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Writing Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured fairy tales take the traditional fairy tales that you know and change them. Elements such as the characters, setting, point of view or plot might be changed.

For example, a fractured version of Three Little Pigs has a wolf who is just misunderstood. As he explains from his point of view, he wasn’t actually trying to blow their houses down. The truth was he just had a really bad cold which was making him sneeze a lot! His nose was stuffy so the pigs must have misunderstood his words. He was only trying to knock on his neighbors’ doors to see if he could borrow some cold medicine.

At the heart of it, a fractured fairy tale is just a really cool way to learn about the importance that point of view plays in the telling of a story.  We've all heard sayings like, "History was written by the victors" or "There are two sides to every story."  Fractured fairy tales allow us to introduce this lesson, using traditional fictional tales, at a level that kids can not only understand but enjoy.

First, set the stage.  Lead a class discussion on fairy tales. (TIP: Create an anchor chart using these responses and post for easy reference.) What are some class favorites?  What are elements that we commonly find in fairy tales?
Some responses might include:
  • Set a long time ago
  • Usually includes magic or some type of make believe
  • Clearly defined good vs evil characters
  • Plot is focused on a problem that needs to be solved
  • Usually has a happy ending
  • Oftentimes teaches a lesson or moral
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Free-Fairy-Tale-Writing-Papers-1836657Next, if you have access to a fractured fairy tale story, read it now. Note that the elements of a traditional fairy tale that you discussed previously are still present. The author just twisted or fractured parts of the story. Discuss what exactly the author changed.  If you are looking for a book to read, Read Write Think has created a fractured fairy tale book list found here.

Finally, let the fracturing begin!  Have students select a traditional fairy tale.  They should give it a new title.  When they are ready to write their final version (after drafting and editing) let them write on this adorable FREE fairy tale stationery.  You do need to be a member of TPT to download it but no worries. If you need to sign up that is easy and free too.  After the writing is complete be sure to have students answer the reflection questions listed above.

Or, step things up a creative notch and make a cool castle shaped lapbook.


Happy Writing!

The Importance of Reading at Home

Do you think back to your childhood with fond memories of your favorite books? I certainly do.  My mom tells me that when I was very young I could not get enough of Green Eggs and Ham. I was saying all the words along with her as she read, even before I could read.  In my pre-teen years, I saved what little allowance or gift type of money that I received to subscribe to a book delivery service.  This was long before e-books were a thing. I was so anxious to receive my book club books each month!  The Sweet Valley High series was a favorite back then.

More than anything though, some of my best childhood memories are of reading to my younger brothers.  When they were very small, I read Dr. Seuss books to them. Another favorite was The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree.  I would read with great suspense in my voice as I asked, “Do we dare go up those spooky old stairs?”  They would giggle and shout back, “Yes, we dare!"  As they got a little older (elementary school age to my junior high school age) I read several ‘Choose your own Adventure’ series to them.  They would each sit on either side of me as I read the story. When we got to a decision page, they had to talk it out and reach a decision together. It was so cute watching a little six year old and nine year old justify their reasons to each other for why we just had to do the action that they were choosing. 

As a big sister, even though they are now grown men in their 30s, they will always be the little six and nine year old boys to me. So eager to hear what happens next in the story.  Where would our childhood memories have gone without books?  I can’t imagine if I had to think back fondly to those great times when I stared at the back of their heads as they watched TV or played video games. What!? No.  As a soon to be new mom, I can’t wait to start reading to my baby boy like my mom read to me.  

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Read-at-Home-Flyer-1312799I’m writing this today as a reminder to parents and teachers. Parents, books can take your child’s imagination to magical places. Journey with them there and make memories that you both will cherish for the rest of your lives.  Teachers, encourage parents to read at home with their children. Feel free to distribute the free read at home flyer that I made.  Trust me, you want your students to read at home. Their fluency and comprehension skills will go through the roof. I was a reading teacher’s dream. (Thanks mom!)  

As I mentioned, the flyer is free. It is available in my TPT store. You do need to be a member to download it but no worries. If you need to sign up that is easy and free too. 

P.S. -
You can also find several more tips in The Literary Maven's, Page Turners: "Fostering a Love of Reading" blog post.

Happy Reading!

Tips for Creating a Literacy Rich Classroom!

Exposing students to the written word is a key component to promoting literacy at a young age. 

Unfortunately, many children are not introduced to a widely varied vocabulary at home in either verbal or written format.  Therefore, it is incredibly important that teachers make use of every opportunity to introduce children to words in a variety of fashions.   

A great place to start is by creating an engaging print-rich classroom.


What are some ways to create a literacy rich classroom?


Create an accessible library in your classroom. Remind students that a library can be a valuable tool for learning and it can be fun!

Include an assortment of text types. Include reference materials, non-fiction resources as well as a variety of high interest fiction books. Have books available for several reading levels. You don't want your struggling readers to get frustrated and give up, nor do you want your advanced readers to become easily bored.


You can go all out creating themed reading areas or you can keep it simple.  Either way, let's be real, who can get comfortable reading in a hard little plastic straight backed chair?  That's right, nobody.  If you want your students to want to read, give them an inviting area in which to do it.  If you're on a budget start off with a colorful area rug to define the reading space.  Add some mats, floor pillows or bean bag chairs and you are off to a great start.


Help your writers to feel inspired by their surroundings.  Bare white walls are not very inspiring!  Set up a useful writing center. Include signage reminders of the writing process.  Clip charts to track their progress can be helpful for younger writers (find the example shown in my TPT store).  Have your writing center stocked with creative writing stationery, graphic organizers, writing utensils and numerous ideas for prompts and story starters.

Some ideas to get the creative writing process started:
  • Set up a mini "crime scene" with toys/dolls and tell students to infer what took place. Write a short story with lots of details.
  • Display pictures that are unusual or interesting looking and ask students to describe what is going on in them.
  • Provide a selection of brochures to destinations like Disney World, Museum of Science and Industry, Aquariums, etc. Students' task is to write a persuasive letter to parents convincing them why they should be taken there.
  • Provide an assortment of writing prompt task cards on many topics. Allow students to pick one that interests them.
  • Use Roll-a-Story cards to set up the characters, setting and conflict in a short story and let your students' creative minds fill in the details (see example).


Use anchor charts instead of writing all sorts of new material that you are presenting on a white board, where it will soon be erased.  An anchor chart is simply a large piece of display paper where you provide information.  For example, when teaching about idioms, create an anchor chart giving specific examples of idioms commonly used. If you are creative, draw in some pictures to accompany the examples.  The most important thing is to leave the anchor charts posted so that students can refer back to them at a later date for reinforcement.   


Your word walls can include vocabulary that students are expected to know at grade level, test prep words, words specific to a unit of study or just new words encountered when reading.  The important thing is for students not to just read a word once, define it and forget it.  Repeat exposure is key. Read the word, discuss it, display it and remember it!

Happy Teaching!