Alice's School Report - Alice in Australia

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s ' e c i l A t r o p e R School A I L A R T S U A ALICE IN

Super Snappy Mash up your own Alice stories with ESA’s super cool tool

Alice Down Under Welcome to a set of new narratives

been assembled on a super-simple

based on the Inanimate Alice series.

authoring tool Snappy such that

Over 12 brief adventures in Season

students can mash-up the stories with

1: Alice in Australia, we will meet

materials relevant to themselves and

Alice at home in Melbourne and join

their lives. We are hoping that these

her in travels around the country as

new stories and the easy-to-use tool

well as to other countries nearby.

will encourage students of all ages to

For the first time, these stories have

create original stories of their own.

STUART TAIT Program Director Education Services Australia For teachers in Australia the creation of a new set of Alice narratives, set in the land down under, is a very welcome addition to existing material. Students until now have delighted in

Snappy suggests that the prospect of

watching stories about Alice that have

students creating their own ‘remixed’

taken them to countries like China,

stories about Alice in Australia is now

Italy and Russia, but the idea that Alice

tantalisingly within reach. I can’t wait

might have had adventures in our own

to see what students come up with...

backyard gives the whole story new

welcome to Australia, Alice!

relevance for us.


Writer, Inanimate Alice Since the first episode of Inanimate Alice was published online, our readership has continued to grow and change. As the writer behind the project, it’s been a pleasure for me to be able to return to writing stories about Alice and her peripatetic family with this series. In story terms, there’s a two year gap between episodes one (when Alice is 8) and two (when Alice is 10), so writing a series of photo-novella stories that fill that gap has been a great opportunity for me to create new characters and explore new places with Alice.


Vice President of ETAQ When I first saw Episode One of Inanimate Alice a few years ago it blew my mind! I had only just started thinking about multimodal texts and digital stories, and here was a perfect example to share with my students. Since then I have remained an avid fan, watching Alice grow and change in each Episode and encouraging other teachers to delve into the related resources. The Education Pack and Starter Activities have helped a lot of teachers I know to feel more confident approaching a story that is digital, multimodal and interactive – teaching Inanimate Alice has certainly enabled me to develop my expertise in these areas!

Get Snappy at using Snappy

In this magazine our Creative Developer Andy Campbell takes us through a step-by-step approach to mashing up the existing assets and inserting new pictures, words, music and sound effects. Literacy Adviser Bill Boyd provides guidance on how to address learning objectives and get the most from the stories.

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Pretty obvious: Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed Snappy from the website! Before you load the program up, think about what’s going to happen in your Alice story and what pictures and sounds you might need. Visit the Resources section of the website and check out what’s there for inspiration. Create a folder somewhere on your computer and name it Snappy Story. Download some of the Alice photos and sounds that you want to use directly into your new folder.



Nice. Now load up Snappy. You should see a white box like the one below. Click on New Project and give your new Alice adventure a name.

OK. You’ll probably have noticed that on the following screen Snappy is tell you to import your folder containing pictures and sound files. So, go ahead and do just that by clicking on the Import button in the top left corner. Find your folder and click OK.

6 nd files from the top of the Drag any of your photos or sou ce in the middle. screen onto the square blank spa

Make more pages for your story here.

Change Snappy’s page layout, colours and styles here. Or take a photo of yourself with your webcam!

To delete a page, just click on it and press the DELETE key on your keyboard. ttom of your pages. You can add text to the top or bo e and start typing. Just click on Enter some text her


Snappy is amazingly easy to get the hang of - there’s even no need for a save button, it just saves as you go along. Experiment with the layout options on the right hand side to enable more than one picture to be dragged on to each page. When you’re done, click View or Print to share your new Alice adventure.

Once students start mashing They will be creating stories from scratch IN NO TIME


Learning Objectives BILL BOYD

Literacy Adviser

Meeting the needs of Young People and the Curriculum Inanimate Alice is the first digital text to be listed officially as a recommended text in the Australian curriculum guidelines, recognition that by introducing it to the classroom, teachers and their students will be making significant strides towards meeting the literacy aims of the national curriculum. “to develop students’ ability to interpret and


create texts with appropriateness, accuracy, confidence, fluency and efficacy for learning in and out of school, and for participating in

I first discovered the wonderful world of

Australian life more generally.”


