Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Teaching Fairy Tales: A Cinderella Lesson Plan for Common Core

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 9, 2016 5:19:03 PM

 

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The Common Core places a lot of emphasis on text types, with traditional tales being one of the main types of literature mentioned in the ELA standards. We created the Story World Real World series to meet a need for paired texts and traditional tales, and coming soon is a Common Core-correlated teacher's guide to assist you with making these lessons easy! Here's a sample of a lesson based on Cinderella!

Features of the Text:

  • Traditional story.
  • Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). See CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10.
  • Punctuation: speech punctuation, exclamation marks, questions marks.
  • Opportunities to develop reading for inference skills.
  • Dialogue between characters.
  • Vocabulary development (e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slipper, midnight, charmed, hurts).
  • Words and phrases that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #3).
  • The characters’ actions and feelings (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #4).

Before Reading:

  • Tell the children you are going to read a story that people have loved so much they have been telling it for hundreds of years.
  • Examine the cover and the title.
    • What do you think this story is going to be about?
    • Why does it say “retold by”?
  • Make a connection with the children’s experience:
    • Do you know the story of Cinderella? It is probably one of the most well-known fairy tales. Let’s find out why.

During Reading:

  • Read the text with the children, encouraging them to join in with the reading when they think they know the words.
  • Before turning the page, encourage the children to predict what will happen next.

Cinderella_Inside_Final-16.jpgAfter Reading:

  • Discuss vocabulary, e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slippers, midnight, charmed, hurts.
  • Discuss text features such as speech punctuation.
    • How do we know who is talking? How do we know where the talk starts and ends? (A: speech punctuation.)
  • Discuss the illustrations.
    • What do the illustrations tell us about the characters? For example, look at Cinderella’s clothes at the start of the story. What do you think they tell us about how she was treated?
    • Do the two sisters look ugly or beautiful to you?
    • Look at the illustration on page 13 showing the prince holding the glass slipper. What do you think he is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread pages 2–3:
    • Do you think Cinderella was treated fairly?
    • How do you think she felt when the ugly sisters made fun of her and made her do all the work?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella, what would you like to say to your mean stepmother and your two unkind sisters?
  • Reread pages 4–5:
    • How do you think the sisters felt about the invitation to the ball? How do you think Cinderella felt?
    • Role play: If you were one of Cinderella’s sisters, what would you have said when you read the king’s invitation? What would you have said to Cinderella? If you were Cinderella, what would you have said when you saw the invitation? What would you have said to the sisters?
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when her sisters went off to the ball?
  • Reread pages 6–7:
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when she saw her fairy godmother appear?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella and you suddenly found yourself wearing a beautiful ball gown and sparkling glass slippers, what do you think you would say to your fairy godmother? What would you tell her about how you felt?
    • Look at the illustrations. Is there anything in the picture that might help you predict what is going to happen next? (A: The pumpkin and the mice.)
  • Reread pages 8–9:
    • Look at the illustrations. How can you tell what the coach was made from? What about the “horses”?
    • Can you draw a clock and show where the hands would be at midnight?
    • What does the fairy godmother mean when she says about the clock “striking” twelve?
    • How do you think Cinderella was feeling as she rode off in the coach?
  • Cinderella_Inside_Final-6.jpgReread pages 10–11:
    • Look at the illustrations. What do you think each person looking at Cinderella was thinking or whispering to the people nearby?
    • Role play this as a “still frame.” Choose children to be the different people in the illustration. Get them to stand as if they are in a still photograph. Make sure each is facing the same way and has a similar expression as in the book illustration. Then let each person, one at a time, come alive and speak, expressing thoughts and feelings. How do some of the words used in the text help us understand what they are feeling? (“beautiful,” “wonderful,” “charmed,” etc.)
    • If you have a class dress-up box (assorted pieces of cloth, old drapes, etc., rather than actual costumes), help the students dress up a little for the still-frame role play. You might also like to practice this a little, then videotape the sequence. Play it back and talk about the characters and what they are feeling.
  • Reread pages 12–13:
    • Talk about how Cinderella must have been feeling as she danced. Remind the children about Cinderella’s life just a few hours before. Help the children make a list of words to describe how she was feeling.
    • Why do you think Cinderella had forgotten about the clock striking twelve? (A: She was having such a wonderful time.)
    • How do you think she felt when she heard the clock start to strike? Help the children write down the thoughts that were going through her head as she heard this. Use quotation marks to indicate Cinderella’s own words or thoughts. Talk about speech punctuation—the way we show our readers who is talking and what they say.
    • On page 13, what is the clock showing? What do you think the prince felt when Cinderella suddenly ran off? What do you think he thought and felt when he discovered her glass slipper?
  • Reread pages 14–15:
    • Why do you think so many people wanted to try on the glass slipper? (A: Perhaps they all wanted to marry the Prince!)
    • Do you think the prince would have liked to marry one of Cinderella’s sisters? Why not?
    • Look at the illustration closely—what do you think Cinderella is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread age 16:
    • The prince is “so happy” that the slipper fits. What does it feel like to be “so happy”?
    • What do you think Cinderella was feeling when the prince asked her to marry him?
    • Look at the stepmother’s face in the illustration. What do you think she is thinking and feeling? (A: Maybe she is thinking there is some advantage for her in this too!)
  • Shared writing activity:
    • Get the children to retell the events of the story (CCSS, Grade 1: #2), then help them turn this retelling into captions, e.g., “Cinderella is made to do all the work. Her ugly sisters do nothing.” What happens next? “The king’s invitation to the ball arrives.” What happens next? “Cinderella’s fairy godmother gets Cinderella ready for the ball.” What happens next? “Cinderella dances all night with the Prince.”
    • Write each caption for the children on large cards, then divide the children into groups.
    • Give each group a caption, a sheet of art paper each, and suitable art materials. Help them plan and complete their own illustration for each caption (CCSS, Grade 1: #7).
    • Mount their drawings on the wall with the captions in sequence to make a wall story. Prepare a “title page” too. “Cinderella retold by room 4 at Sunshine School. Illustrated by (the children’s names).” Read the story with the children.
    • You might like to share your Cinderella wall story with another class. Congratulations, you are published authors!

