(9/14/02 10:38:26 am)
| Fairy tales in the classroom|
This past year I've been working on a thesis involving the role of women in fairy tales. I'm an English Education major (secondary ed) and as the thought of teaching looms not far in the future I was wondering if there were any teachers out there who have incorporated fairy tales into their classroom~either as a unit or even a lesson illustrating the big picture. Any help you could suggest would be great~thanks.
(9/15/02 8:16:56 am)
| Fairy Tales in the Classroom|
I once did a brief lesson (for small children -- 6-9 -- but it could definetley be adapted) on how basic fairy tales seem to pop up all over different cultures. For example, for this particular lesson, I had about 4 or 5 different versions of Cinderella -- _The Rough Faced Girld_, _The Korean Cinderella_, etc... there are millions of them. I would first ask the kids if they knew where the story came from, and have a few of them tell it to me. It was especially interesting when two or more kids told different versions, some of them were quite shocked that there was anything besides "theirs" out there. Then I would give a brief spiel on some history of whatever story, and read a book or two, all the while occasionally stopping to ask the kids what differences or similarities they saw. They all seemed to enjoy it, and I'm sure for upper grades you could send them off on a research project or two as well. Very 'multicultural,' which I think is still the public school buzzword of the moment (because i've been out of them for a *whole* year, lol)
You might also try screwing around with Shakespeare a bit. I think a good number of his plays were based on, or have elements from, old faerie stories. King Lear and Romeo and Juliet are what immediatley come to mind. Look around for _Shakespeare's Story Book_, I think its published by barefoot press and has all sorts of interesting stuff.
~Becca, the teacher's daughter (sigh)
(9/16/02 1:45:15 am)
I have a book out called NOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRSS: Folk Tales for Strong Young Women you might want to check out.
(9/17/02 11:25:25 am)
| Nonsense Tales|
Brief lesson plan ideas:
As a writer in residence (weeklong stints) at local grade schools--usually fourth or fifth grade--I used nonsense tales and had great success getting incredible tales out of the kids. I read them a variety of so-called nonsense-tales from Yiddish, German, Russian, such as "Ditmarsh Tale" (two of the schools had many Russian students, and I got to hear tales in the original language--they were quite familiar with the ones I had chosen, often heard them at home from grandmothers, they said!). Then, we did writing for several days. First, to break the ice, we did a group "Mad Libs" tale, filling our own new words into an existing tale.
Then, the kids spent a couple of days writing their very own nonsense tales. I encouraged them to use words from their own cultural heritage, etc, just as in the tales we had read from books. I have to say they were in wild stitches when they read their own work out loud, but the stories they read were not only funny, they were even brilliant! It was so much fun; I left every day almost crying with pleasure!
Once, with a much younger class, second grade, we worked from "The Turnip"--an accumulation tale--and they wrote their own wonderful versions of that.
(9/17/02 11:31:55 am)
| Came across this while looking for something else|
I haven't explored it in depth since I just discovered it while answering a reference question at the desk. But it looks promising:
(9/22/02 9:34:19 am)
heidi, becca, and kate~thanks so much for your suggestions. they were quite helpful and have helped me to think of some more things. the education website was pretty good and it has a few "fairy tale lesson plans"~although many are geared toward the lower grades. with a little bit of thought and creativity i think many of the ideas can be adapted for older students.
jane~im going to look for your book today~thanks for letting me know about it.
(9/22/02 9:40:15 am)
| one mas reference|
There is an article in Oprah magazine Oct 2001 issue on my work in fairytales at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado where I was a post-truama specialist for three years after the massacre in 1999. You might find it helpful.
(9/22/02 5:52:46 pm)
| MHK's The Woman Warrior|
While it doesn't deal with European fairy tales of the sort this board seems to focus on, for an example of *fairy tales'* role in someone's life, you can probably do no better than Maxine Hong Kingston's _The Woman Warrior: Memories of a Girlhood Among Ghosts_.
If your question hadn't specified women's roles, I'd have added her wonderful novel _Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book_, whose protagonist is the very male Whitman Ah Sing. And now that I think of it, there is quite a lot in there about female roles, so I recommend it anyway. It went over extremely well in a class I taught on Myth & Literature, back in the day, so you may find it useful.
(9/23/02 4:39:37 pm)
| Re: Fairy tales in the classroom|
A book-length treatment--a program, really--for using fairy tales in the classroom is Jack Zipes's "Creative Storytelling: Building Community, Changing Lives" (New York: Routledge, 1995).
(9/25/02 7:12:16 pm)
| Zora Neale Hurston|
If you are the same Kate who posted a request for info about Zora Neale Hurston
last year, I wanted to let you know that a new book consisting of hundreds of her
letters and edited by Carla Kaplan, will be available October 2002.