I decided to make my first major writing unit a unit on fairy tales. I have involved reading strategies and writing strategies, and the kids are having a blast! I am also going to incorporate a parent involvement component as well--after we're done writing our fairy tales, we are going to read them for the parents to hear. It will be a kind of "Fall Fairy Tale Reading" and we'll have refreshments to go along with it!
I will be posting my unit plan for this unit once I am finished and have honed what I'm doing, as well as some pictures from along the way, and of course, some pictures of the Fall Fairy Tale Reading!
My outlook was to do an entire unit on Fairy Tales and have the students culminate the experience by writing their own fairy tales. But, after talking to a colleague about the idea, she mentioned that she has done fractured fairy tales with her kids. I loved the idea and researched it for myself. I found a really great website from Read Write Think on fractured fairy tales that shows the kids what fractured fairy tales are and then helps them/walks them through brainstorming their own funny version of a fairy tale. Once I discovered that, I was off and running...
...at this point, we have:
-listened to a variety of "traditional" fairy tales, such as "The Shoemaker and the Elves," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Three Little Pigs," "The Emperor's New Clothes," and more
-brainstormed characteristics of fairy tales
-filled in a fairy tale characteristics chart for each fairy tale and spinoff (email me for the file!)
-listened to a variety of modernizations and spinoffs, such as "Princess Furball," "Sleeping Ugly," "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs," "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig," and more
-we earned a class reward as well, so we decided to watch Disney's version of "Beauty and the Beast" and we filled in our chart and discussed the fairy tale elements present in the movie
-explored the Read Write Think site as a class, discussed what a "fractured fairy tale" is and read the fractured version of the Prince and the Frog
-made a triorama contrasting the three versions of "The Three Little Pigs" and discussed other differences between traditional and modern and/or fractured versions (as well as versions from other cultures, of which there are many!!) (Email me if you are interested in the triorama!)
Still to do:
-have kids explore the Read Write Think site independently
-have kids begin brainstorming and eventually write their own fractured fairy tale
-draft, edit, revise, publish fairy tales
-dress up like fairy tale characters (????)
-host a "Fall Fairy Tale Reading" for parents and other relatives to come and hear the kids read their fairy tales
Whew! It's been a lot of work so far, but it's been very fun and I'm sure the rest will be even more memorable! I have already gotten some parent compliments on how much their children are enjoying the unit, so that's a great thing :)
Updates to come:
*This post is part of my "Teaching Writing" series!*