The Rumpelstiltskin Story Lesson Plan
- Grades: 6–8
About this book
Subject Area: Language Arts
Vivian Vande Velde has created alternate versions to the well-loved story of "Rumpelstiltskin." Told with a modern-day cynical wit, these new versions of the classic tale don't always end up happily ever after. Sometimes funny and sometimes dark, these stories promise to change the way you look at fairy tales forever.
To write a news article based on a well-known fairy tale
Standard: Student writes expository compositions (e.g., states a thesis or purpose; presents information that reflects knowledge about the topic of the report; organizes and presents information in a logical manner, including an introduction and conclusion).
1. Tell students that they are going to get to figure out the real story behind some famous fairy tales. Start by reading "Cinderella" as an example.
2. Brainstorm unanswered questions that students have. For example: "Why are Cinderella's sisters so mean?" "Why is the house so dirty that it takes Cinderella all day to clean it?" "Why did it take the fairy godmother so many years to intervene?" "How can you dance in glass slippers?"
Questions and Answers
Read the author's introduction and write down the questions that Vande Velde had while reading "Rumpelstiltskin." Ask the students how she answers these questions in her versions of the story.
The Real Story
Create a fairy tale newspaper that gets to the truth!
1. Divide the class into groups of four. Tell each group that they should pick a classic fairy tale to read.
2. After each group has read the story, they should brainstorm questions that they feel are left unanswered by the story.
3. Tell students that each group will be creating a newspaper that investigates the real story behind the fairy tale they have chosen. Each student in the group will be responsible for writing an article that answers one of the questions they have about the fairy tale.
4. Show students some examples of news articles. Discuss catchy headlines and lead sentences. Encourage students to incorporate interviews with the characters into their article.
5. Each student should create a headline and draw a picture for their article.
6. Encourage students to peer-edit their work. Have a "coffee (chocolate milk) and newspaper day" where students present their work.
Have students include a "Dear Abby" section in their newspapers. Investigate what problems the characters might have that they might want solved.
New Versions of Fairy Tales
Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird
by Vivian Vande Velde
Modern takes on classic fairy tales such as "Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Rumpelstiltskin."
Newfangled Fairy Tales
by Bruce Lansky (Editor)
This collection features humorous versions of fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty wants to backpack across Europe, while King Midas is a busy banker that ignores his family. This is a great book to read aloud.
Kate and the Beanstalk
by Mary Pope Osborne
Kate is the clever and confident heroine in this lively retelling of the classic fairy tale.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
by John Scieszka
A revisionist retelling of the "Three Little Pigs" - this time from the point of view of the wolf.
Other Books by Vivian Vande Velde
Once Upon a Test: Three Light Tales of Love
Companions of the Night
There's a Dead Person Following My Sister Around
Magic Can Be Murder
A Hidden Magic
Curses, Inc: And Other Stories
The Conjurer Princess
The Changeling Prince
Alison, Who Went Away
Teaching plan written by Gabrielle Nidus