Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fairy Tale Revival - Shrek style!

So, I was in the middle of a lesson the other day when one of my kids had to get a question off of his mind, "Who is that one your wall?" (He was pointing to the 6 year old paper creation of Repunzel my bff and I had created the first year I started teaching. I have it placed on my wall and she has long yarn hanging down for her hair. I had used it for AR. As they made their points their prince would climb the hair to be the first to save the princess... cool huh?? Annnyyyways...) I tell him that it is Repunzel. He asks why it is on my wall and so I tell him the AR story. He turns to me and says, "But, Mrs. Richards, how could you have made that 6 years ago? Tangled just came out this year." Uh... what? These kids don't know fairy tales anymore... the Grimm brothers are rolling in their graves I'm sure! Thus began the discussion of how old the fairy tales were and how movies and tv and books today use pieces from those originals to create the new stuff we see today.

The conversation continued between the children, "So, what about Shrek?" No, he is new but the movie uses characters from all kinds of original fairy tales. "Is there a movie for the originals?" "I bet not because they would be in black and white." "Wait, you aren't that old are you Mrs. Richards??" Uh... no. It ended up being a pretty interesting teachable moment and swore to bring the original Repunzel the next day to read to them. That next day, I also relayed the story of Rumpelstiltskin (who most thought was a bad character created for the newest Shrek movie). They were shocked by the original story but then made connections to why they made his character the way they did and thought it was actually funnier now. Yay for connections!

Our youngest generations are losing those old stories that a lot of this society was built upon. Lack of reading to children, sharing stories, technology-distracted... Whatever the cause may be...

What can you do or what do you do in your classroom to remedy this worsening problem?


  1. My students don't know fairy tales or nursery rhymes. It is so sad.

    One year I had them write "The Rest of the Story". They wrote what happened after the nursery rhyme. For example, what happened after the kings men couldn't put Humpety together again. Or why did he get on the wall. What happened before to make him do it.

    It was great fun and I had to read them the rhyme or story for the lesson. ;0) That way my principal couldn't be on my case about reading the rhymes or stories to sixth graders.

  2. I really like that idea! I'll have to do it in my classoom