I recently began teaching a novel study with my fourth grade students. As I was selecting the novel, I was amazed at how many novels make references to fairy tales and folk tales. In the common core standards, it includes these types of stories in Kindergarten thru Fifth grade. No wonder! For second grade, the only fairy tale they refer to is Cinderella. However, there are other stories you could use with your students.
There are many ways to introduce and encourage students to learn about other cultures using familiar and unfamiliar tales. Whether you are using it as a stand alone unit or integrating into a novel study, your students will enjoy it. Fairy tales are a great way to engage your students.
1. Read the original version of the Fairy tale.
2. Read a twisted tale.
3. Read a version from an other country.
4. Discuss similarities and differences.
5. Explore other tales and make a list of the versions.
6. Have students write their own twisted tales.
Sample: Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood
**This is a read a loud** in Big Universe. From the publisher, “A classic tale of a little girl who doesn’t heed her mother’s warnings about talking to strangers and ends up in great danger.”
From the publisher, “A little girl on her way to Grandma’s house. A basket of goodies. A lurking scoundrel. Sound familiar? Yes, but this time, the Chihuahua Desert of the American southwest is the setting for a spiced-up retelling of the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story. Spunky Isabel outwits the cunning coyote with self-reliance and daring. Fiery tamales and chili sauce are the villain’s downfall.”
This is a rhyming twist on the tale of Red Riding Hood. All the animals are discovering that food is missing and all they see is a red blur as they try to unravel the mystery of who could be doing this. When they arrive at Little Red’s house they determine it was her and she was feeding wolf pups with the food she had taken because they had no mother. Astonished, because wolves were their enemies, they decide to transport the tiny wolf pups to Yellowstone.
3. Another Country
From the publisher, “Children are sure to enjoy this lively new rendition of an age-old classic. Little Ruth Reddingford loves visiting her grandmother. So when Grandma can’t pick her up for their weekly visit, Red packs a basketful of goodies and sets off on her own. Taking a shortcut through the woods, she is confronted by menacing bullies. The ensuing adventure takes a surprising twist, as Red discovers the power of her Native American heritage and makes an unusual new friend. Hank Wesselman’s imaginative storytelling and Raquel Abreu’s striking illustrations bring this familiar tale vibrantly to life.”
Your students will not only learn more about this genre, but see how we reference these types of stories in other types of literature including novels.
Sample Connection to Common Core for Second Grade.
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.