Fairy Tales

One of the joys of my day?  Getting to read Cinderella and The Three Billy Goats Gruff to my students today.  In preparation for our Once Upon a Time writing unit, students have to know a few fairy tales well—getting the stories “into their bones.”

As I read today, at times almost reciting the familiar stories, I watched my students.  Which ones anticipated the next part of the story?  Which ones seemed to mouth along as I read?  Which ones were truly surprised at the climax of the fairy tales?

These subtle observations were telling.  Some of my learners have not grown up with fairy tales or read-alouds.  Or, if they know the stories, it’s only because of the movie adaptations.  This made me pause and reflect for a moment.  How would my life be different without these stories, without the read-alouds?  I can’t imagine.

And though it made me sad to consider this, I also became even more excited about the opportunities that will accompany this new unit.  What a privilege to share—and adapt—these beloved stories!  I eagerly await the joy and learning that I know will come with these words: “Once upon a time…”


Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana, and Betsy at Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!


8 thoughts on “Fairy Tales

  1. Oh how I love fairy tales and reading them to young children! When I taught kindergarten, I always did a unit on The Little Red Hen. We would read several different versions and compare them and one year we wrote our own class version where the The Little Red Hen made cupcakes. We invited another class to our celebration to read our book and share cupcakes together. My son is 4 and it is so funny to hear him use storybook language to retell a familiar fairy tale like The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I hope you all enjoy the fairy tales together!


  2. What a wonderful gift you’re giving your students by sharing classic fairy tales – and then having them write their own, too! As a parent, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the idea that “it takes a village.” I try as much as possible to read and expose my boys to classic stories, but there never seems to be enough time. So I am so, so grateful for my sons’ teachers who read to them daily and share their love of stories and reading with them.


  3. Are you doing the LC Units of Study? I love this unit. We are in it right now, and I can’t tell who is having more fun with it – me or the kids. A life without fairy tales? A scary scary thought!


  4. I love fairy tales and the joy they can bring into the classroom! I used to do a Cinderella unit with my 3rd graders filled with Cinderella stories across the cultures and it was such a wonderful time of discovery together. I’ve since moved grade levels and miss that unit so much! I’m so glad you get to share these special stores with your kiddos! 🙂


  5. Wonderful write. Oh the enchantment of hearing or reading a story beginning with “Once upon a time…” I can’t imagine a childhood with those words. That gave me pause as well.


  6. We had this discussion yesterday in a district where I was working with second grade teachers. Many were saying that their children weren’t well aware of the fairy tales and legends and myths we grew up with. We spent the day redesigning curriculum to give these stories the attention they deserve. This has me thinking about important novels as well. Little House, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I could go on…..

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