The best story told with our imagination are fairy tales. As a child we hear these tales without paying all of our attention to the actions and motivations of characters. However, it is the characters in these tales that drive the plot of the story.
To start uncovering the elements of a fairy tale, students are asked
What is something that is passed down in your family?
I give students a few minutes to write a response in their notebooks. Once this time is over, I start the conversation by sharing with my students the traditions that I have been doing with my family since I was a child. Shockingly, none of my students could recall something that they do with family that is practiced over and over again. This experience with my students tells me so much about the culture in which we live in and the effects technology and other external means have on the value of family. While no responses could be collected, I am grateful to have done this activity because it gave me a chance to start at ground zero with students and share the need to have something that is kept from one generation to the next.
To being looking at examples of traditional literature, students will view the video of Sleeping Beauty. As students watch the clip, I ask them to pay attention to the characters and what influences their actions throughout the story.
Now that students have listen to the tale, it is time for students to work independently on a close reading activity. Students start with Station 1 - close reading questions for Sleeping Beauty. In groups of four, students work through the close reading questions (student notebook page) followed by Station 2 - The Princess and the Pea activity. In the second station, students are asked to put a sample fairy tale back together from beginning, middle, and end. Lastly, students pick a tale, read it, and find its moral. In the order of the three stations, students move from comprehending a fairy tale to understanding the major parts of a tale, to determining the lesson found in various childhood tales.
While I was not able to have students write a fairy tale at station three in this lesson teachers can use this document to incorporate a more extensive writing sample into their station rotation. My original plan was to have groups write a class or group fairy tale. However, time constraints got the best of me and I opted to have students read and teach a fairy tale instead of writing their own.