Saturday, May 19, 2012

Let the Fairy Tale Adventure Begin!

This past week has begun my absolute favorite part of the school year (and no, I don't mean the countdown to summer vacation :).  We started a seven week unit on fairy tales!  We have seven first grade classes, and so each of us teaches a different fairy tale each week, so that we can share materials and have all versions available to our kiddos in the classroom library and big book stations.  The only problem with this approach is that at Library resource this week I discovered how much my students love fairy tales as well when they went looking to check them out, but the teachers already had them!  I quickly put in a wish list for our librarian to hopefully order additional copies for next year.

My class began with my favorite tale - Jack and the beanstalk.  I purchased "Once Upon a Time (Fairy Tales for Little Learners)" from  Here is a link directly to the package on  It had a great way to introduce the unit with colorful charts which described fairy tales, folktales, and fables.  We always focus on four key elements when reading fairy tales:  character, setting, problem and solution.  We create a four square chart for the original version, and continue to add to the chart in different color marker for each version that we read.  It can get a little busy, but I have found that it works better for the kids to see all of the information in one place.  We spent the week reading a variety of different versions.  Here are a few that we have read:

The base of my writing and phonics activities came from a site I found on pinterest.

We completed the ABC order beanstalks and also our very own books "_______ and the Beanstalk".  I stapled three empty pages onto each book and focused on the writing mini-lessons that we had done on beginning, middle, and end as a reference.  I found it was helpful to the kids to have an idea of what should go on which page.  It also prevented the three sentence "I'm done!" culprits from trying that one.
We did our mini-lesson on Monday, and for the rest of the week the kids had writers workshop to work on their stories.  I cut it a bit short this week because I was very ambitious when I came across yet ANOTHER incredible art activity on pinterest....

This one is from  We began this on Monday and did a bit each day before finally finishing on Thursday. Once I had finally displayed all of our hard work the walls outside room 501 looked pretty amazing if I do say so myself!

Next week, it's on to Cinderella!

1 comment:

  1. I work in Virginia at a Title one school as well. And we also do a fairy tale unit, aannnnnnddddd Jack and the Beanstalk is my favorite too! I like it because we can really talk about how Jack is different in the versions- sometimes he's a hero because he's getting back his Dad's stuff, but sometimes he's just a thief. We spend a lot of time analyzing his character. I'm enjoying your blog- I read the whole thing through this evening.