wonderland. Can you solve the riddle?  

Write your own secret riddle and have a friend solve it.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Visit wonderland.acmi.net.au  

Enter your special key code from your map to discover more magic of Wonderland.

Hallway of Doors

Find the original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.  Can you believe Lewis Carroll created this book entirely by hand!

Write and illustrate your own short book, and think about what you should illustrate, and what you should leave to your reader's imagination.

Pool of Tears

View the Magic Lantern Slides from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Choose a slide to inspire your own creation. Think about colour, line and layout. What will you add to make your slide original?

A Mad Tea Party

Find the Utah Teapot Why is it so famous?  Who made it famous? 

Alice Au Pays De Merveilles_1949_Dir Dallas Bower_… Lou Bunin