Children's Literature Digital Resources: Stimulating Imaginative Responses to Literature

By Dicinoski, Michelle; Allan, Cherie et al. | Practically Primary, June 2011 | Go to article overview

Children's Literature Digital Resources: Stimulating Imaginative Responses to Literature


Dicinoski, Michelle, Allan, Cherie, Cross, Amy, Practically Primary


'Books can offer young people a window to new, unfamiliar territory--a country or culture they have never been to or a mirror in which they see themselves and their own world.' (Hateley, 2011)

As is evident from the National Curriculum's renewed emphasis on literature, traditional books remain important even in a digital age. Books actively engage the imagination, encouraging children to create their own images, ill in textual gaps, try out new identities and consider different ways of looking at familiar scenarios. This paper sets out to demonstrate how digital technologies can work with literature to bring the past into the present.

Literature is a source of enjoyment for its readers, and can stimulate imaginative and thoughtful responses in the classroom. Consequently, we, a team of researchers at the Queensland University of Technology, would like to introduce teachers and teacher librarians to a full-text database of early Australian children's texts which has the potential to enliven your classroom reading activities.

One of the exciting possibilities that the digital age provides is the digitisation of old, rare, or outof-print books that might otherwise be difficult to access. Excited by the possibility of digitising Australian children's literature, we have spent the last three years selecting, locating, and digitising early Australian children's texts.

The result of our research, the Children's Literature Digital Resources (CLDR) project, is a digital literature resource that will benefit teachers, students, researchers, and scholars of Australian literature for many years to come. Accessed online, the CLDR contains over 500 children's literary texts that were first published between 1851 and 1945. The works cover a range of genres, and include novels, poetry, fairy tales, and pictures books.

The possibilities offered by the CLDR are vast. All of the works are key-word searchable; you can search across the CLDR corpus, and uncover thematic links and other connections between texts. The CLDR also contains scholarly articles about the primary texts which examine issues such as representations of indigenous Australians, and constructions of national identity and gender.

Additionally, to make the resource even more useful for teachers and librarians, it will include a number of distinct teaching resources called Learning Trails. These Learning Trails will provide suggestions for teachers for combining CLDR texts with thematically linked contemporary texts in ways that address core curriculum areas. The first trail will focus on Australia's engagement with war. The guiding premise behind the composition of these trails is that teachers would most likely use the CLDR texts in conjunction with contemporary texts as well as various web-based resources. The following examples and images from the CLDR demonstrate some of this potential for the classroom.

Old Texts, New Contexts

All of the works in the CLDR were irst published between 1851 and 1945. Because of their age, the works show us a glimpse of Australian lives and preoccupations of the past, and can help us to contextualise some of our contemporary concerns. As the works are digitised, readers can access, read, and search these 19th and 20th century texts in an entirely 21st century way.

Some of the books tell unusual stories, like The Demon McGuire (1870), which tells the tale, in verse and pictures, of a huge demon who terrorises early Sydney:

   With hair dripping brimstone, with eyes flashing fire
   His mother a whirlwind, an earthquake his sire!
   His smallest incisor's thrice bigger than you
   And 400 feet is the length of his shoe!

Some books talk frankly about war, from the perspective of the children of soldiers, or try to encourage patriotic feelings in young readers. Unk White's The Aussies are Here (1943) contains characters who are, essentially, Australian soldiers in the guise of native animals.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Children's Literature Digital Resources: Stimulating Imaginative Responses to Literature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.