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Old 25.03.2011, 08:17
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

There are lots and lots of books on the subject of fairy tales and nursery rhymes; it isn't exactly an "unstudied" area. Part of the Matura-Arbeit is learning about and doing the research. Obviously, the internet shouldn't be the main reference source but it can be an excellent source of reference materials. The Wiki-page on fairy tales has sources for the different ideas and theories on fairy tales down at the bottom of the page. Doing the research means going beyond a few general reference books at the local library. The Zentralbibliothek in Zürich would be a good place to start. One quick search on "fairy tales" came up with over 500 books.

One thing she might want to look at is the development of fairy tales over time: the origins of Cinderella and how and why it has been re-interpreted, for example.
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:22
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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Thanks caz,

Only thing is that she shouldn't use inernet sites as her primary source. And since there aren't alot of books on that she dropped the idea.

The Maturaarbeit should be at least 20 pages long and she has to work on it till next november.
Quite the contrary Pink Pompom, Caz has come up with an awesome project! There are many sources and books, easily enough to write a 100 000 word phd thesis. Title could be History and Etymology of Nursery Rhymes: England 1650-1950 or something like that.

The internet is an incredible resource of information to help shape the inquiry, the school is right - internet website should not be used as primary sources, but if you haven't yet read every word on your subject online, you haven't done the job yet. A project like this is 95% reading, 5% writing, so get to it!

Also, find a thesis or project that's been done before and copy the references to find out what to read.

Here, I've found one for you http://www.scribd.com/doc/2379669/A-...-Green-Percy-B
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:24
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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fair enough - there are quite a few books out there decoding phrases and nursery rhymes - are you allowed to source books from places other than the library - will they order books in for her if she asks?

the primary source will always be the rhymes themselves surely?

caz
She is allowed to source books from outside too and if they think its worthwhile they may order it for her.
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:28
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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There are lots and lots of books on the subject of fairy tales and nursery rhymes; it isn't exactly an "unstudied" area. Part of the Matura-Arbeit is learning about and doing the research. Obviously, the internet shouldn't be the main reference source but it can be an excellent source of reference materials. The Wiki-page on fairy tales has sources for the different ideas and theories on fairy tales down at the bottom of the page. Doing the research means going beyond a few general reference books at the local library. The Zentralbibliothek in Zürich would be a good place to start. One quick search on "fairy tales" came up with over 500 books.

One thing she might want to look at is the development of fairy tales over time: the origins of Cinderella and how and why it has been re-interpreted, for example.
Hi There

You are right about the Zentral Bibliothek. They took them there last month and thats when she bought about five books for refering on this topic. There is surely a lot of matrial out there.

I hope something really clicks for her.

Thanks for your input.

Have a good day.
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:34
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

Scary 1970s British TV program centred on nursery rhymes.

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Old 25.03.2011, 08:47
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

By reading this through, I may already be too late, as choices may already have been made, but progressing on from the nursery rhymes theme, the following thoughts came to mind:

- Aesop's Fables - stories with a moral, with many sayings being in common use today;
- Proverbs (non-biblical), and their origins;
- Uncle Remus Br'er Rabbit books - also sometimes containing a message.

I don't know if the above can all be utilised within a single theme?
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:49
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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By reading this through, I may already be too late, as choices may already have been made, but progressing on from the nursery rhymes theme, the following thoughts came to mind:

- Aesop's Fables - stories with a moral, with many sayings being in common use today;
- Proverbs (non-biblical), and their origins;
- Uncle Remus Br'er Rabbit books - also sometimes containing a message.

I don't know if the above can all be utilised within a single theme?
Yes, excellent! Also an exploration could be to do a basic chart of "moral or etiquette norms" in a particular class over 300 years or so and then a parallel chart of those same norms in nursery rhymes and see which was the leading indicator and why.
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Old 25.03.2011, 08:52
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

Hi All

My daughter would like to thank all of you for your great feedback and ideas. She may after all go back again to the nursery ryhme theme. She leaves for school in another 15 minutes and will have a meeting with her mentor. Now I am sure that she has a lot to discuss.

