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Lesson Plan

Enchanting Readers with Revisionist Fairy Tales

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Enchanting Readers with Revisionist Fairy Tales

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

James Bucky Carter

James Bucky Carter

El Paso, Texas

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • apply information about fantasy and fairy tales to their literary analyses of three different forms of text: a traditional book, a graphic novel, and a poem.

  • compare and cross-reference themes in each, especially focusing on how the female characters act differently than they do in traditional fairy tales.

  • practice small group and class-wide discussion techniques.

  • gain practice in working in the three different forms explored.

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Session One

  1. Review aspects of traditional fairy tales that students might have read recently or in previous years. Use the Common Elements of Fairy Tales and Common Situations for Fairy Tales to help jog students' memories or to extend their schemas.

  2. Narrow the discussion to how males and females seem to take different roles in traditional fairy tales, female characters often being meager victims or bait, whereas male characters are often portrayed as courageous and heroic.

  3. This would be a good time to share the Levine interview since she talks about trying to write a Cinderella story but realizing she needed to give the character a new attitude.

  4. Make a chart with the items from the above discussion in one column (the typical characteristics of fairy tales), and ask students to help you fill in information for themes in the two novels and for the two main characters, Ella and MabelRose.

  5. Discuss elements of the stories via small groups, or better yet, use the discussion guide to craft a Paideia-style discussion, a structured Socratic seminar.

  6. Have students write journal entries on which of the two heroines they'd most like to be and why for homework.

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Session Two

  1. Have students share their written responses to the prompt with the rest of the class.

  2. Review the main points of discussion in the previous session.

  3. Introduce the poem "Gretel," and ask students to compare and contrast the three female leads in the stories (Ella, MabelRose, and Gretel).

  4. Discuss the different forms and ask students if they feel one was more powerful than the other. The Comic Book Primer resources and Comic Vocabulary interactive can help if you and your students need more exposure to the comic book format.

  5. Ask students to pick one of the texts, then do their own "formal" revisions, turning the poem or book into the comic form, or the graphic novel into a narrative or poem, etc.

  6. Before starting the projects, ask students to help you create rubrics by which the finished products should be assessed.

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Session Three

  1. Allow time for students to write their revisionist tales.

  2. Provide support while students work, pointing out models and resources in the revisionist fairy tales that the class has read.

  3. Post the class-created rubric so students remember the expectations of the project.

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Session Four

  1. When students have completed their revisions, allow time for them to share their work.

  2. Assess their work using the class-created rubric.

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EXTENSIONS

  • Ask students to write their own revision of another popular fairly tale such as Jack and the Beanstalk or Little Red Riding Hood. Ask them to give one or more of the characters a twist, such that they behave in a way we might not expect a fairy tale character to act.

  • Use the interactive Fractured Fairy Tales to review how the genre works and practice fracturing three well-known fairy tales.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

Observe students for their participation during the exploration and discussion of the different forms of fairy tales. In class discussions and conferences, watch for evidence that students are able to discuss the revisions made. Monitor students’ progress and process as they revise their selected fairy tales. As students present their tales to the class, take notes and assess their work using the rubric that the class creates during the second session.

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