We’ve reached the final meeting of the term – so how to finish off another year in Book for Breakfast? In our previous meeting we looked at the different kinds of poetry in Alice in Wonderland, including a verse that appears in the shape of a mouse’s tale, a nonsense poem and a parody of a well-known verse of the time.
A parody is a humorous imitation of a song or poem, and the group could think of various examples of current artists who make very popular parodies, including TryHardNinja and his Minecraft parody of Revenge.
In fact, many of the poems in Alice are parodies. Most are based on verses we no longer know well, but one was certainly familiar:
Twinkle, twinkle little bat, how I wonder what you’re at
Up above the world so high, like a tea tray in the sky
We read out You are old, Father William, which is one such parody, and tried to work out what made it funny. We found comical ideas such as the old man standing on his head incessantly, or turning a somersault in at the door. There was also perfect rhythm and meter, some alliteration (the goose with the bones and the beak), and the fact that in the end the father threatens to kick the son down the stairs.
For our final meeting then, what would be a good activity? Why, a debate of course! Firstly, Rebecca read out the court scene from the end of Alice, in which the knave of hearts is on trial, and Alice is called as a witness. It ends with all the cards flying up into the air, and Alice waking up on the river bank.
Meanwhile, the group were thinking of potential debate topics, arriving at four which we voted on using the patent ‘Cadbury’s method’ in which you place a mini-roll (or in this case a chocolate finger) onto your preferred choice. The potential motions were:
- footballers are paid too much
- there should be no school on Fridays
- advertisements are harmful
- wrestling is too violent
The group quickly divided into the proposition team, the opposition team, the chair, the timekeeper and the court photographer.
Both teams had good arguments, including that you would have more time with your family and would be better rested (for the proposition) and that it would be expensive for parents who had to work, and that you would miss Friday fish and chips for school lunch (for the opposition).
As usual we had a very structured debate and it was great that everyone knew the format and how to raise a point of information.
The meeting came to a close before we had time for a final decision on who had won – so it will have to be declared a draw. Will you all still come to school on a Friday? I hope so.
It has been enormous fun being part of Book for Breakfast and I (Rebecca) am stepping down now because I’m taking on a new role at our secondary school, Banbury Academy. I hope to stay in touch with you all as you continue your brilliant school careers!