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Welcome! When using this blog, you must be open to immersing yourself in the fairy tale genre and appreciating all that it has to offer us as readers. The purpose of this blog is to inspire users to think critically about fairy tales. In order to navigate your way through this blog, you may use the blog archive to view posts in the order they are intended to be viewed. Hope you enjoy!

Once Upon A Time... How Fairy Tales Originated

Did you ever wonder how fairy tales began?

- A long time ago ("once upon a time" if you will), people used to tell stories to one another for entertainment. These stories were often told in an elaborated, exaggerated version of what they had actually experienced.

-The most famous fairy tale writers are The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. Click on the links below to read a short biography:

The Brothers Grimm

  • These men have written a number of famous fairy tales that you may have heard of including Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

Hans Christian Andersen

  • Hans Christian Andersen has written hundreds of fairy tales including Thumbelina, the Emperor's New Suit, and the Little Mermaid.

You may recognize a number of these titles as being turned into Disney movies, however, one of them in particular has recently been turned into a graphic novel (which we recently read in class). Click on the following link to read The Brother's Grimm's original version of Rapunzel.

Once you have read this story, with a partner, create a Venn Diagram to compare & contrast it with the graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale.


The story of Cinderella is one of the most well-known fairy tales ever written and if you ask anyone, they could probably sum up the plot of the story. But how did the Brothers Grimm originally write it? Click on the link below to hear a reading of the original version of Cinderella.

Due to the story's immense popularity, it has been rewritten several times as well as made into a number of different film versions. With each different version of the original text that is created, the setting, characters, and overall plot differ slightly. Please choose two of the alternative texts and create a graphic organizer which gives examples of how the story elements are the same or different from the original version.


After you have completed your graphic organizer. Consider the following questions:

  1. How does each element that varies (i.e.- setting, characters, etc.) affect the overall message presented by the text?

  2. Which one of the three versions of the story did you feel displayed the author's tone the best?

  3. Which version do you think is the most drastically different from one another? Provide examples.

  4. What is one thing that all three versions of the story had in common?
  5. Why might an author stray from the original version of a text?

  6. What role does culture play in the different versions of Cinderella?

"Here I come to save the day"- The role of Prince Charming

In every fairy tale, there is almost always a handsome prince who plays a role in the development of the plot. Now boys, by now you're probably saying "Why can't we study the action genre? I hate fairy tales..." But I promise you that once you take the time to see past the love story aspect that is inevitably in every fairy tale, you will begin to see that there is always a good fight scene or two. I have posted a number of clips from different film versions of Cinderella, each which features the "prince" character. Your task is to watch them and pick out the different characteristics that each prince brings to the scene. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these films, I have provided a brief description of the plot prior to the point in each clip. You will be asked to answer a few questions following the video clips.


Giselle, who was once a cartoon, magically travels to the real world (NYC). Prince Edward comes to the city to attempt to save her.

Ella Enchanted

Ella is a peasant who has a spell cast over her which makes her obey any command. In this clip, she comes in to save Prince Char from being crowned with a crown which has been laced with poison.

Ever After

Danielle is a peasant girl who has won the affections of Prince Henry. Prince Henry comes to tell her of his feelings.

Following the clips, please answer the following questions:


1. What qualities is each prince lacking in the scene?

2. If you were one of these princes, which would you want to be and why?


1. What qualities are similar in each prince that is shown?

2. What do you think are the most important qualities that a prince must have?

Happily Ever After... Common Fairy Tale elements

Now that you have read two of the most famous fairy tales and have had a chance to think about fairy tales in general, what is it that makes a story a "fairy tale"? What are the commonalities among fairy tales? List at least 6 qualities and characteristics that you think make up a fairy tale.

Once you are finished, click on the link below to check and see what the experts say:
Components of a Fairy Tale

Now that you know what the different elements of a fairy tale are and have seen a number of examples, you are almost ready to create your own! But first, we will take a look at a different kind of fairy tale...

Fractured Fairy Tales

A Fractured Fairy Tale is an altered version of an original fairy tale that tells the story in a way that the viewer is not expecting. All of the original fairy tale elements still apply, but are somewhat different from the true form. For instance, fractured fairy tales often end in disappointment rather than with a "Happily Ever After" type of ending, which causes them to be humorous. Here are some examples:

Sleeping Beauty

Jack & the Beanstalk


**While watching these fractured fairy tales, please take note of the humor, altered plot and characters.


  • Do these stories follow any type of pattern?

  • Which of these stories is most similar to the original?

  • What is the purpose of a fractured fairy tale?

Create your own!

Now it's your turn! Your task is to create a fractured fairy tale of your own. You will work in groups of five and create a script for a fairy tale that we have not discussed in great detail. You may choose from the following fairy tales:

  • Thumbelina

  • Snow White

  • Rumplestiltskin

  • Hansel and Gretel

  • The Little Mermaid

Once your group has chosen a fairy tale, you will determine the following:

  1. What do we want to change about the original fairy tale? (Beginning, Middle, End, CLimax, Resolution)
  2. Who are the characters?

  3. Where will our story take place?

  4. What types of props will we need?

Plan out your thinking on a piece of poster paper (draw pictures to show what will happen in the story). The ultimate goal will be to act out and record a five minute fractured fairy tale which we will post in a blog. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!