Teaching Tip Tuesday – Fairy Tales

This is an excellent unit to start off your Language Arts program. It is called “Fairy Tale Friends and Foes.” 

It was originally meant for Grade 2 classes in Catholic school but I have adapted it over the years to use in public schools for several different grades. I like how you can teach the genre of fairy tales and at the same time have some great character education lessons.

The students learn about these values while reading different fairy tales.

Respect – Goldilocks Learns Respect
Love – Cinderella Loves and is Loved
Responsibility – Hansel and Gretel Depend on Each Other
Cooperation – Three Pigs Work Together
Courage – Jack Is Brave
Honesty – A Promise is a Promise for Rumpelstiltskin
Tolerance – Beauty Accepts the Beast
Peace and Unity – Fairy Tale Friends

Here is my first lesson plan that I put together using the above unit.

– Brainstorm sentence endings to the phrase, “A good person/friend is someone who…. “
– Record these headings beside the sentence starter, “Character Trait”, “Why is this a good trait?”
– Explore positive character traits from the ideas generated by students (kind, helpful, generous, share, etc)
– Review the list of positive behavioural traits and think of the negative behavioural traits that are opposite to them
– Discus how people make choices to change and people learn to be positive when they feel good about them
– Discuss the concept of family, including adoption, foster parents, single parents, siblings, stepfamilies, etc and list examples on the board under the heading, “Many Kinds of Families.”
– As the list is being built, the class discusses the loving relationships within each example and how the children are shown love and protection
– Brainstorm and discusses fairy tale characters, and list them on the board
– Students decide if the characters on the list exhibit positive or negative behaviours.
– Discuss the possibility of a character exhibiting both types of behaviour based on their intentions, e.g., Goldilocks may not have intended to ruin the Bears’ belongings and she may have learned a good lesson
– Model this paragraph. “My cousin is very generous. When I was away at summer camp, she sent me all sorts of surprises in the mail. She sent me a birthday present as well, even though we don’t normally buy each other things for our birthdays. She also sends me emails and links to things that she knows I like. I love my cousin Stephanie.”
– Students work independently writing paragraphs about a good character trait of someone in their lives

Here is the full text of my Fairy Tale unit plan. I hope you will find it useful. Feel free to modify it so it works for you. That is what I do every time I come across a new resource. I take what I like and I make it fit with my teaching style and with the needs of my students.

This is an amazing resource that starts off the year on a positive note. The values in these fairy tales are the same ones that I try to build in my classroom. By starting off the year with this unit, we have a focus and a vocabulary that will sustain us as a group throughout the year. So try it out.

Email me or leave a comment if you have any trouble accessing the PDF file.

If you would like to contribute a guest post for Teaching Tip Tuesdays, I would love to hear from you as well. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about.

3 responses to “Teaching Tip Tuesday – Fairy Tales”

  1. Hi there! I just want to THANK YOU!!! What an amazing resource for a new teacher!!! I am so glad I found this! I am not sure if I am alone, but I was having trouble opening your detailed day plan and your Fairy Tale unit. Not sure if you can send it to me? shannon9293@hotmail.com Thanks again!

  2. Hi Shannon,

    Thank you so much. I love getting comments like this.

    I did that file on MS Word and then uploaded it to the old Google Documents. I haven't gone in to update those files. Thank you for reminding me that they don't work anymore. I will fix it within the next few days.

    If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.