Fairy Tale Comparison (AIG IRP)
Students will read two similar versions of the same fairy tale, such as the traditional tale of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka. Students will acknowledge differences in the points of view of the characters, including speaking in different voices of each character when reading dialogue. Students will use illustrations and details in the two versions to describe the characters, setting, events and plot through questioning and analysis. The product of the lesson will a graphic organizer used to compare and contrast the two different versions of this story. This lesson fits into the larger context of examining different genres in literature, learning the elements of the particular genre and comparing and contrasting literature. This lesson would fit well into a unit on fairytales, folklore, myths etc. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.
Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: Students will read two similar versions of the same fairy tale, such as the traditional tale of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka. Students will acknowledge differences in the points of view of the characters, including speaking in different voices of each character when reading dialogue. Students will use illustrations and details in the two versions to describe the characters, setting, events and plot through questioning and analysis. The product of the lesson will a graphic organizer used to compare and contrast the two different versions of this story. This lesson fits into the larger context of examining different genres in literature, learning the elements of the particular genre and comparing and contrasting literature. This lesson would fit well into a unit on fairytales, folklore, myths etc.
Other fairy tales can be chosen, such as:
- Cinderella (traditional version) and Yeh-Shen, A Cinderella Story from China
- Little Red Riding Hood (traditional version) and Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale by Lisa Campbell Ernst
- The Princess and the Frog (traditional version) and Pondlarker by Fred Gwynne
Time Frame: Four 45-minute class periods
Type of Differentiation for AIGs:
Adaptations for AIGs:
Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: The lesson is accelerated to include goals reaching beyond first grade. These are listed above. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs is on a 2nd grade reading level (grade level 2.5, Lexile level 570; Guided reading level Q).
Acceleration is appropriate for AIG learners because they are often ready for the next set of skills for a grade or more above their current grade due to mastery of grade level skills. AIG students benefit from the accelerated content and process based upon academic readiness.
This lesson also allows for creative, divergent thinking as students are asked to write a new ending to the fairy tales or to create new tales. AIG students have strengths in creativity and this lesson permits them to practice their own divergent abilities.
- one traditional version of The Three Little Pigs fairytale for each student (or another chosen fairy tale)
- copies of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka for each student (or other “fractured” fairy tale versions)
- a graphic organizer used for story mapping of characters, settings, events and key details, as well as conflict/problem
- a graphic organizer used for comparison and contrast for each student
- The DPI example graphic organizer for comparison and contrast can be found at: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/common-core-tools/organizers/ela/compare.pdf
- a response to text journal that is used throughout the whole year
- Comparison Contrast Graphic Organizer (2012) Retrieved July 8, 2012, from http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/common-core-tools/organizers/ela/compare.pdf
- Galdone, P. (1970) The Three Little Pigs. New York City, NY: Clarion Books.
- Scieszka, J. (1989) The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. New York City, NY: Viking Penguin.
- Smutny, J.F., Walker, S.Y., & Meckstroth, E.A. (1997) Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
Prior to this lesson, students should have already read the two stories during their differentiated reading group time and should have already had the practice of reading the dialogue in different voices. Ideally they would have read the stories twice, reviewed important vocabulary from the stories and had a discussion concerning the elements of a fairy tale. In addition, the students should have already completed a story map for both stories which indicate the setting, characters, problem, events and conclusion or solution. Determining the problem or conflict in a story, a second grade skill, should be point of direct teaching and discussion. Students can answer higher-level questions about the two stories using The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy for Learning. They will need their completed story maps to work on today’s lesson, comparing and contrasting different versions of a fairy tale.
Stage 1: Engage
Play “Who said it?” as a quick attention grabber. Students will pick a card from a bag. The cards contain direct quotes from the two stories. The student should read the card in the voice of the character they determine the quotes to be from and should name the speaker.
Listeners should give a thumbs-up if they feel the student is correct or thumbs down if they have another character in mind.
Review the stories The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs that they read in their differentiated reading group time this week. Review fairy tale elements, such as the use of the number 3, magic, “once upon a time” beginnings, patterned events, and happy endings. Discuss which elements are present in these two versions of the same story.
