What fairytales do we prefer?

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SWBAT will write an opinion and supply reasons to support it.

Big Idea

What is it about certain fairytales that capture our hearts and minds? Why do we keep rereading them?


10 minutes

Summary and Context:

Students need to write for various reasons and they need to write routinely. This is a shift with the Common Core State Standards. It calls for writing to happen across subjects, not just during Writer's Workshop. One reason for this is that students need to develop stamina in writing just like they need to do with reading. Also, the type of writing that students need to do has to be aligned with what they are reading.

Today, we go back into reading fairytales as my students get to choose they favorite. In choosing their favorite, I am easing them into the CCSS standard of writing an opinion and supporting it with evidence. I am looking for them to use the linking words: because, also, & and. After the students write about their favorite fairytale, they will be given a chance to share with their peers.

Lesson Opening:

I start with my students on the rug and share the objective. Then, I move to model the process with the story of Red Riding Hood by James Marshall. I tell the students that they can choose any of the key details of the story: characters, settings, illustrations and plot. I will use this element to write an opinion. On a chart I write:

My favorite fairytale is Red Riding Hood. First, I like the beautiful illustrations. I love the sunflowers and the scary feeling of the forest. Also, how the wolf tricks Red Riding was very exciting. Finally, I am glad the hunter saves Grandma and Red Riding Hood. This is what makes Red Riding Hood my favorite fairytale.

Choosing Their Favorite Fairytales

5 minutes

I want my students to take ownership of the process and feel confident in their choices. That is why I give them time to choose the fairytales they liked the best. If I see a student being indecisive I encourage them to choose within the allotted time.

Reading their Fairytales

20 minutes

My students need uninterrupted time for reading. I've taught my students different reading techniques. I want them to be reading silently, but, at this stage, if they are reading in a whispering voice, that is okay. I am walking around making sure that they are on task. A couple of students chose the same title and are pair reading, while another student enjoys a version of Cinderella.

Writing Time

20 minutes

Now, the students spend time writing down their opinion of which fairytale they liked best. They are writing sentences that support their opinion with the linking words: because, also, as well as and. They are including a concluding statement. Some students will need support with this. Others will need support with spelling, while others will need support as to what to focus on.

In writing their opinion, I asked them to keep in mind the key details of the story such as the characters, the setting, and the plot, as well as the illustrations. I want to give them the freedom to choose from these key details. I am curious as to what they will focus on. 

I write the question on the board for them copy and answer: What is your favorite fairy tale?

Here are some examples of their opinions:

Here is an example of a student expression orally his reasons: ExpressingReasons.

Sharing With the Group

10 minutes

Now my students share their journal responses.

Here are the speakers for the lesson:

I have taught my students how to give the speakers feedback. This is the system I use to make the process safe and fun:

  • Two Stars: Two different students share what they specifically like about the content of the writing.
  • A Wish: Another student shares specifically how they think the writing can be improved.