Thanks to its partnership with educational publisher Eye on Education, Education World is pleased to present this lesson ideas article from Lauren Hathaway of Eye on Education's Editorial Department. The article describes how Grimms' fairy tales can inspire language arts and social studies activities in the classroom.
Once upon a time, there were born two brothers…
Jacob Grimm, who with his brother Wilhelm is famous for publishing the Grimms’ fairytales, was born on January 4, 1785. Although the Grimms’ fairy tales are often regarded as children’s literature, the brothers did not originally intend for these dark and violent stories to be read by children. It was their research as linguists that first led the Grimm brothers to listen to and record the stories, and a desire to preserve the German oral tradition that led them to publish the stories.
Many of the fairy tales we are familiar with today have gone through a number of changes to become more kid-friendly, and audiences might be surprised to read the often cruel and disturbing endings of the Grimms’ original tales. For example, did you know that in the Grimms’ tale of Snow White, the wicked queen is punished at the end of the story and made to dance to her death wearing a pair of red hot iron shoes? (Pretty grim, right?)
Still, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are beloved throughout the world, and with the right lesson plans and tools, can be a valuable addition to language arts and social studies classes. Take a look at some of the Web sites below for classroom activities, information on the Grimm brothers, and other resources for teaching fairy tales and folklore.
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