Teach the concept of analysis, the close observation of the parts of things, in this case the parts, or story elements, of the two versions of the same story. Teach the word attributes, which means describing words used for discrimination of objects, people, shapes, etc., and in this case, story characters. Teach the words compare and contrast and explain this skill as what you do to examine the likeness and differences of people, places, things, and in the case of a story, it is the characters, setting, action, and details. Explain that one version of the story is the traditional version that has been read for many years, and that the other is a more modern, up-to-date “twisted” or “fractured” fairytale which “breaks” tradition, hence the word “fracture.” The second version is another author’s creative divergence of the original tale. Teach the word diverge, which means to go in many directions and divergent thinking is to have many possible answers and to think creatively.
Teach how to compare and contrast using a graphic organizer if they do not have experience using one. The DPI recommended graphic organizer for comparison contrast can be retrieved from: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/common-core-tools/organizers/ela/compare.pdf
Explain that words and phrases can be written on the graphic rather than complete sentences and teach students how to delineate between features of the two stories that are the same and features that are different, using the graphic organizer as a visual aid. Teach that facts from the two versions should be written on the graphic organizer and not the opinions.
Stage 2: Elaborate
Students will take out their story maps completed for these stories which define the setting, characters, problem or conflict, events, and solution or conclusion to both stories. For this lesson the teacher should explain that they will be comparing and contrasting the two stories on a graphic organizer. They will need to refer to their story map graphic organizers completed prior to the lesson. The students should be aware that everything written on the comparison chart should come directly from the text and not from their opinions. For example, if a student thought one version was funny, and thought the other version was sad, that these would be their opinions and not facts to be listed on the organizer.
The teacher should model analyzing the story elements and comparing and contrasting these elements of the two story versions by providing examples and practicing thinking aloud in front of the students so they can hear what she is thinking as she compares and contrasts. This will teach the students to use metacognition as a thinking strategy. The following guided questions will assist students in analyzing the two tales:
- When comparing these two stories or any two versions of a story, the students should ask probing questions such as:
- What is unusual about the non-traditional fairy tale?
- Who is different in the story? The wolf? How? The pigs? How? Are there other characters? How are they different, or the same?
- Are there differences in the beginnings of the two stories? In the middle? In the end (conclusion)?
- Is the setting the same in both stories, or different? How?
- What parts of the tale exist in one version but not in the other one?
- What action happens in both stories? Is the conflict the same or different?
- What fairy tale elements are found in both stories? What elements are not found in one version, or the other?
- Do you like the new “fractured fairy tale” as much as the old one? Why or why not?
- How do you feel after reading the traditional fairy tale? Does the new story make you feel different? How?
- What do you think was the author’s purpose in writing the new fairy tale?
- Which version do you like the best?
- The students will complete the graphic organizer with the purpose of comparing and contrasting the two story versions.
- The students will write a new ending to one of these fairy tales OR write their own “fractured” fairy tale. If they elect to write their own fairy tale, the students should keep in mind that they can alter the characters, the plot, the setting, the conflict or the solution/outcome. AIG students could write their new story endings, or their new fairy tales, in their journals or could easily use a computer to produce a media product complete with pictures or slides. Students can share their products with the entire class when complete via oral reading or a media presentation.
Stage 3: Evaluate
A graphic organizer will be completed by each student to compare and contrast the two different versions of the same fairy tale. A rubric can be developed as an evaluation tool for the graphic organizer. The students should be able to state which version they liked better and why. These evaluative statements, while not part of the graphic organizer, can be made orally during group time or can be written in the students’ journals as a way to respond to text. If written, the students can also draw a picture of their favorite part. Lastly, the students will create a new ending for the story or create their own new “fractured fairy tale” using the criteria below.
Criteria for evaluation:
- The student shows a clear distinction between similarities and differences of the adventures and experiences of the
- characters in the stories, using a graphic organizer.
- The graphic organizer has a title and a concluding statement.
- Information shown is accurate and directly relates back to the stories.
- Information is based on facts, not opinions, from the two stories.
- The literary elements of characters, setting, events, conflict(s), and conclusion are represented on the graphic organizer.
Criteria for evaluation of revised story ending or new fairy tale:
- The student’s narrative has two or more appropriately sequenced events.
- The student stays on topic and includes appropriate details,
- The student uses temporal words to signal event order and provides closure.
- Story elements have been altered from the original story to provide a new, creative twist.
- The writer uses correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Unknown words are spelled phonetically.
- The work is neat.