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
“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.
“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.”
Hitting More Standards
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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!