Inanimate Alice a couple of years ago, when a teacher in my native Scotland brought it to

my attention. From the minute I saw it I realised the huge potential of this apparently simple tale of a young girl and her journey through life, to provide teachers with a vehicle to transform

Through the characters of Alice and Brad, young learners and their teachers are able to explore and discuss a range of topics, many of them relating to Alice’s personal development, and – by extrapolation – to the

their classrooms.

personal development of the young readers

Being born digital, Alice is the literary hero of

a significant role in producing confident

the age, and I have yet to meet anyone, young or old, who is not able to empathise with Alice

themselves. The journey with Alice can play individuals with a strong sense of citizenship and responsibility.

and the situations she finds herself in. As the co-creator of the starter activities which Kelli refers to earlier in the magazine, I have been privileged to be a member of Alice’s education ‘gang’ for some time now, and I hope that while Alice is in Australia I will be able to share with you some of the ways in which you might use the text to develop the literacy skills of your young learners.

get “Don’t for ut Bill’s to check o activities suggested One for Story site!” on the Web

“Texts chosen include media texts, everyday texts and workplace texts from increasingly complex and unfamiliar settings, ranging from the everyday language of personal experience to more abstract, specialised and technical language, including the language of schooling and academic study.” Inanimate Alice is precisely the kind of ‘media text’ which young people will be interacting with in their own lives, and as

in increasingly complex ways, allowing the

teachers we have a responsibility to make

young learner to develop in a progressive

sure they understand how these texts are

manner along with Alice herself as she

created and how the interaction of the

becomes more sophisticated and discerning.

various elements of the story combine to

New vocabulary is introduced when

convey particular messages. The Snappy

appropriate, which enables the young reader

tool which Andy explains on the previous

to build a word bank for use in his or her own

page will provide teachers and students with


the means to develop their own creative skills as they produce new versions of Alice’s

“This means that print and digital contexts

story in their own settings.

are included, and that listening, viewing, reading, speaking, writing and creating are all

“Students learn to adapt language to meet

developed systematically and concurrently.”

the demands of more general or more specialised purposes, audiences and

I have yet to find a better text than Inanimate

contexts. They learn about the different

Alice for providing the context within which all

ways in which knowledge and opinion are

these skills can be developed simultaneously.

represented and developed in texts, and

Whether they are reading the text, discussing

about how more or less abstraction and

the use of sound, learning new language

complexity can be shown through language

skills or planning their own episodes, young

and through multimodal representations.”

readers will want to be part of Alice’s ‘gang’ too. What better starting point for teachers is

A close reading of the text of Inanimate

there than that!

Alice shows that it combines formal and informal language, dialogue and description,

*all extracts taken from ‘Literacy: expanding the repertoire of English usage’ ACARA

Whenever she sees me, she sighs,

Mum promises we'll stay with Aunt Xui Li for two days only before we travel with Dad to Indonesia,





and says she wishes I was more Chinese





but I'm not so keen on that either. My mum doesn't like heights so when we're there she mostly sits in the kitchen,

Aunt Xui Li lives on the forty-first floor in an apartment made of windows

but I like to press myself against the glass and pretend I'm flying across the city...

l! f Stee Dog o


superdog Tilly beside me.

Aunt Xui Li has given me a cheongsam:

‘Authentic,’ she says, ‘from the 1920s’.

They settle down to watch tv.

When I put it on my mum and my auntie get all excited,

but it's tight and scratchy and it makes me want to roll in the dirt with Tilly. I take it off as soon as they aren't looking.

Brad wants me to write him a new story

Brad gets on his skateboard and travels to Indonesia.


I sit on the sofa with my player.

so I try to think of one.

And his dad misses him a lot.

His dad's friend, Adhi, drowned in the tsunami.

He hasn't been there since he was little.

Instead, Brad says he's going to teach all the kids in Adhi's village how to skateboard,

but before he can do that...

Mum calls me and says I need to get ready to go out for dinner...

...and that I have to wear my new scratchy itchy cheongsam.

So, before I put it back on...

The little English porcelain figurine dances out onto the runway...

I take one last flight around the flat and across the city.

and before I can stop –


How can I make it up to Aunt Xui Li?

a trillion billion pieces.

Not even Tilly the Superdog can help me this time.

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