Little Red RidinghoodTHE FAIRY TALE:
Literary Analysis for All Ages

: The following assignments should be completed on your own notebook paper with a correct heading for each assignment. Staple assignments to your cover page in order. Be prepared to share your writing. There will be an in-class essay at the end of this mini-unit.

  1. Journal: Freewrite for five minutes about “Stories I Heard/Read As a Child.” These stories may be books, cartoons, movies, family stories -- whatever impressed you as a child.
  2. Brainstorming: List as many fairy tales as you can remember. At this point, don't worry about whether you remember details about any of the stories. Quantity is what counts -- the more the better!
  3. Classification: Examine your personal list and the class list on the board. Think of a logical system for dividing these fairy tales into at least three groups. Make a chart showing each group and listing at least three fairy tales which fit in each of your categories.
  4. Directed Freewrite: Select a fairy tale you remember well. During the time allotted in class, jot down everything you can recall -- names of characters, descriptions, setting, specific dialogue, etc. Don't worry about complete sentences, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or even the order in which you write. Be fluent. Get everything on paper!
  5. Synopsis: Read over your freewriting, underlining the most important details to include in a summary. Tell “what happens” in the fairy tale -- the 5 W’s and H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How). Write this as a one-paragraph summary, as a list which answers the 6 questions, or as a free-verse poem.
  6. Theme Statement: Every fairy tale teaches a lesson -- not just “what happens” but “what it means.” In one carefully planned sentence, state the lesson (or moral or theme) of your fairy tale.
  7. Analysis: Discuss the various fairy tales within your group. Try to determine elements common to all of the stories. What can say about characters, plot, setting, and theme in a typical fairy tale?
  8. Application: Explain how a fairy tale differs from a nursery rhyme, a legend, and a myth. Consider what you have learned from these assignments, your reading, lecture, and class discussion. Use examples.
  9. Synthesis / Creation: Choose one of these assignments --
    A. Rewrite one of the fairy tales in first-person point of view. Use “I” and assume the persona of a character in the story OR create a character who observes the story from the outside.
    B. Modernize one of the fairy tales. Use contemporary settings, language, and character types -- but generally stick to the original plot and theme.
    C. Change the form of one of the fairy tales -- a parody, poem, advertisement, news story, letter, cartoon, script, rap, etc.
    D. Write an original fairy tale.
  10. Evaluation: You will be given several one-paragraph composition assignments to complete in class. These will include
    A. Who is the most important character in ___________________?
    B. How is ____________________ like ______________________?
    C. What is the effect of the difference in the two versions of_______________________?

 Ms. Effie’s Fairy Tale Unit