Y'all Are Invited to a Hoe-Down Wedding
Students respond to a fractured fairy tale by creating wedding invitations and thank-you notes.
- Grades: 3–5
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Students will write a wedding invitation in response to the fractured fairy tale, Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman; illustrated by James Warhola.
- Compare and contrast the classic fairy tale with the fractured story
- Understand the components of this Cinderella-based tale
- Create an original theme-based invitation
- Understand the etiquette associated with invitations
- Publish their completed response
- Collection of fractured fairy tales
- Bubba the Cowboy Prince or another similar tale that features a Cinderella-like character
- Collection of invitations for various events
- Paper and pencils
- Coloring materials such as crayons, colored pencils and markers for publishing
- Optional craft supplies, such as glitter, ribbons, straw, etc.
- 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.
- Gather a collection of invitations to share. This can be 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, Cinderella. Afterwards tell students to keep that story in mind as you read what happened to the beautiful Cinderella in Bubba the Cowboy Prince.
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 differences in this particular tale, a change in the setting and opposite gender characters.
Step 4: Discuss how nearly every Cinderella story begins with an invitation to the ball. Ask students to tell you what they know about invitations. What goes on an invitation? What is proper etiquette with regards to writing it, mailing it and responding to it?
Step 5: Tell students they will be creating the invitation to Miz Lureen and Bubba’s wedding. Generate a list of what needs to go on every invitation: who and what the party is for, when and where it is taking place, any special instructions, and how the recipient should let the host know if she can make it.
Step 6: Distribute a sheet of paper to each student. Write down the headings: Who, What, Where, When, Time, and RSVP. Discuss with students the importance of including those tags on an invitation. Allow time for student to draft their invitation.
Step 7: Using your school’s computer lab or at computers set up into centers, have students create their invitation. Review how to change font, size, and color. Check the invitations before giving permission to print.
Step 8: Students may further embellish their invitations by decorating with glitter, ribbons, etc.
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.
- Have students write Thank You Notes from the bride and groom
- Create a menu for the wedding
- Create a bridal registry: What gifts would the bride and groom register for?
- Have students act out the wedding from this and other fractured Cinderella couples and hold a reception afterwards with cake and punch to celebrate
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 a wedding invitation
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 appropriately fill in each area of the invitation?
- Did students complete the rough correctly?
- How well did students work together on revising and editing? Were they offering constructive suggestions?
- Was the finished product quality work?