Have a Ball with Your Cinderella Unit

Expand your Cinderella unit! Something magical will happen. First, read and compare Cinderella stories from around the world. Second, sprinkle in some parody. Don’t forget to hit your ELA standards. Next, try some fun activities. As the grand finale, let kids write their own Cinderella stories.

Let’s look in on our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed.

Planning a Cinderella Unit

Comparing Folklore

“This whole thing began with a standard,” Ms. Sneed explained to her student teacher, Mr. Grow. “RL.4.9 asks us to compare stories from different cultures. What better way than through Cinderella stories?

Ms. Sneed pointed to the stack of books on her desk. “When I visited the library, Mrs. Campbell helped me find a ton of picture books.” In addition to Cinderella, titles included Yeh Shen, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, The Rough-Face Girl, Cendrillon, Little Gold Star, Smokey Mountain Rose, and The Golden Sandal.

Mr. Grow picked up the book on the top and paged through it. “Cool,” he said, “but what will we do with them?”

“I found an entire set of activities for comparing Cinderella stories on Teachers pay Teachers,” she responded as she slid a file folder toward him. “Why don’t you read through these and decide how to address the standard? Of course, having a little fun along the way wouldn’t hurt.” Ms. Sneed’s eyes twinkled.

Compare Cinderella folklore with books like The Rough-Face Girl, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, and Yeh-Shen. Your third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students will love them.

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Adding Parody

“Then, Ms. Sneed continued, “we’ll introduce the kids to parody.”

She pointed to another stack of books. “Kids really eat these up. We’ll continue locating and comparing elements. But these books will also prepare students for writing their own stories later.”

“These look like a lot of fun,” said Mr. Grow. He read off some of the titles: “Dinorella; Bubba, the Cowboy Prince; Bigfoot Cinderrrella; Cinder Edna.”

Parodies like Cinder Edna, Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella, Bubba the Cowboy Prince, and Dinorella are great for your Cinderella unit. Students in third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade still enjoy them.
Hitting More Standards

“As we read, we’ll hit some additional standards with these Cinderella worksheets. You can decide when they work best.” Ms. Sneed laid out some pages for Mr. Grow to see.

Using this theme worksheet will address standards in your Cinderella unit. Third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students can also answer questions, summarize, and describe characters.

“I want this unit to do double duty,” Ms. Sneed continued. “Therefore, we’ll integrate reading and writing. As a culminating activity, the kids will write Cinderella parodies.” She pulled out two planning pages to show him. “Since the story line is familiar, our students will focus on finding a motif and the writing process. This is one of the most engaging – and successful – narrative writing activities we do. Kids love it.”

Add some writing to your Cinderella unit. After reading parodies, ask kids to choose a motif and plan elements. Then they can use this planning sheet to organize their writing. Kids in third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade will love it!

Making It Even More Fun

“I know this is a lot to take in,” Ms. Sneed continued, “but you’ll love these.” She pulled out three Cinderella activities. “To explore elements with a hands-on twist, let kids build a story element cube. For a more engaging character analysis, try a Facebook-like approach. And this Cinderella carriage activity oozes creativity.”

Have some fun with your Cinderella unit. Activities like this creative carriage prompt will engage your third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.

Finalizing Cinderella Unit Lesson Plans

A few days later, Mr. Grow had a plan. “These are great notes,” said his mentor. “Let’s type up our Cinderella unit lesson plans.”

These complete lesson plans lay out a Cinderella unit for third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.

Ms. Sneed and Mr. Grow were ready to rock and roll with their Cinderella unit. Magically, the kids had a ball – while the teachers hit the standards.

Enjoy Teaching

Nothing made Ms. Sneed enjoy teaching as much as integrated genre studies. For example, in this Cinderella unit, she engaged her students (and herself!) with reading, writing, and all kinds of activities. Try some today!


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