One of my absolute favorite writing assignments to teach was writing fractured fairy tales. It was a writing piece that consistently excited and engaged my students.
I have written about this writing assignment on my blog a lot over the years. You can read about it here. After teaching this writing piece year after year I have gotten it to a place where I am very happy with the results. All the lessons found within this post are contained in my Writing Fractured Fairy Tales lesson which can be purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click here to check it out and learn more.
Teaching About Fairy Tales
I like to start my fractured fairy tale writing unit by learning about fairy tales. In order to write a fractured fairy tale, students need to know the common elements of a fairy tale. Once they are familiar with the common elements I have them search through different fairy tales and find examples in this “find it” activity. This opens their eyes to the common elements laced throughout fairy tales. After they complete the activity we come back as a whole class to discuss our findings and share our results.
What is a Fractured Fairy Tale?
After learning about fairy tales and their common elements we learn about what a fractured fairy tale is. In order to do this, we compare the traditional story to the fractured version. I like to have my students fill out a worksheet that has my students analyze both stories closely to spot the differences. This helps them to prepare for writing their own fractured fairy tales because they are able to see how other authors fractured their own stories.
Teaching Point of View
When talking about fracturing fairy tales it is important to teach point of view. As we see in The True Story of the Three Little Pigs the point of view from which the story is told helps to make it a fractured fairy tale. The third lesson in this writing unit addresses the point of view and gives your students plenty of opportunities to identify the point of view that writing pieces are written in. I also use this to address the Common Core standard for point of view in fourth grade.
The Writing Process
The meat of this writing assignment comes here in the actual writing. When I have my students write I give many student supports for the writing process. Not all students need every brainstorming sheet to guide them through writing their fractured fairy tale, but many students find them very helpful to piece together their stories. The initial writing process took a few days of class time for my students to get their rough drafts together. Once they completed this step we moved on to another extremely important step in the writing process.
Editing & Revising
Now we come to editing and revisions. This can be very tricky for students. I created editing work for students to practice what actual editing looks like before they attempt to edit their own papers. A checklist has also been provided to guide students through the editing process.
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The Final Step
After my students completed the steps of the writing process they brought it full circle by writing their best and final drafts. These were turned in for a grade. I graded this (and all) writing assignment(s) with the help of a rubric. The rubric provided clarity for my students on my expectations for them and helped me to grade each assignment quicker.
Fairy Tales & Fractured Fairy Tales
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I always liked to have lots of examples of fairy tales and fractured fairy tales on hand in the classroom. Before beginning this unit I would ask students to bring in examples from home to use in class, get books from the local library, and over the years built up a collection from purchasing as well. For classic fairy tales, I found anthologies worked best because you get more “bang for your buck” in those books. The only downside is that students may have to share or wait for a copy to use.
Fractured Fairy Tales
Fractured Fairy Tale Writing Resources
Read Write Think has some great free lessons on writing fractured fairy tales. Click here to check it out.
In this game on Scholastic, you can play with your students to get them thinking.
There are also many great fractured fairy tale movies for you to watch with your students if you watch videos in class. If you search on Youtube there are the classic fractured fairy tales from the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. Hoodwinked is a full-length movie about Red Riding Hood there is also a sequel available.
I hope you try writing fractured fairy tales with your students. They are sure to be a hit!