Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fairy Tales!!

We spent a couple of weeks studying fairy tales through reading and writing. This is the first year I have spend so much time on fairy tales and I am so glad that we did! It turned into a terrific unit with many concepts and skills taught throughout it.
Our Reading Street basal has the story The Horned Toad Prince (one of the stories I actually love from the basal). This story is a modern version of a fairy tale that introduced us to the elements of most fairy tales and how author's can tweak those versions to make their own. We even read fairy tales from other parts of the world. You will see the chart we used below to record the elements of a fairy tale. The chart began by students just accessing their prior knowledge for what they already knew about fairy tales. We added to it as we read more fairy tales throughout the two weeks.

We read many differnt fairy tale books that I found from our school library. We read multiple versions of Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Pigs. During these mini lessons we focused on recognizing the various elements, common themes and lessons learned, and the basic elements of plot (characters, setting, conflict, climax, resolution). Here is the chart we would fill out after each fairy tale recording our noticings.

We were lucky to also watch a move showing three versions of Cinderella from around the world. The children loved to watch how France, India, and areas of Africa told their story of Cinderella. We then used a Venn Diagram to use our text-to-text connections between all the stories.
We used CLAPS to help us with understanding how the fairy tale is organized.
During our Writing Workshop time, we took all the information from CLAPS and the character elements chart to write our own fairy tales. Students spent time brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing their own books. There are a few examples below:
Front cover from a child's version of Jack and the Beanstalk
I loved how she created her front cover!
We had been discussing what a blurb is on the back of the book, and writing quality summaries that could work for a blurb. Students got their first chance to create their own blurb for their fairy tales.
Take a peek inside the story, Stacy and Cenderella.

This student had such a creative and wonderful story based off of the The Three Little Pigs. His book was titled The Three Little Ants adn the Big Bad Anteater.
Other great examples!

During one of our Reading Workshop lessons students made their own fairy tale organizers. They chose one of their favorite stories and demonstrated their knowledge based on that story. They could focus on characters, setting, theme, or the entire plot. I have added a few examples.

I love foldables and the kids do too! They find them much more interesting than just a regular graphic organizer printed on paper.

Lastly, I did find a way to incorporate some math into our fairy tale unit. Students took a survey on if they would kiss a frog or not, and then we turned it into our first bar graph. From there I was able to create a few short word problems for kids to practice solving in their math notebooks.