Check back frequently for more news of our upcoming teacher's guides—for this series and others!

For more information on Story World Real World, you can click the image to the left below to download a series information sheet with key features, or you can click here to visit our website. Click the image to the right below to download a brochure.

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Lesson Plan, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Teacher's Guides

Using Leveled Books to Teach Literature Standards in Second Grade,  Part 1: Narrative Text

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Nov 5, 2015 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

The national standards for grade two require the use of the genres of fiction and expository informational texts. In this set of two posts, I use the Story World Real World series, which are paired texts designed for this purpose. The back of each book in the series shows how titles from the series can be paired together to integrate the two types of literature. The purpose of the design of the standards is to develop strategies for reading and scaffolding information from both types of texts. The ability to do this will provide the students with opportunities to develop strategies needed to read and use both fiction and nonfiction as demanded in social studies, science, and other content areas as they study, write, and participate in content subjects in the upper grades.

The two books chosen for this set of posts are The Lion and the Mouse from Story World and Lions from Real World. There are multiple ways to use the books with children with varied independent reading levels.

The labels before each standard begin with "RL.2." and the number of the standard follow. The "RL.2." part means Reading, Literature, Grade 2. The standards are arranged under designated areas of the uses of literature. The standards in this post are based on fiction stories. I’ll go over the informational text standards in Part 2.

KEY IDEAS AND DETAILS

RL.2.1 Ask and answer questions: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW.

The Lion and the Mouse:

  • Who are the characters in the fable?
  • What are some things each character did?
  • What happened to the lion?
  • Where was the lion?
  • When do you think the story happened (daytime, etc.)?
  • Why did the lion change his mind about the mouse?
  • How did the mouse feel when it saw the lion in the net?

Invite children to ask their questions based on the question words. They might quiz each other using questions they write.

RL.2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning and the ending conclude the action.

