|Inquiry-Based Fairy Tale Lesson Plan
The student will read a fairy tale and identify the characteristics of the fairy-tale genre discussed in class by listing examples from the reading on a fairy-tale characteristics chart.
Read a fairy tale to the students.
Instruct students on the various characteristics of a fairy tale: special beginning, good characters, evil characters, magic, royalty, problems and solutions.
Provide students with a copy of the fairy-tale characteristics chart. Project the fairy-tale characteristics chart on a screen for all students to see. Review the concept of a special beginning. Look at the fairy tale read to the students earlier and identify the special beginning. Write the words that make the beginning special on the characteristics chart under the heading Special Beginning. Repeat this procedure for identifying a good character.
Check for Understanding:
Ask students to explain the reasons examples from the book fit under specific
headings on the characteristics chart.
Ask students to identify an evil character and place an example on the chart.
Continue with magic, royalty, problems and solutions.
Assign students a fairy tale to read. After they finish reading the fairy tale, have them find examples of each characteristic and place them under the appropriate headings on their charts.
Standards (Performance and Knowledge):
Gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.
Reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama.
Technology productivity tools
• Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity
and promote creativity.
What concepts do you want students to understand after completing this lesson?
Students will understand fairy tales have specific unique characteristics and apply those characteristics when they write original fairy tales.
Fiction writing has been used throughout time to communicate a moral or message to the reading audience.
How can a work of fiction communicate a message?
Criteria for Success (How will you know students have gained the
understanding of the concepts?):
Students will discover the characteristics of fairy tales by analyzing popular tales. They will then use those characteristics to write original fairy tales which communicate lessons from the school’s character-education program.
Resources (What resources will you and your students use?):
Online Fairy Tales
Anderson Fairy Tales
Grimm Fairy Tales
Fables, Fairy Tales, Stories and Nursery Rhymes
Russian Fairy Tales
Tales from Around the World
Picture Books that Contain Fairy Tales
What is a Fairy Tale?
Fairy Tale: 12 Characteristics
Fairy Tale Facts
Similarities and Differences Chart (to identify characteristics)
Characteristics Chart (to identify the characteristics of fairy tales and to use while writing fairy tales)
Management (How will students share technology resources? How will you break up the lesson into segments—the number of hours or days?)
• Students will work in pairs with one computer for each pair. The driver will
control the keyboard and mouse; the navigator will control the selection of
websites and other screen-related functions. Students will switch roles between driver and navigator each day of the project.
• This project will expand over one week during the time allotted for
Capture the students’ attention, stimulate their thinking and help them access prior knowledge.
• Read Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Selinski.
• Lead a class discussion about the story and the genre of fairy tales using
well-developed guiding questions.
• Present the following situation: The first-grade teachers would like a fun way to introduce the school’s character-education program to their students. How could the class use fairy tales help these teachers?
Give students time to think, plan, investigate and organize collected information.
• Highlight the social skills: being responsible and checking for understanding.
• Have student pairs each read three different fairy tales.
• Have each student fill out a summary sheet on the fairy tales read.
• Have students summarize their readings to their partners.
Involve students in an analysis of their explorations. Reflective activities clarify and modify their understanding.
• Together have pairs note characteristics that are similar and different
between the fairy tales.
• Have pairs create characteristic charts for fairy tales.
• Offer online resources for viewing characteristics other people have identified as typical of the genre. As students look at the online resources, encourage them to add observations to their characteristics charts.
• Have students discuss the lesson communicated by each fairy tale.
Give students the opportunity to expand and solidify their understanding of the concept and/or apply it to a real-world situation.
• As a class, have students brainstorm to develop a list of the character education traits highlighted during the school year.
• Have students each choose one characteristic and write original fairy tales
using Word or PowerPoint that communicate the messages they have chosen
and employ the characteristics of fairy tales from their charts.
Evaluate throughout the lesson. Present students with a scoring guide at the
beginning. Scoring tools developed by teachers target what students must know and do. Consistent use of scoring tools improves learning.
• Create a scoring guide for the written fairy tale.
• Do formative assessments: similarities and differences in fairy tales the
students read, fairy-tale characteristics chart, American cultural traditions
• Observe group processing of social skills: being responsible and checking for understanding.
Adapted from http://www.mdk12.org/instruction/success_mspap/science/5emodel.