Make Your Fairy Tale Lessons
A Great Hit!

Fairy tale lessons were one of my favorite units that I taught in the Language Arts/Literacy area.

My students enjoyed these lessons, no matter what age or grade, as they catered to all 4 levels. Obviously, the higher the grade, the more complex and detailed the activities and/or assignments would be.

I always started off the fairy tale unit, as other units with a KWL chart (what you Know, what you Wonder about, and what you Learned).

However, instead of a chart, I drew a wizard with his hat and wand on a large sheet of experienced chart paper. I asked the students what they knew about fairy tales and then printed their responses (using different color markers) inside the wizard.

Most kids know a ton of fairy tales and enthusiastically volunteered answers, e.g. types of evil people, magic, familiar phrases, etc. When finished, I put it up somewhere in the room visible to the students, so they could refer to it at any time. This was the first of my fairy tale lessons and it was well received as you can imagine.

I got as many fairy tale books from the library that the librarian allowed me to borrow for several weeks, which included fairy tale books from around the world. My older kids found these books quite interesting but in some cases slightly different that what they remembered them to be. I often read a fairy tale from another, e.g. "little Red Riding Hood", and had a very lively class discussion afterward.

After silent reading (a fairy tale book)for 15 -20 minutes, my students could choose an activity, complete it, have it edited by another student and show it to me.

I then recorded, marked and graded it and then they had to correct any mistakes and show it to me again before starting a new activity. They kept all their activities until the unit was completed.

There were a large variety of activities to choose from all the subjects to integrate with your fairy tale lessons:

* Drama - role playing

* Math - problem solving

* Art - drawing favorite scene or character in their book

* Social Studies - drawing a map of a setting including a legend

* Language Arts/Literacy activities are numerous including a recipe, to making inferences, changing the ending, who would be your best friend and explain your reasons, etc., etc., etc.

Each activity was either placed in an envelope or folder with a copy of the activity glued to the cover. That made it easier to choose from.

Throughout the fairy tale lessons, I would change the activities so that there was a wide variety for the students to choose from and they never got bored completing them.

I also found books that created a spoof on certain fairy tales - I think one was called "Revolting Fairy Tales". I loved reading those stories as we all got a big kick out of them.

As a final assignment of the fairy tale lessons, my students had to create, write and illustrate their own fairy tale. To help them out (if needed), I printed the beginning sentence, characters, the magic, and ending sentence on 4 different colored cue cards and created 4 piles.

Each student chose one from each pile and wrote their fairy tale book. They could change whatever was on the card or not even use any of the cards. It was up to them.

Here were some of my suggestions:

1. The beginning sentence - Once there was/Long long ago/Once upon a time

2. The characters in the story - An animal family, wise old owl, cruel bear/A princess, ugly toad, little boy/Three ugly trolls, old man, pet cat

3. The magic used - A rod that makes things happen/A wishing well that grants wishes/A powder that makes everything small

4. The ending sentence - And from that day to this, happiness ruled the land/And once again order returned/And from then on, everyone was very happy

Students could write a dedication and their fairy tale books were laminated and bound - to keep, give away to a family member or friend or donated to the school library.

My class got a kick out of reading their story to their reading buddies as well as to the grade one students.

One year my students made finger puppets of the characters from one of their books and created a finger puppet play. It was wonderful.

As you can imagine, the ideas in the fairy tale lessons are unlimited. Just go WILD - your kids, especially the older ones will be totally involved and enthusiastic!

Just sprinkle a little fairy dust over your students and if things go right, it will end happily ever after.

When I got my new students in September and they asked if we could do the fairy tale unit, I knew my fairy tale lessons were a fabulous hit the day before.

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