The Lion and the Mouse:

Ask the students to read the book title and page 2. Invite them to share questions about what they think will happen in the story. Record these questions for students to review after the story is read. Guide a discussion based on which of their questions were answered by the story. Explain that they used the beginning of the story to ask unanswered questions and after reading they can read/reread the last page to determine the ending of the story. Explain that the story ended, or had a conclusion. What happened between pages 2 and 16 happened between the first and last part of the story.

RL.2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, concluding by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialog aloud.

The Lion and the Mouse:

Select a subject for which the children can share their points of view. (How they are special? What is their favorite game and why?) Several can share their points of view and the group can talk about how their points of view were different. You can explain that the lion changed his point of view about the mouse. Ask them to think about this as they read. Why did the lion change how he felt about the mouse?

At the beginning of the story (page 2) what point of view did everyone have of the lion? What was the lion's point of view about himself (page 6)? What was baby monkey's point of view about the lion (page 11)? What was the mouse's point of view about himself (page 15)?

After reading, invite the children to reread, speaking as the lion, mouse, or monkey did in the story. What emotions are they sharing as they become one of the animals. How did each animal feel as it spoke?

RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a digital text to demonstrate the understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

This standard is based on use of computer versions of the story, but can also be taught using the illustration of the book. If students are using computers, they can read versions of the story from the web.

The Lion and the Mouse:

CHARACTERS: Discuss the illustrations on pages 2–6. What do these pictures tell us about the lion as the story begins? Study the picture on pages 7–9. What do these pictures tell us? (Elicit several responses for each question.) Study the pictures on pages 10–14. What do these pictures tell us? What do the pictures on the last two pages tell us?

SETTING: Remind the children that the setting includes where and when the story happened. Where does the story take place? Is the time of the setting day or night? What kind of weather do you think the animals are having? Why? Ask the students to write and share sentences about the setting.

RL.2.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story by different authors.

Visit the school library and check out more versions of the fable The Lion and the Mouse. There are also several websites that contain versions of the fable. You might use a read-aloud and ask the children how the two stories were alike or different.

  • Did the stories have the same characters?
  • Did they end in the same way?
  • Which version did they like the best and why?
  • Was their choice of a favorite based on a difference between the two versions?
  • What were the differences?
Several copies of the story versions could be placed in the class library or used in shared reading groups or at computer centers.

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection Series. For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection Series click HERE to return to our website or click the series highlight page to the left below. For more information on the Story World Real World series featured in this post, click here or click the image to the right below.

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Topics: Common Core, Literature, Story World, Narrative Text, Leveled Readers, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Grade Two

Comparing Literature to Informational Text—with FREE Download!

Posted by Amanda Ross on May 19, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Ross-biopicThis is a guest post by blogger Amanda Ross. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, First Grade Garden, for more of her writing.  

It's me again—Amanda from First Grade Garden. I am back today to share with you an idea for comparing literature to informational text.

I love to compare fiction and non-fiction texts with my students. It really gets them looking closer at the texts. We dig deeper into the books to look at specific text features and elements. When I discovered the Story World Real World series, I was so excited! They match up ten common fairy tales with companion non-fiction books. There are three different non-fiction titles to match each fairy tale. I used the books Three Little Pigs and All About Pigs for this activity with my students.

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The first day, we read Three Little Pigs, one of my favorite fairy tales! After reading, we discuss the story elements—characters, setting, problem, and solution. We also practice retelling it, sometimes by acting it out or by using finger puppets. 

The next day we read the companion non-fiction book All About Pigs. Before reading, I have the students look closely at the covers of the two books and tell me what they notice. What is similar or different about the two books? While we read the All About Pigs book, we look at all the features as we come across them: table of contents, bold words, labels, index, etc. We discuss the reason for each feature and then discuss whether we noticed it in the Three Little Pigs book or not. Sometimes we go back and check, because that is what good readers do! 

Once we have read and discussed both books, we complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast them. The students come up with some great ideas! Sometimes I have to prompt them with questions such as “What did you notice about the pictures in both books?” or “Who wrote these books?” Usually, after I ask one question, it sparks a lot of other discussions and observations about the books.

