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Rewrite a Fairy Tale

Students will select a fairy tale. They will identify basic elements in the tale as it is told. Then they will list ways important details and the plot could be revised to give the fairy tale a modern twist. Students will rewrite the fairy tale, incorporating these changes into the text.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, identify the three basic types of writing: opinion pieces, informative/explanatory texts and narratives. Ask students which type of writing is used to create a fairy tale. (narrative) 
  2. Review the basic elements of a narrative story: narrator, characters, plot and details that unfold in a clear sequence of events. 
  3. Instruct students to select a fairy tale of their own. Then have them create a T-chart. Tell students to describe the basic elements of the fairy tale on one side of the chart. On the other side, challenge them to list ways they could revise each element to give the story a modern twist. 
  4. Point out that this process can be as simple as updating the characters' names and occupations or as complex as introducing social media, automobiles or modern fashion.
  5. Give students time to rewrite their fairy tales, incorporating as many new details as they can. 

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their updated fairy tales with the class. After each story is read, encourage classmates to identify their favorite updated details. Challenge them to spot any details that should have been updated but were missed.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Select a popular fairy tale prior to conducting this activity. Find a short version of the tale in the library. Read the book aloud to the class. Complete the T-chart exercise together. Instruct students to update at least three major details and to include at least one major revision in the plot. Then divide the class into small groups. Challenge groups to incorporate this new information as they rewrite the fairy tale with a modern twist.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select a fairy tale that all group members are familiar with. Have groups complete the T-chart exercise. Tell them to update at least five major details and to include at least one major revision in the plot. Challenge groups to incorporate this new information as they rewrite their fairy tales with a modern twist.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to select a fairy tale. Encourage them to find a copy of their story online and to read it together. Then have them complete the T-chart exercise. Have students update each character's name and at least five important details. Tell them to also incorporate at least one major revision in the plot. Challenge partners to rewrite their fairy tales using all of this new information. Then have them draw a book cover for their fairy tale with a modern twist.

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Assign each pair a different fairy tale. Encourage them to find a copy of their story online and to read it together. Then have them complete the T-chart exercise. Instruct students to update each character's name and at least five important details. Tell them to also incorporate at least one major revision in the plot and to add a major twist based on a change in location. Challenge partners to rewrite their fairy tales using all of this new information. Then have them draw a book cover for their fairy tale with a modern twist.