What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Hans Christian Andersen was born on this date in 1805.
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
Hans Christian Andersen is often referred to as the "father of modern fantasy." More than 200 years after his birth, Andersen's tales are still enjoyed by both young and old alike.
Many of Hans Christian Andersen's stories have been adapted and abridged into animated movies. Begin the activity by asking students to write a brief summary of The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Emperor's New Clothes, or another of Andersen's stories. Then read students the original story and ask them to create a Venn diagram that indicates the similarities and differences between the two versions of the tale. Have them use their diagrams to write essays that compare the two versions. Students could also be encouraged to explain which version they prefer and why. Students can also use the Fractured Fairy Tales interactive to write their own alternative versions of several well-known fairy tales.
- The Hans Christian Andersen Center
From the Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark, students can link to texts, research material, and information about Andersen's life and works.
- Aesop's Fables: Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
On this website, students can access and read 127 different stories by Andersen.
- Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales on Postage Stamps
This website celebrates Andersen through the stamps that have been inspired by his work. Included are over 30 of Andersen's stories, accompanied by images of related stamps.
- Fractured Fairy Tales & Fables With Jon Scieszka
Scholastic invites students to explore fractured fairy tales with author Jon Scieszka. Classroom activities are provided, along with a place for students to publish their own tales and read those of other students.
Grades 5 – 9 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students read and analyze fairy tales from several cultures, identifying common elements. Choosing common situations, students write original fairy tales, using picture books as models and a peer review process.
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan
The movie Shrek introduces the satirical techniques of exaggeration, incongruity, reversal, and parody. Students brainstorm fairy tale characteristics, identify satirical techniques, then create their own satirical versions of fairy tales.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
From "once upon a time" to "happily ever after," students learn to recognize story structure in fairy tales and create a logical sequence of events when writing original stories.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Unit
What really happened to the three little pigs? Students will read and write fractured fairy tales. In composing and editing these tales, students focus on the six traits of writing.