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You could do this activity with any fairy tale and non-fiction book. In the download below, I have included the headings for the “Three Little Pigs” Venn diagram or just generic “Fiction” and “Non-fiction” headings that can be used with any book! There is also a student recording sheet.

Try this activity out with your favorite fairy tale from the Story World Real World series!

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Amanda Ross is a first grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching for seven years. The last three years have been in first grade, and that’s where she plans to stay! She is currently on maternity leave with her daughter Zoe, but she will be heading back to first grade in September. You can find her over at her teaching blog, First Grade Garden.

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To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image to the left below to download information sheets with key featuresTo download the freebie, click the image to the right.

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Literature, Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Informational Text, Fairy Tales, Amanda Ross

Bringing A Fairy Tale to Life—with FREE Download!

Posted by Sarah Cooley on Feb 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Sarah Cooley. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, First Grader... At Last!, for more of her writing.

One of the most popular reading stations in my classroom is my Poetry & Plays basket. This station is an interactive experience for my students, where they can explore poetry or reenact their favorite stories in play form. Y'all... my students just love doing this, especially when props are involved!

 

My props for this workstation basket vary. Some are as simple as drawings of characters that I have hand-drawn, laminated, and cut out. Other times, I’ll find an adorable clip art set that can be made into stick puppets.

This week, we read the popular fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood of the Story World Real World series. After reading the book, I typed up the story as a reader’s theatre.

Then I added a variety of props to the Poetry & Plays basket. As soon as I introduced the props, my students could NOT wait to get to the station to begin acting out the story!

I found many of the items around my classroom and house – the basket, little toy cookies, scarf and glasses. I purchased a red apron from Hobby Lobby for around $2. A helpful hint—if you ever find yourself without props, many parents are willing to help out by donating items!

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Sarah is a first-grade teacher in Alabama. Sarah loves to make learning fun and you can find here at her blog, First Grader...At Last! You can also visit her TPT page here.

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To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download information sheets with key features. To get today's free activity download, the prop basket list and script, click the image to the right below!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Real World, Fairy Tales, Sarah Cooley

Using Gingerbread Cookies to Teach Writing—with FREE download!

Posted by Laureen Stewart on Jan 20, 2015 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Laureen Stewart. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Teach with Laughter, for more of her writing.

Hi again! I’ve been enjoying my visits here on the Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog.  The last time I was here I shared my excitement about one of the Story World Real World sets and today I’m excited to share another activity with you that can be used with the Story World Real World Gingerbread Man set.  

I am sure that you are familiar with the traditional tale of The Gingerbread Man.  Well, Hameray has published the most adorable version and paired it up with three informational texts, Gingerbread Kids, Fun With Food and Run! Run! As Fast As You Can! 

Today, I’m going to focus on Gingerbread Kids.  It explains how to make gingerbread cookies—from putting on the aprons through until after they are eaten, and even includes a recipe!

My suggestion—bake the  cookies with your students. Not only will they be excited, but the school kitchen will smell delicious!!!

Have you ever used flip-flap writing books with your students?  I’ve created one to use with gingerbread cookies and I am thrilled with how it turned out.Stewrat-9-300

Before students begin writing, I’d have then brainstorm, as a class, all about gingerbread cookies. I’ve included a header and the can, have, and are gingerbread men to use in a pocket chart or on chart paper. Students can write in their flip-flap books by using the list.

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Laureen is a first-grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching kindergarten and grade one for more than twenty years. Laureen loves to make learning fun and you can find her at her blog, Teach With Laughter. You can also visit her TPT page here.

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To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download information sheets with key features. To get today's free activity download, click the image to the right below!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Real World, Laureen Stewart, Writing Activity, Gingerbread

Using Literacy Work Stations to Teach Compound Words—with FREE download!

Posted by Laureen Stewart on Jan 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Laureen Stewart. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Teach with Laughter, for more of her writing.

Hi again! I’ve been enjoying my visits here on the Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog.  I enjoy creating engaging, hands-on literacy activities for my students and am delighted that I have been asked to share some of them here.

The last time I visited, I shared a writing activity that could be used with the Story World Real World Gingerbread Man set.  Each year, when I do a gingerbread theme in my classroom, I take the opportunity to do some review of compound words.  After all, gingerbread is the tastiest compound word I know!

