Webb’s Wondrous Tales—Writing Fairy Tales Lesson Plan
Program/Lesson 2 for “Webb’s Wondrous Tales”
Ages: Grades 5 and up
Book – “Webb’s Wondrous Tales Book 1” by Mack H. Webb, Jr.
Chalk and Chalkboard or Marker and Butcher Block Paper or Computer and Projector with screen
Read “Webb’s Wondrous Tales Book 1” by Mack H. Webb, Jr.
Objectives: (Language Arts)
Define a fairy tale and a short story.
Identify unique features of fairy tales.
Apply the unique features of a fairy tale to a story they create.
Identify structural elements used to reinforce the feel of a fairy tale.
Apply the structural elements of a fairy tale to a story they create.
Write a fairy tale.
Overview: This lesson focuses on the unique aspects of fairy tales. Most people can identify a fairy tale but may not be able to identify how the writer has created that “fairy tale feel”. This lesson guides students through the process of creating fairy tales.
Set Up: For the discussion section below, arrange chairs in a circle to allow for better communication between students. Use butcher block paper on an easel or a Powerpoint slide display to display the question being discussed and to jot down major discussion points.
For the activity section, provide students individual workspace at a table or desk which includes writing materials or assign the writing period as homework.
1. Students are to prepare for this program by reading “Webb’s Wondrous Tales Book 1” prior to the start of the session.
2. Define fairy tales and short story: Begin by discussing the definitions and differences between fairy tales and short stories. Have students volunteer possible definitions and differences. Note the ideas on your chalkboard. At the conclusion of the discussion, codify the definitions and differences so they are clear to all. Some of the points you will want to see emerge include:
A. Short Stories by definition are short, complete accounts of a particular event. Usually there is a very limited set of characters, a focused plot line, and little descriptive material.
B. Fairy Tales are a subset of short stories. While having all the features of a short story, fairy tales also tend to include mystical and/or magical events and characters. There is typically an antagonist of great evil and a protagonist who is often portrayed as a child or at least a sort of innocent. The plot line is usually about how the innocent one overcomes the evil one or how someone is transformed. Fairy tales often use the following structural elements:
- a great quest or task
- a series of tests
- repeating word sequences to reinforce the progress of the story
- animals that can speak, do magic, or perform human activities
- are set in time/spatial periods “long ago and far away”
- a moral lesson (like love conquers all, good overcomes evil, etc)
3. Examine the fairy tales in “Webb’s Wondrous Tales Book 1”. Discuss each of the following tales with regard to the points in Step 4 below.
A. “Brock and Sam Throw Down Their Hats”
B. “The Enchanted Cauldron”
C. “Help Comes to the Homestead”
D. “Landers and the Golden Key”
E. “Poor Pernell”
Identify the protagonist(s) and the antagonist(s). Identify the plot line. Identify whether or not magic was used in the story. Identify which structural elements were used to tell the story.
4. Activity: Assign each student the task of writing a fairy tale. Do not have them put their names on the paper.
5. After the fairy tales have been written, have the students turn in their tales. Mix the tales up, hand them out to the students randomly. One by one have each student read the tale they now have in their hands to the class. Have the class comment on how the story incorporated the elements of a fairy tale. After the reading of each story, discuss the following questions with regard to that story.
A. What was the plot line?
B. Who was the protagonist?
C. Who was the antagonist?
D. What fairy tale features did the author include?
6. Conclusion: This lesson examined the unique features of fairy tales and explored the elements involved in writing a fairy tale.