Thanks again and have a good day.

From a quite satisfied mother .
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Old 25.03.2011, 09:15
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

As I understand it, from my son's Maturaarbeit, the idea is to frame a question on the chosen subject, and then seek to provide an answer. (His subject was "what's the best strategy to use, to maximise the chance of winning the card game Durak".)

C.S. Lewis wrote a few essays on fairy tales, which would be worth digging out.
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Old 25.03.2011, 10:08
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Re: Need help urgently

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Harry Potter is the ultimate favourite for her and than she has read Pery Jackson and so many other stuff. She is a big Bookworm and hence the interest in writing and languages.
cool. that's a good starting point

She could consider writing about magic as a device in literature, with especially a focus on fairy tales. It might be a tad on the tough side for her age, but if she's feeling adventurous there is an essay by Tolkien called "On fairy stories" in which he analyses what a fairy tale is and writes quite a bit about good versus bad magic in stories, and also looks at different children's stories and analyses different aspects of them. She could pick some ideas from that.The essay is available on Amazon, or if she's lucky she might even be able to find an online version. There is also a poem called "Mythopoieia" written by Tolkien for his friend C.S. Lewis in which he expresses some of the key aspects, but make sure she approaches it carefully because as I said it might be a bit tough for her age and you wouldn't want to discourage her.
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Old 25.03.2011, 10:36
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

What about trying this:
Mother Goose´s Melodies from Wilson´s Readers
Antology Fables, Original and Selected, from G. Moir Bussey

That sounds like this:

A Frog he World a-wooing-go
Heigho, says Rowley:
Whether his mother would let him or no
With a Rowley powlwy, gammon and spinach,
Heigho, says Anthony Rowley.
So off he marched with his opera hat,
Heigho, says Rowley.

or:

There was and old woman, and nothing she had;
And so this old woman was said to be mad.
She´d nothing to eat,
She´d nothing to wear,
She¨d noting to lose,
She¨d nothing to lose
She´d noting to fear
She´d noting to ask …
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Old 25.03.2011, 13:21
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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As I understand it, from my son's Maturaarbeit, the idea is to frame a question on the chosen subject, and then seek to provide an answer. (His subject was "what's the best strategy to use, to maximise the chance of winning the card game Durak".)

C.S. Lewis wrote a few essays on fairy tales, which would be worth digging out.
Hi There

Thanks for your input. I may get in touch with you again for some feedback from your son's Maturaarbeit.

Nice afternoon
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Old 25.03.2011, 13:29
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Re: Need help urgently

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cool. that's a good starting point

She could consider writing about magic as a device in literature, with especially a focus on fairy tales. It might be a tad on the tough side for her age, but if she's feeling adventurous there is an essay by Tolkien called "On fairy stories" in which he analyses what a fairy tale is and writes quite a bit about good versus bad magic in stories, and also looks at different children's stories and analyses different aspects of them. She could pick some ideas from that.The essay is available on Amazon, or if she's lucky she might even be able to find an online version. There is also a poem called "Mythopoieia" written by Tolkien for his friend C.S. Lewis in which he expresses some of the key aspects, but make sure she approaches it carefully because as I said it might be a bit tough for her age and you wouldn't want to discourage her.
Hi There

The idea "writing about magic" sounds great for her. I am sure this could be something she would like to look into it. I am looking forward to show her the new mails and also looking forward to hear about her meeting with the Mentor.

Thanks again. I really feel being supported by people on the Forum, rather a bit overwhelmed, being in a foreign country and not feeling lonely.

Thanks people for taking your time out and writing.

Nice afternoon.
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Old 25.03.2011, 13:42
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes!!!
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Old 25.03.2011, 16:22
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

Hi I'm coming to this a bit late... but I did a course on children's literature as part of my teacher training and have a few resources your daughter might find useful...

I have a book by Albert Jack called 'Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes'

Also The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes which has commentary as well as the rhymes.

On the fairy tale front, I have an excellent and fascinating book edited by Jack Zipes called 'The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood', which contains 38 different versions plus several essays. Some of the versions are a bit 'adult' though... don't know how shockable your daughter is!

