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Comparing Cinderella and
The Rough-Face Girl

Teacher Lesson



  • Language Arts
  • Literature
  • Regions/Cultures


  • K - 2
  • 3 - 5

Brief Description

Use a Venn diagram to compare two stories -- the fairy tale Cinderella and the native American Cinderella story, The Rough-Face Girl.


Students will
  • understand that there are similarities as well as differences between cultures.
  • see that literature, reading, and the passing down of stories is common to all peoples.
  • construct a Venn diagram to help them compare and contrast the stories; identify qualities of the stories and their characters that are both similar and unique.


Native Americans, The Rough-Face Girl, Cinderella, tale, fairy, Rafe Martin, Indians, literature, Venn, graphic organizer, November, compare

Materials Needed

  • a copy of The Rough-Face Girl; most libraries will have a copy of this winning book.
  • a copy of a traditional telling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella
  • Venn diagram work sheet

    Lesson Plan

    Readiness/Motivation for Lesson
    Ask students, Who has heard the story of Cinderella?
    Ask a student to share his or her own short version of Cinderella.

    Explain to students that the class will be reading two books today. One is Cinderella, a famous fairytale that is known throughout America. The other is The Rough-Face Girl, which is a legend from the Eastern Woodland tribes.

    Reading the Stories
    Read aloud The Rough-Face Girl. After reading, ask students to tell you what they learned from the story about the culture of the Eastern Woodland Indians. Ask them to define terms such as wigwam, buckskin, runner of his sled, leggings, and lakeshore.

    Then read the classic tale of Cinderella. Ask students to look for things that the story of Cinderella has in common with The Rough-Face Girl. Older students might make notes of some of those commonalities as you read.

    Comparing the Stories
    Next, draw a Venn diagram on a board or chart. Ask students to identify one thing that was different between the stories. For example, students might point out that Cinderella had yellow hair and the Rough-Face Girl had black hair. Write black hair in the circle devoted to The Rough-Face Girl and write yellow hair in the circle devoted to Cinderella.

    Ask students to identify one thing that the stories Cinderella and The Rough-Face Girl have in common. Students might say both girls had mean sisters. Write mean sisters in the area where the two circles intersect.

    Challenge students to continue the work the class has started. They might work on their own, with a partner, or in small groups to list on the Venn diagram work sheet least five things in each of the three areas of the diagram (the area devoted to elements that are unique to The Rough-Face Girl, the area devoted to things that are unique to Cinderella, and the area where the two circles intersect that includes things the two stories have in common.


    Note: Use this lesson to teach/employ technology. The Venn diagram work sheet (which might take a moment to load) is an editable work sheet; that means that students can save a copy of the work sheet to a disk or computer hard drive and use their keyboards to type inside the circles of the diagram. Or you can simply print out the work sheet and let students use pencils or pens to complete it.

    Alternative work sheet sources:
    Venn work sheet 2
    Venn work sheet 3
    Venn work sheet 4


    Students will use their completed Venn diagrams to write a few statements that compare or contrast the two stories they read or heard in this lesson.

    Submitted By

    Kellie Replogle, Martin Luther King Jr., Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio


    Originally published 11/14/2002
    Last updated 10/20/2014


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