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Fractured Fairy Tales

Teacher Lesson




  • Literature




  • 3-5
  • 6-8


Brief Description

Students study and diagram elements of fairy tales, read a fractured fairy tale, and then write their own fractured tales.




Students will


  • read a variety of fairy tales.
  • identify characteristics of fairy tales.
  • use a Venn diagram to compare three fairy tales.
  • read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
  • write their own fractured fairy tales.
  • compile fairy tales into a book.



writing, writing process, fairy tale, good, evil, setting



Materials Needed


  • a variety of fairy tale books
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • paper, pencils, construction paper, binding spirals (for book)


Lesson Plan


Gather a collection of fairy tale books that includes your students favorites. Share some titles and let students talk about their favorite fairy tales

Invite students to identify some common characteristics of fairy tales. They might offer such ideas as:

  • Fairy tales often begin with the words Once upon a time or Long, long ago.
  • They usually include a good character and a bad character (evil).
  • They can include magic or something enchanted.
  • They frequently include a forest or castle in a fairy tale.
  • The plot usually involves some kind of problem, the problem is eventually solved, and the good people live happily ever after.

When students have a good grasp of the elements of a fairy tale, arrange them in groups of three. Have each student read aloud one fairy tale to his or her group. Then invite the group to use a 3-circle Venn diagram to compare and contrast the fairy tales. (Please be patient. This editable template loads slowly.) If you wish to incorporate computer skills, have students save this editable Venn diagram to a disk. They then can type in the editable areas of the document. When the diagrams are completed, have groups share their diagrams with their classmates and explain what conclusions they drew about fairy tales. Students might even write a brief paragraph or two comparing and contrasting the fairy tales they analyzed.

After students are familiar with the elements of fairy tales, read aloud The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. Talk about how the story is different from the version they are familiar with. Discuss what a fractured fairy tale is, and explain to students they are going to write their own fractured fairy tales.

Before students begin the assignment, you might discuss how other fairy tales might change if told from a different point of view. Discuss some fairy tale titles and brainstorm how the tales might change. Then students have to make the following decisions:

  • Which fairy tale will they "fracture?"
  • How they will change that fairy tale?
  • Who will be the good character? the bad character?
  • From whose point of view will the story be told?
  • Where will the story take place?
  • What problem will have to be solved?
You might write the questions on the chalkboard so students can refer to them as they write.

When students fractured fairy tales are complete, have a story sharing session! Students might even share their stories with students in lower grades.




How many fairy tale elements did students include in the fairy tales they wrote? You might ask them to include a specific number of characteristics in their stories. In that case, students earn 1 to 10 points for each element or writing skill listed below, based on the success with which they incorporated that element into their stories:
  • Is the story properly set? the setting clearly described?
  • Does the tale begin with the words Once upon a time or Long, long ago?
  • Is a problem incorporated into the plot?
  • Are there good and evil characters?
  • Is the problem believably solved?
  • Do the good characters live happily ever after?
  • Does the story include at least three paragraphs?
  • Is the writing neat and properly indented?
  • Did the writer do a good job of fracturing?
  • Is spelling and punctuation correct?


Submitted By


Linda Bray, Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi




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