I was always fascinated by the way fairy tales are now being re-written and returning to their female-orientated roots in films - Princess Fiona in Shrek being a case in point!

If your daughter would like to borrow those books, I could post them...
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Old 25.03.2011, 16:33
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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Hi I'm coming to this a bit late... but I did a course on children's literature as part of my teacher training and have a few resources your daughter might find useful...

I have a book by Albert Jack called 'Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes'

Also The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes which has commentary as well as the rhymes.

On the fairy tale front, I have an excellent and fascinating book edited by Jack Zipes called 'The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood', which contains 38 different versions plus several essays. Some of the versions are a bit 'adult' though... don't know how shockable your daughter is!

I was always fascinated by the way fairy tales are now being re-written and returning to their female-orientated roots in films - Princess Fiona in Shrek being a case in point!

If your daughter would like to borrow those books, I could post them...
Aw, you reminded me a seminar on traveling fairytales themes through different eras that I took, these kind of courses are so fun....I wonder if we could do some kind of adult, historical or classic fairytales (I don't mean 2000p sagas) as a part of our Book Club, just for those who would be interested, oooooh. Hope you are well, V!

OP, thanks for your feedback, it is great to see how these school work assignments work here, I am supervising Travail Pluridisciplinaire Personelle and none of my kids have chosen lit
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Old 25.03.2011, 17:24
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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Hi There

Thanks for your input. I may get in touch with you again for some feedback from your son's Maturaarbeit.

Nice afternoon
Sure, I'd be glad to help. Though his was maths based.
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Old 25.03.2011, 21:55
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

Hello,

Of course she can't use the internet as a valid bibliography, but she can use it to find the right books to create her bibliography.

She likes History and English Literature.... ah well she's got it all figured out right there with her choice of nursery rhymes

Most nursery rhymes are really political ditties about the epoch.
I would suggest that she studies nursery rhymes from a historical point of view. She can demonstrate their political nature, place them in their context of the times, explain why they were written in one way or another (iambic pentameter, types of verse etc).

For instance:
Ring a round a rosy
Pocket full of posy
Ashes, ashes,
We all fall down

is really a poem about the symptoms of Black Plague in the Middle Ages (that devastated most of Europe).

Nursery rythmes are a fascinating subject, she'll certainly enjoy !
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Old 26.03.2011, 09:29
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

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...

For instance:
Ring a round a rosy
Pocket full of posy
Ashes, ashes,
We all fall down

is really a poem about the symptoms of Black Plague in the Middle Ages (that devastated most of Europe).
The correct words are "Atishoo, Atishoo".

According to snopes the Black Death / Plague explanation is a myth.
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Old 26.03.2011, 10:12
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Re: Urgent: Need ideas for Matura Arbeit - English Literature/Languages

From Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_o%27_Roses

"Plague interpretation


Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before World War II make no mention of this;[12] by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom. Peter and Iona Opie remark: "The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and 'all fall down' was exactly what happened."[13][14] The line Ashes, Ashes in alternative versions of the rhyme is claimed to refer variously to cremation of the bodies, the burning of victims' houses, or blackening of their skin, and the theory has been adapted to be applied to other versions of the rhyme.[15] In its various forms, the interpretation has entered into popular culture and has been used elsewhere to make oblique reference to the plague.[16] (For 'hidden meaning' in other nursery rhymes see Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, Little Jack Horner, Cock Robin, and meanings of nursery rhymes.)
Many folklore scholars regard the theory as baseless for several reasons:
  1. The late appearance of the explanation;[12]
  2. The symptoms described do not fit especially well with the Great Plague;[14][17]
  3. The great variety of forms makes it unlikely that the modern form is the most ancient one, and the words on which the interpretation are based are not found in many of the earliest records of the rhyme (see above);[15][18]
  4. European and 19th-century versions of the rhyme suggest that this "fall" was not a literal falling down, but a curtsy or other form of bending movement that was common in other dramatic singing games.[19]"


I too had heard the plague reference was unfounded (Stephen Fry on QI).
I think the jury is still out because of inconclusive evidence.
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