From Unit Plan: Once Upon a Genre

I have listed just a few of my favorite fractured fairy tale titles to use, although there are many! When you are teaching this unit, use the books I have suggested or substitute one of your favorites. Nearly every twisted tale can be used as a vehicle for clever responses.

Books for Students

Bubba the Cowboy Prince
by Helen Ketteman; illustrated by James Warhola

This time Cinderella is "Bubba," a kind and hardworking ranch hand bossed by his mean stepfather and stepbrothers. The "purtiest" ranch owner in Texas throws a ball to find herself a real feller — and a fairy Godcow comes to Bubba's rescue.

Classroom Tip: After reading this Cinderella story, students write a wedding invitation that matches the western theme.

The Frog Prince Continued
by Jon Scieszka illustrated by Steve Johnson

After the frog turns into a prince, he and the Princess do not live happily ever after and the Prince decides to look for a witch to help him remedy the situation.

Classroom Tip: This is one of the first fairy tales students will read that explores the "after" part of "happily ever after," so it makes a very good model to use when teaching alternate endings.

The Jolly Postman: Or Other People's Letters
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Postman goes on his rounds via bicycle, delivering mail to Goldilocks, Cinderella, Jack's Giant, and other fairy-tale characters. Tucked into envelopes are actual letters for children to pluck out.

Classroom Tip: This is the book that inspired my ideas for this unit 15 years ago! I’ve taught this book with first, third and fourth graders who have all enjoyed it tremendously. Even if you don’t teach this unit, find this book and revisit for the sheer pleasure. This title should be very easy to find in any library.

Somebody and the Three Blairs
by Marilyn Tolhurst; illustrated by Simone Abel

In a reversal of the Goldilocks story, a bear explores the home of the three Blairs while they are out.

Classroom Tip: This story is a good model for tales that have been fractured with role reversals.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith

This book breathes a twisted new life into the fairy tales children know. In these irreverent variations on well-known themes, the ugly duckling grows up to be ugly, the tortoise can’t keep up with the hare, and no one wants a piece of the Stinky Cheese Man who runs away from the little old woman and the little old man.

Classroom Tip: This compilation of fractured fairy tales is a favorite with intermediate students who are able to understand Scieszka’s double meanings, irony and higher-level humor. This book is part of a whole warped Scieszka collection.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
by Eugene Trivizas; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This best-selling, cleverly illustrated parody of the famous tale features a pig who is determined to make life miserable for three young wolves.

Classroom Tip: This is an easy book to work with in the classroom because every student knows the classic tale of the three little pigs and they are able to easily see how the author has “fractured” the story.

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith

Finally, we get the other side of the story when we hear what really happened with those three selfish pigs from the sweet and kind Alexander T. Wolf.

Classroom Tip: A great story for teaching point of view any time of year.

Fractured Tales Grades K–3: 10 Books
If you are just beginning to build your fractured fairy tale library, this is the way to go. It includes ten different titles that will amuse your class to no end.

Classroom Tip: Buying packs of books can be one of the easiest and most economical ways to build your classroom library.

Professional Books

Ready-to-Go Management Kit for Teaching Genre
by Debbie Deem, LuAnn Feely, Cheryl Fullmer, Debbie Lienemann, and Katie Moore

If you're teaching young readers about genre, you'll love this must-have resource for exploring biographies, tall tales, nonfiction, and more! Comes complete with engaging activities, reproducibles, and graphic organizers.

Classroom Tip: The activities and reproducibles are great to use with language arts center-based activities.

Independent Reading Management Kit: Genre: Reproducible, Skill Building Packs That Engage Kids in Meaningful and Structured Reading & Writing in a Variety of Genres
by Laura Witmer

Ready to use literature response and writing activities help boost reading comprehension and build key reading and writing skills.

Classroom Tip: I find the reproducibles in this resource a great way to get children writing in a variety of genres.

Great Genre Writing Lessons: Focused Step-by-Step Lessons, Graphic Organizers, and Rubrics That Guide Students Through Each Stage of the Writing Process
by Heather Clayton

Guide students through each step of the writing process — from selecting topics to publishing polished pieces!

Classroom Tip: The step-by-step process makes teaching each stage easy. Planning time is cut in half with this resource. I have referenced this title twice in this unit's lessons and could have easily used it for many more.

10 Ready-to-Go Book Report Projects: High-Interest Book Projects That Help Students Respond Meaningfully to Favorite Literature
by Rebekah Elmore and Michael Gravois

Liven up any reading program with this must-have teacher resource book of ten meaningful, creative, book report projects.

Classroom Tip: The directions for the pop-up book are easy to follow. You will love all ten of the comprehensive projects. Each project includes great student directions, rubrics, and illustrations.