Slimy Advertising and a Wicked Resume
A writing exercise to complement the fractured fairy tale, The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka
- Grades: 3–5
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Students will write an advertisement flier that would appeal to a witch and a resume for a frog prince who is hiring as a response to the fractured fairy tale, The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka.
- Compare and contrast the classic fairy tale with the fractured story.
- Understand successful advertising appeals to its intended audience.
- Create a list of skills that would appeal to a fairy tale employer.
- Publish their completed responses.
- Collection of fractured fairy tales
- The Frog Prince Continued or another similar tale that features an ending that is different from the standard
- Collection of catalog pages or advertising fliers from newspapers or the mail
- Collection of resumes from various professions
- Paper and pencils
- Coloring materials such as crayons, colored pencils and markers for publishing
- Computer and printer
Set Up and Prepare
- Gather a large number of fractured fairy tales for students to explore. Use books from your own collection along with those from the school and/or public library. Keep these books out during the entire unit for students to read independently and for them to refer to as models during the writing lessons. To generate the greatest interest, provide a wide variety of fractured classic tales, including versions of Cinderella, The Three Bears, The Three Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood.
- If you have not done so already, preview the Online Activity: Fractured Fairy Tales & Fables. Author Jon Scieszka will take you on a tour of some of his favorite fractured fairy tales to help you build your background and get your creativity flowing before the lesson begins.
- Find appropriate fliers to share with the class. Good examples will include a variety of items on a page that appeal to a specific type of person. For example, a page from a cooking catalog along with one from a home improvement store would work well to show students how each flier would attract a different type of person.
- Gather a collection of resumes. This can easily be done through an online search using your favorite search engine. Print and make copies to share with the class.
- Have paper, pencils and art materials available for use.
Step 1: Begin the lesson by asking students to recall the names of some of their favorite fairy tales. After generating a brief list, ask students what all fairy tales have in common.
Step 2: Ask students to summarize one of the classic fairy tales, The Frog Prince. Afterwards, tell students to keep that story in mind as you read what happened after the happily ever after in The Frog Prince Continued.
Step 3: Following the story, discuss it with the class. Compare and contrast it with the classic tale. Tell students that a humorous version of a well-known story is called a parody. Explain that the humor can be satirical, or ironical. Talk about the main difference in this particular tale; things aren’t always what they seem.
Step 4: Discuss the many ways the author let us know the prince was unhappy. Talk about ways he may have passed his time. His wife often sat reading the paper. Tell the students to imagine that one day a flier slipped out of the paper that caught the prince’s eye. Brainstorm what might be on sale on that flier that would interest the Frog Prince, such as a fly-swatter or a kiddy pool. Write ideas on the board.
Step 5: Tell students they will be creating that flier that fell from the paper. Share with them the collection of catalog pages and sale fliers. Discuss who each item may appeal to.
Step 6: Distribute a sheet of paper to each student. Ask them to come up with a minimum of five items they would like to put on their flier. Have students also write down other things they should have on their page, including store name, phone numbers, a web address, bankcard symbols, store hours, etc.
Step 7: Using your school’s computer lab or at computers set up into centers, have students create their flier. Review how to change font, size and color. Model how students may import images from the internet to add to their flier. This can easily be done by conducting an online search of what they are looking for, copying the item they want and pasting it into the flier. Check students’ fliers before giving permission to print.
Step 9: Revisit the story and discuss the prince’s fruitless search for a witch. Discuss better ways he may have gone about finding one who could perform magic on him. Share the collection of resumes you have found. Talk about what each has in common. Tell your class that this type of document is exactly what the prince needed to have in his hands in order to find a qualified candidate for the job.
Step 10: Remind them the essential parts of a resume are name and address, career goal, education, and prior experience. Discuss how the writings of a witch in these categories would be very different from an ordinary person. Using an overhead or projection device, model for the student’s what a witch’s resume might look like. Encourage creativity.
Step 11: Distribute lined paper to each student and allow them time to draft their resume. Students can revise and edit with partners or small groups.
Step 12: Publish the resumes using the computer.
Supporting All Learners
Students with limited English proficiency, along with less mature readers, may not understand the concept of satire or irony that is often present in fractured fairy tales. Take the time to explain the author’s purpose and the meaning that is intended.
Students can write yet another ending to the story, describing what happens after the accommodating princess has been a frog for a while.
Inform your parents in a note or through your class newsletter whenever you begin a new unit in language arts. If you like ask parents to help either in the classroom or at home to help proofread student papers before publishing.
- Create an advertising flier that would appeal to a frog
- Use the internet to import items for their catalog page
- Complete a rough draft of a resume before making their final copy
Did you have a wide enough variety of fairy tales? Are they any titles you would like to add to your collection for next year? Did you provide adequate time for each step? Did you brainstorm enough ideas together? Did you model enough for students to complete the assignment independently? Were all learners able to complete this lesson successfully? What would you do differently next time to improve this lesson?
- Were the students able to understand the author’s intent?
- Were the students able to choose catalog items appropriate for the character?
- Did students choose appropriate responses to each category as they completed their resume while pretending to be a wicked witch?
- Were the steps of the writing process followed?
- How well did students work together on revising and editing? Were they offering constructive suggestions?
- Was the finished product quality work?