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Lesson Plan

Behind the Scenes With Cinderella

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Behind the Scenes With Cinderella

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Approximately seven 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Carol L. Butterfield

Ellensburg, Washington


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Cinderella by Charles Perrault (North-South Books, 2002)

  • Moss Gown by William H. Hooks (Clarion Books, 1990)

  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • LCD projector (optional)

  • Several sheets of large butcher paper


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Story Map

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Story Map

The Story Map interactive is designed to assist students in prewriting and postreading activities by focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution.


Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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1. Before beginning this lesson, students should have some understanding of what the elements of a story are, including plot, setting, and characterization. You may also want to introduce them to the idea that people from all over the world read similar stories but that these stories are told with variations having to do with the authors’ cultures.

You may want to adapt the lesson “Teaching About Story Structure Using Fairy Tales” and use it with your class. Another lesson that may serve as a helpful preview is “Exploring World Cultures Through Folk Tales.”

2. Obtain and familiarize yourself with two different versions of the Cinderella folk tale. This lesson uses a popular, well-known French version, Cinderella by Charles Perrault, and a United States version, Moss Gown by William H. Hooks. Read through the books, making notes about the architecture, weather, setting, and culture. You may also want to research the authors of the stories. (For example, it is useful to know that Charles Perrault lived in France from 1628 to 1703 and that he adapted many versions of fairy tales that are still read today.) Have the information from your research, along with enough copies of Moss Gown for every student in your class, for Sessions 1 and 2.

3. Gather a variety of other Cinderella versions (see Retelling the Cinderella Story for examples) to display around the room for browsing. Pick a few of these versions for students to read during the lesson and get multiple copies. You will also need a world and United States map (see online maps at Xpeditions Atlas).

4. If you do not have computers with Internet access available in your classroom, reserve at least four sessions in your school’s computer lab for student to conduct their research (see Sessions 3-5) and complete the Venn Diagram (see Session 6-7).

5. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Venn diagram tool. Bookmark it on your classroom or lab computers.

6. Print out the Story Map Handout and make two or three copies per student. As an alternative, bookmark the interactive Story Map and make sure that computers are set up for students to complete their maps online.

7. Visit and bookmark the websites listed on the Architecture Comparisons handout and the Hurricanes handout on your classroom or lab computers. Make enough copies of each handout for half the students in your class.

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