Ideas for using Rapunzel in the classroom|
See our Rapunzel's Revenge teaching guides for even more ideas.
When doing school visits, my favorite activity is to give students an idea of how to rewrite their own fairy tales. We took the original tale of Rapunzel, put her in the Old West, and a new story emerged. I ask students, what things do you think of when you think of the Old West? They brainstorm:
and so on...
I explain how we used the traditional elements of the Old West setting to reset our tale, and you can do the same. Let's take "Little Red Riding Hood." Where could you set it instead of a forest?
Under the sea
On the moon
In deep space
New York City
In your own school
On a movie set
Inside someone's cells
We pick one, for example, on the moon. Who would Little Red be instead of a little girl? (e.g. an astronaut) Who would the wolf be? (e.g. an evil alien) Where would Little Red be going instead of her grandmother's house? (e.g. the space shuttle) Who would help save the day instead of a woodcutter? (e.g. mission command, friendly alien, Little Red's trusty pet) We then retell the story with the new elements.
Kids seem to love this activity. It not only helps them get inside a story and examine the elements in a fun way (characters, setting, plot) but teaches writing skills and familiarity with fairy tales. I then challenge them to retell a story on their own.
As a slightly more advanced exercise, the students could pair a fairy tale with a genre, drawing on famous books or movies of this genre for inspiration.
Mystery (murder mystery, private investigator, noir, etc.)
Science fiction (space opera, near future, distant future, etc.)
Fantasy (epic fantasy, urban fantasy, etc.)
Contemporary realistic fiction
Crime scene investigation
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