Here is a word work literacy station that students can work at independently:

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Students will match the gingerbread cards to create compound words and the recording page will allow you to check for understanding.  I have included a student instruction card to build independence. 

I know I’ve said it before but you really should check out the Story World Real World series. 

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Laureen is a first-grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching kindergarten and grade one for more than twenty years. Laureen loves to make learning fun and you can find her at her blog, Teach With Laughter. You can also visit her TPT page here.

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To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download information sheets with key features. To get today's free activity download, click the image to the right below!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Real World, Laureen Stewart, Compound Words

Using Mirrors to Build Vocabulary—with FREE Download!

Posted by Laureen Stewart on Dec 2, 2014 8:00:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Laureen Stewart. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Teach with Laughter, for more of her writing.

Hi again, it’s Laureen from Teach With Laughter.  I am so excited to be using the Story World Real World books in my classroom that I’m here to share another activity with you that you can use with The Greedy Dog and the Very Big Bone theme set.

As mentioned in my last post, the traditional story of The Greedy Dog and the Very Big Bone comes with three related informational texts.  The activity I’m sharing with you today can be used with the narrative book Mirror Magic.

One of the activities my students enjoy during literacy centers is using mirrors to read backward words.  Not only does it build vocabulary, but it also helps with fine motor skills and it’s FUN!

At the bottom of this page, I've included a packet of mirror activities for vocabulary that your students will find engaging and fun!

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I picked up a few mirrors at our local dollar store and students use them to read the twelve word cards.  I have included a student instruction card to keep students on task and a recording page to check for understanding.

You can download the worksheet below, and be sure to check out the Story World Real World series—you won’t be disappointed!

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Laureen is a first-grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching kindergarten and grade one for more than twenty years. Laureen loves to make learning fun and you can find her at her blog, Teach With Laughter. You can also visit her TPT page here.

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To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download information sheets with key features. To get today's free activity download, click the image to the right below!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Real World, Vocabulary, Laureen Stewart

Tying Your Vowel Lesson in with Stories—with FREE Download!

Posted by Laureen Stewart on Oct 30, 2014 9:52:00 AM

This is a guest post by blogger Laureen Stewart. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Teach with Laughter, for more of her writing.

Hi there, it’s Laureen stopping in from Teach With Laughter to share my excitement with you about the series of levelled readers called Story World Real World. Each pack includes four books. The Story World book is a traditional story, and it is accompanied by three nonfiction books that relate to the story. This post is the first of two about The Greedy Dog and the Very Big Bone Theme Set.

The traditional story of The Greedy Dog and the Very Big Bone lends itself to a great discussion about always wanting more. Sometimes we just need to be happy with what we have.

The three accompanying informational texts will grab your student`s attention and can easily be related to the story. Bones teaches students interesting facts about bones. Mirror Magic is about reflections and mirrors (too bad the Greedy Dog didn’t know this information!). Dogs at Work talks about the fact that dogs aren’t just pets—many have jobs. The four books are guided reading levels K/L making them perfect companion books!

I usually like to have some kind of follow-up activity for my small groups, so I created an activity that related to the story and also a skill my first-graders are working on: long and short vowels.

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On each of ten bones, there are pictures and words of items that either have the short ‘o’ or long ‘o’ sound. They are to be sorted onto the two sorting mats. I have included a student instruction card to keep students on task when I am unable to be with them and a recording page to check for understanding.

