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Activity

Explore Point of View in Fairy Tales

 

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Explore Point of View in Fairy Tales

Grades 5 – 8
Activity Time 60–90 minutes
Publisher International Reading Association
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

Glossary

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

1. Begin by reading some different versions of the fairy tales The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Beanstalk, or Little Red Riding Hood with the child you are working with. (You can also choose a different fairy tale, but these three are the ones included in the Fractured Fairy Tales tool you will use in Step 3.) The Fractured Fairy Tales Booklist has some suggested picture books you can read together; you will also find versions of all three stories at SurLaLune Fairy Tales. Make sure you read at least two different versions of one of the stories—one of them a familiar, traditional version.

2. Talk a little bit about fairy tales and point of view. Most traditional fairy tales are told by a narrator, who sees and knows everything but who still has a certain way of looking at things. For example, the wolf is always “the bad guy.” But many new versions of these stories tell the story from a different point of view—for example, it is told by the giant or the pea. Explore how changing the point of view changes the story; the List of Fairy Tale Questions and Suggestions has questions you can use.

3. Go online to the Fractured Fairy Tales tool and have the child choose a story to revise (it can be the one you have been discussing or a different one). Once you have chosen a fairy tale, the tool will guide you through a list of the kinds of changes you might make, including writing the story from a different point of view.

4. Once the child has chosen changes, you can print the list and then use the tool to write a new version of the story. Read the story together and compare it with other versions. Ask the child to talk about how changing the point of view changed the story. What does the child now see about the story that is different from what he or she saw before?

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More Ideas To Try

  • When you finish this activity, you might encourage the child to explore fractured fairy tales further by reading some of the longer books from the Fractured Fairy Tales Booklist.

  • Watch one of the many recent movies that give new spins to classic fairy tales, including Enchanted (Disney, 2007), Ella Enchanted (Miramax, 2004), or any of the Shrek movies (Dreamworks Animated). Talk about how these movies use familiar characters in new and often funny ways.

Visit the Fractured Fairy Tales page for more information about this tool.

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Glossary

Point of view

 

The angle from which an author tells a story using characters, events, and ideas. Stories can be told from an omniscient point of view, where the person telling the story sees and knows everything, or from a limited point of view, where the reader only sees, hears, or knows what a certain narrator does. Some stories use different points of view at different points in the story.

Think critically

 

To think both logically and creatively about a topic using different kinds of information. When people think critically, they not only attend to new words and ideas, but they also connect these words and ideas with the things they already know.

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