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Lesson Plan: Compare and Contrast Fairy Tales

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To compare and contrast fairy tales, including the theme and details in them

Common Core Standard:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.9- Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.




  • Do you enjoy reading fairy tales?  Why or why not?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • A fairy tale is a story written for children that has magic or imaginary beings and lands.  Fairy tales are meant to be entertaining.
  • All fairy tales have certain elements that are the same.  They begin with “Once upon a time…” and end with “And they lived happily ever after.”
  • There is always a good character and an evil character.  One of the characters in the fairy tale is usually royalty, such as a prince, princess, king or queen.  One of the characters is usually poor or from a poor working family.
  • Another element of a fairy tale is that something magical happens.  There might be a spell cast, animals talking or fairies, trolls or elves.
  • Fairy tales have a problem that needs to be solved.  Generally, it takes three tries to solve the problem.
  • Numbers or patterns are also common in fairy tales.  Usually things, phrases or tasks appear in “threes” or “sevens.”
  • Other common themes or things you will see in a fairy tale are talking animals or objects, sleep, human weakness (greed, laziness) and human strengths (kindness, generosity, patience) and impossible tasks.
  • Now, you are going to read two fairy tales.  While you are reading them, think about how they are the same and how they are different.  Think about the different elements of a fairy tale and which elements they have.  Then, you will fill in the table.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



Who would like to share their answers?  What aspects of the fairy tales are the same?  What aspects are different?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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