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Laureen is a first-grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching kindergarten and grade one for more than twenty years. Laureen loves to make learning fun and you can find her at her blog, Teach With Laughter. You can also visit her TPT page here.

~~~

To learn more about Story World Real World, click here to visit our website, or click the series highlights image below to download information sheets with key features. To get today's free activity download, click the image to the right below!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Laureen Stewart, Vowels

Fairy Tale Activities Make Learning Fun! (Includes FREE download!)

Posted by Susan Paul on Sep 23, 2014 8:00:00 AM

susan_paulThis is a guest post by Susan Paul, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, The Fun FactoryClick here to see her other posts on our blog!

My last two blog posts were about fairy tales. The posts discussed the importance of reading fairy tales for teaching the basics of story elements, teaching the difference between fiction and non-fiction and making predictions. Enriching a child’s imagination and creativity by using fairy tales was also discussed as was the connection to problem solving.



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Today I would like to talk about another reason we should read fairy tales to our children. How about because children love them?!
How many times do children beg to hear Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Three Little Pigs over and over again? They don’t ask to reread the stories because they are learning skills. Children ask for rereads because they love the stories!

One story the kids ask to read over and over again is The Princess and the Frog. The Story World-Real World theme set is great to use when the kids ask to re-read the story again and again because their love of the story
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makes it easy to bridge to the nonfiction books Fantastic Frogs and Castles. These
books provide fun and interesting facts that tie into the elements of The Princess and the Frog. Fantastic Frogs helps teach interesting, fun facts about frogs. Castles describes what life was like inside real castles. What I found was that the students not only asked to reread The Princess and the Frog, they also asked to reread Fantastic Frogs and Castles over and over again!!

In conclusion, remember that we must read fairy tales to children for many reasons. But the most important reason to a child is because they love them!

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Susan Paul is an Early Childhood Specialist from Houston, Texas. Susan has taught more years than she is willing to admit, all in prekindergarten through second grade. Her passion is in pre-K but she has the most years in second grade. Susan loves dressing up as different book characters and has written a book. The book is a collection of songs she has written over the last twenty-five years to help teach skills and transitions. Visit Susan at her Facebook page, blog, and on Teachers Pay Teachers for more great teaching ideas.

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For more information about the Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the freebie, click the image to the right.

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Fairy Tales, Susan Paul

Why Are Fairy Tales Important? (Includes FREE download!)

Posted by Susan Paul on Sep 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM

susan_paulThis is a guest post by Susan Paul, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, The Fun FactoryClick here to see her other posts on our blog!

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 
― Albert Einstein

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes! I use it often. My last blog post was about the importance of reading fairy tales to our children. We talked about how fairy tales help us teach the basics of story elements—setting, characters, and plot (rising action, climax, and resolution)—as well as the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Once a child understands story elements, his ability to make predictions and comprehend other stories is enhanced. Today I am going to continue our discussion about fairy tales.


Paul-4-180Have you ever wondered why reading a fairy tale is important?
 Fairy tales enrich a child’s imagination and creativity. Children learn many things when we read them books. From stories, a child can learn how a good person behaves and also can begin to realize how some people can behave badly or “evilly.” Fairy tales show children how to handle problems. They learn from the characters in the stories as they make connections to their own lives, and consider what they would do if in the characters’ shoes. Even though fairy tales can be unrealistic, they still teach a universal lesson.

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A great example of this is The Little Red Hen from the Story World Real World series. The book is adorable and the children LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the illustrations! What a great lesson this traditional story teaches about learning to be helpful and not to be lazy! Bridge this story with Great Grains, the informational text to connect the tale to real-life circumstances.

With the book Great Grains, we learn about the different types of grains. After that, we read Different Kinds of Bread to see how the grains then become bread to eat. Guess what kind of “bread” the children wanted to make? Pizza dough! So we made dough and each child made their own little pizza. They loved it. When we finished, we reread The Little Red Hen, and every single child said they would not be lazy and would help the Little Red Hen.

The “moral” to this lesson is this: use fairy tales to teach morals and lessons. What can you learn from Goldilocks? How about Cinderella or Jack and the Beanstalk?

Enjoy the freebie. I would like to leave you with one final quote from Albert Einstein:

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”

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Susan Paul is an Early Childhood Specialist from Houston, Texas. Susan has taught more years than she is willing to admit, all in prekindergarten through second grade. Her passion is in pre-K but she has the most years in second grade. Susan loves dressing up as different book characters and has written a book. The book is a collection of songs she has written over the last twenty-five years to help teach skills and transitions. Visit Susan at her Facebook page, blog, and on Teachers Pay Teachers for more great teaching ideas.

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For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the freebie, click the image to the right.

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Fairy Tales, Susan Paul

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