Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Teaching Cinderella Stories from around the World


To wrap up my recent series of posts on Cinderella stories from around the world, I wanted to share a little bit about how I use them in my third grade classroom and how you might think about incorporating a study of Cinderella stories into your own home or classroom. First off, check out any of the posts below for a round up of dozens of Cinderella stories to draw upon.



Cinderella Basics: the Venn diagram

One of the easiest ways to have students read and analyze different Cinderella stories is to have them choose two stories and organize their thinking using a Venn diagram. My students regularly use Venn diagrams in math class for sorting numbers, but you may need to spend a little more time introducing its purpose as a graphic organizer if it is a new tool for your students.

Click once to enlarge, right click to save. Prints at 8.5 x 11".

Above is the basic Venn diagram handout that I use with students for directly comparing two Cinderella stories. I have students work in partners to read the two books to each other, and then they work together to fill in the Venn diagram with important similarities and differences between the two stories.

Cinderella Motifs: direct comparison

 

If you want to, you can take the comparing and contrasting a step further by providing students with a starting list of Cinderella motifs. I recommend spending the day before reading a European version of a Cinderella (like either of the books above: Cinderella translated by Marcia Brown from the French version by Charles Perrault (Caldecott Award Winner) or Cinderella: a Grimm's Fairy Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and illustrated by Ulrike Haseloff) and helping students to brainstorm the list of common motifs and patterns common to Cinderella stories.

Click once to enlarge, right click to save. Prints at 8.5 x 11".

This is the final chart that I came up with, with suggestions from students in establishing the motifs in the left-hand column. I put together packets for them with three copies of the chart (for reading three different stories). After they read all three stories and filled in the charts, the last page of the packet contained discussion and thinking questions.

Click once to enlarge, right click to save. Prints at 8.5 x 11".

Cinderella: three-way comparing and contrasting

Another chart I have used in the past with students has them directly comparing and contrasting three different versions of the story. With this two-sided chart, students take notes on each story separately in its own column. Then at the end, they go back and evaluate the three stories for each category, thinking about the similarities, the differences and the conclusions (big ideas). These are the forms I use most often with my students, because I want them to be reading as many culturally-distinct Cinderella stories as possible.


How do you use Cinderella stories with your students?


Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday Challenge is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and is a weekly roundup of educator blogs that are sharing nonfiction picture books. Click the link to check out other nonfiction posts.

21 comments:

  1. This is fantastic!! Love it. Going to share it with my teacher friends.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie! Definitely feel free to share.

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  2. This is an awesome exercise. When we are closer to reading Cinderella we will be sure to use this. Thanks for opening our eyes to the wonders of a story that has stood the test of time, despite its many versions.

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    1. You're absolutely welcome. I love how there is so much "more" to this story and how kids can learn such lasting, essential things from comparing what is unique about each version and the culture it arose within.

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  3. I shared this via Twitter. I love the activities you have to go with it such as the venn diagram. It is always fun to compare/contrast different versions of a beloved tale. Great post. Came via #kidlitbloghop. :)

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    1. I am found at http://literateforlife.org :)

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    2. Thanks, Pam! I love how much kids pick up on when you ask them to be critical and analyze something. and these tales just work so well for it!

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  4. This is awesome! I loved reading Anklet for Princess which is cinderella story from India. But i LOVE the comparison charts.. what a fun way to teach literacy skills! Thanks for sharing on Kidlitbloghop this week.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! There are so many ways to get kids thinking critically about stories, and I love Cinderella as a vehicle to make that happen.

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  5. What an awesome list of activities you have prepared to compare/contrast Cinderella stories - I am sure this would be helpful to a lot of teachers. :)

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    1. I would love it if other teachers put them to good use! Kids can do so much when you ask them to.

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  6. First time I used Venn Diagrams in my high school English class, the kids promptly informed me that this wasn't Math Class!! Love to see all the activities to make books more classroom-friendly. Thanks for sharing on the Hop. Glad to see that you're joining us full time. Welcome!

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    1. Thanks again for the welcome! Really enjoying getting more involved in this great community. It is funny to me that Venn diagrams are such a math thing, because my experience was always coming at it from an LA perspective.

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  7. I always love reading familiar stories in a new setting and you have brought together an amazing list - and how great to use them as a maths resource too!

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    1. Thanks, Marjorie! I always like being able to show kids that things like graphic organizers (and Venn diagrams) can serve multiple purposes.

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  8. This is a great lesson! My children have always used Venn diagram as a tool for comparing and contrasting books. It's a wonderful visual and aides in grasping the concept. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Stacie. I think it is a great tool for helping kids visualize this kind of analysis.

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  9. Great post! Wonderful activities and charts for analyzing books. It is important to encourage children to compare, contrast, and be critical thinkers. This is a great way for kids to get even more out of reading. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I am always amazing by the powerful thoughts kids have if you just challenge them and give them scaffolds.

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  10. Oh, I'm such a big fan of Venn diagrams. They are so useful in helping children conceptualize similarities and differences and they should definitely be in every teacher's took kit. Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I'm happy to pin! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Renee, and thanks for the pin too! I agree with you that Venn diagrams are useful in so many situations.

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