English as a Second Language, English Language Arts, Reading Foundation Skills
Material Type:
Lecture Notes, Lesson, Reading
Lower Primary
  • Cinderella Fairy Tales
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Genre
  • Graphic Organizer
  • Story Elements
  • Theme
  • Thinking Maps
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Cinderella around the world!

    Cinderella around the world!


    This is a remix of by Martha Levey and Toni Luther.  This is a multi-day unit on Cinderella and the many versions of the fairy tale. Students will listen to/read four versions of Cinderella identifying elements of culture and then compare/contrast two in groups. Then students will perform a reader's theater of one Cinderella story.  The whole class will remix the Cinderella story to write a modern-day version that takes into account their own cultures. 

    Building Background : Cinderella Around the World

    Activate Schema:

    What is a fairy tale? A fairy tale is a story that is a fantasy and can have magical imaginary creatures like dragons, elves, witches, giants, wizards, and fairy godmothers. 

    What do all fairy tales have in common? Fairy tales usually begin with the phrase "once upon a time," and end with the phrase "and they lived happily ever after." All fairy tales have a good characters and evil characters. There is usually a problem involving a beautiful princess and handsome prince who must rescue her from an evil character in the story.

    The Cinderella story is a fairy tale which has been told for many years, but the one that many people think is most popular is the animated cartoon version of Cinderella.

    Links to Versions of Cinderella Story:

    The class compares and contrasts the two stories using a graphic organize or Thinking Map. 

    (Double Bubble or Venn Diagram)

    Identify the elements of culture found in the stories using Amity Davis's graphic organizer:

    Extension Activity

    Divide the class into groups.

    Provide these groups with another version of Cinderella.

    Students will select another version of Cinderella and complete an additional Graphic Organizer or Thinking Map to identify similarities and differences in their selection. 

    Let each group share a similarity and difference between their stories.  Provide groups sentence frames to identify similarities/differences in their version of Cinderella, then present their discoveries with other groups in the classroom.

    The similarities between ____  and _____ is____.

    The differences between  _____ and ____ is _____.





    What is Theme? 

    Click the video link below to view the elements and descriptors for a lesson on "theme" based on the Cinderella story.

    After viewing the video review the following important points from the video on what theme is and how to find the theme in the story of Cinderella. It may be helpful to write these descriptors and characteristics of theme on sentence strips to post them in your classroom for review and reinforcment. 


    Theme is the lesson the author wants us to learn from the story.

    Themes tell us what we should or should not do ensure happiness and success in our life.

    How do you find the theme in a story? 

    Observe what the characters say and do.

    Ask yourself "what were the consequences of what the character said and did?"

    These will lead you to the theme of the story. 

    A theme is always in a complete sentence.

    A theme will not have the names of characters.

    A theme is true for everyone whether they are young, old, rich, poor, etc.

    Now what are the themes in Cinderella? 

    Who are the characters? How do they act? What happens to the characters by the end of the story? 

    Here are the themes in Cinderellla: 

    The mice and the birds work together to make Cinderella a beautiful gown for the ball.

    Everything is possible with teamwork.

    True love always wins.

    Cinderella and the Prince are married in the end of the story.

    If your are unkind to others, then there will always be unkindness given to you in the end.

    Cinderella's stepmother and stepsister are cruel to her and do not have a happy ending in the story. 


    Let the groups team up and practice and then give them a chance to present to the whole class.  After each whole class performance, have the viewers help you add to the whole class elements of culture graphic organizer that was started as you read aloud the first two versions of Cinderella.