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Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables: A Writing With Writers Activity

Through Scholastic's fun classroom activities, young students learn how fairy tales are created.


PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

Activity Type

  • Writing Activities

In “Fractured Fairy Tales & Fables” (grades K–3), students meet Jon Scieszka, author of the modern-day fairy tale, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, and the fable, Squids Will Be Squids. Each book pokes fun at the more traditional fairy tales and fables. Through classroom activities, students have fun while learning about how these genres are created:

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs classroom activities:

Point of View: After reading the story, ask students to write about whether or not they are convinced by the wolf's version of the story. Is he trustworthy? Why or why not?

A Letter to A. Wolf: Ask students to write a letter to A. Wolf in jail, including what more they’d like to know about him and what happened to the pigs?

Read All About It!: Ask students to write about the story of the three little pigs as if they had watched nearby when the wolf visited each of the pigs. Have students think about how would the story change if the police were human. Would it become a story about human beings instead of pigs?

• Act It Out!: Have one group of students act out the original fairy tale, and one act out Sieszka’s version, each writing what they would say during different scenes. The rest of the students can write about what they liked in each performance, and how they were different.

More Fairy Tale Fun: Ask children to think about other fairy tales that might change if they were told from a different point of view. For example, how would The Daily Wolf cover the story of Little Red Riding Hood? How would Cinderella's stepsisters tell her famous story?

• Fractured Fairy Tale Message Board: Once students have completed some of the activities above, they can publish their work online.

Squids Will Be Squids classroom activities:

Fractured Fables: With a few simple instructions, students can write their own silly fractured fables, Mad-Lib style!

• Animal Personalities: Make a list of some of the typical animals that appear in the fables and discuss the characteristics associated with them. For example, foxes are portrayed as smart and sneaky, lions are usually courageous, noble, and brave.

• Coming Attractions!: Pretend that Squids Will Be Squids is the latest huge movie and create a "Coming Attractions" poster, including the title and author and illustrated with several of students’ favorite scenes from the book.

• Considering Your Words: Discuss the ways in which words, both written and spoken, can hurt people's feelings, as they did when Aesop was thrown off a cliff when an ancient king learned that Aesop said bad things about him in his fables.

• Multicultural Approach: Fables have been written in cultures all around the world, including Japan, Africa, and more. Find some collections of these fables (many of which are labeled as folk tales) and briefly discuss their origins.

• Fractured Fairy Tale Message Board: Once students have completed some of the activities above, they can publish their work online.


Learning Objectives:

Scholastic's Online Activities are designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. While participating in the Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales project, students become proficient with several of these skills.

  • Appreciate diverse cultures and traditions through folklore and folktales.
  • Compare historic world cultures with contemporary ones.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the genres by responding to questions.
  • Follow the writing process to create writing in different genres.
  • Identify unique characteristics of the genre: myth, folktale, folklore, and fairy tales.
  • Produce written work to show evidence of knowledge of the different genres.
  • Read and listen to genre examples to increase knowledge of genre characteristics.
  • Read myths and folktales to increase knowledge of world cultures and traditions.
  • Respond to questions about the folktale genre to demonstrate understanding.
  • Tell an original folktale to class members using appropriate fluency skills.
  • Use Web tools to access information about different cultures.
  • Use Web tools to write and publish original myths, folktales, and fairy tales.


Susan Cheyney

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