Cinder-Elly: Day 1 of Cinderella Unit

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SWBAT compare and contrast key details in different versions of the same fictional story.

Big Idea

As an introduction to different perspectives on the same story, students will analyze text of a different version of a familiar story.


20 minutes

  In the beginning of this lesson, I ask students if they are familiar with the story of "Cinderella." I like to access prior knowledge to make sure that we are all on the same page, or at least on similar pages.  So, being a techie, I stay a way from paper pencil and begin to distribute responders.  The best way to distribute tech peripherals is by assigning numbers to students so that they get the same responder each time.  This will cut down on misuse and holds them accountable for taking care of their equipment.  I also use zip lock baggies (my favorite multiuse baggies are 1 gallon size) to store a set of five to six responders since I group students in collaborative table pods of five or six.  Then, I have my "mangers" at each table pod distribute and collect the responders each time.  Having this manegerial system allows me to focus on the lesson and not worry about procedural things.

    Yes, the boys may roll their eyes on this subject matter, but they will become engaged when they see the non traditional and less girly versions of Cinderella.  As a matter of fact, the boys in my class wanted to see more versions because they found the different perspectives amusing and intriguing.  The focus becomes not the story itself, but the creativity of differing perspectives, which, according to the rigorous expectations that CCSS demands, should be the focus of the lesson. This is a discussion about perspectives supporting the Common Core standard of acknowledging differing points of view.  Not only that, but Cinder Elly has a thick New York accent when she talks, unlike the traditional Cinderella.  Cinder Elly is more of a tomboyish character.  She is more aggressive than the ladylike persona we are used to.

     I begin my lesson using my Promethean Flipchart (See resource) as follows:

Instructional Process

  • Post or project a KWL chart on the wall or Promethean Board.
  • Use post-its or responders for students to give feedback on what they already know about the story of Cinderella in the K (Know) section of the KWL chart.
  • Analyze and discuss their answers.
  • Then, ask students to think of things they want to know more about regarding the story of Cinderella.
  • Then, a discussion about the W (Want to know) follows.


 I invite students to meet at our gathering place (sitting on the floor at circle time).  They are introduced to a new version of Cinderella called "Cinder-Elly".  I ask them to pay attention to what is different or the same in this book compared to the traditional version.  I begin to read it aloud to my students.  A lot of smiles and giggles often occur during my reading and I often respond by saying "Please laugh inside, don't laugh out loud" so as not to disturb the story telling.  We all agree that it is a funny story because it is so different and so modern.

     If students are not familiar with the traditional version of Cinderella, I will either read that version or show a movie clip that summarizes it.  In my case, all my students were very familiar, especially with the Disney version of Cinderella.  Even the boys admitted they knew the story from their sisters or cousins, etc.  They will never admit to having watch it themselves.

     After the story, I ask students to react by  discussing the part of the story that stands out the most.  I chart or type and project what they dictate to me.

Reading Response Project

20 minutes

     We begin with a discussion about similarities and differences between Cinder Elly and the traditional Cinderella we are familiar with.  This is our brainstorming session to generate ideas for our next project.

     I divide students into four collaborative groups of five to six students.  Each member of the collaborative group has a specific job to do.  See attached resource for setting up a collaborative group in your classroom.  I ask the managers to pick up the following materials for their team:

  • Venn Diagram
  • Construction Paper
  • Drawing Paper
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Arts and Crafts materials such as pom poms, googly eyes, pop sickle sticks, buttons, etc.

     I ask each each leader to meet with me briefly to discuss their strategy on how they are going to discuss similarities and differences with their teams as the managers are collecting their materials.  I also ask them to have their team work together to create two projects per table:

  1. Construct a visual that shows the similarities between the traditional vs. nontraditional version.
  2. Construct a visual that shows the differences between the traditional vs. nontraditional version.
  3. Be prepared to share out at the end of 20 minutes.  

     Then, I ask if there are any questions. review the norms and expectations during collaborative learning,  and we begin our project.  See resources to establish norms and rules for collaboration.  These procedures should be discussed, reviewed, modeled, and practiced from the beginning of school.  Once students gain expertise in collaboration, procedures become automatic and less worrisome.  The collaborative process is so important since it supports the Common Core Speaking and Listening standards.  Students need to follow agreed upon rules and learn to participate in constructive conversations within cooperative groups, as stated in this standard.



Oral Presentations

20 minutes

     This is the most exciting part of this lesson.  My students are eager and proud to show their project and team unity.  I use a rubric (see resources) and entice them with rewards to work cooperatively.  A little incentive goes a long way.  The team decides on who will present and sometimes they each take a part in the presentation.  I remind them that their team is as strong as the weakest member.  So, we all have to work together at supporting each other and strengthening our weak areas.  Just a fact of life we all must learn.

     After the share out session, I ask students to complete a Ticket out the Door reflection (see resource for an example).  This will give me ideas on tweaking things for tomorrow's lesson for this unit.