Fairy Tale Project: Creating a Fairy Tale Book
Your goal is to study a fairy tale or fairy tale motif,
identify the fairy tale, and re-tell the tale(s).
YOUR TASK: Choose one fairy tale OR one motif [see below for choices],
read three or more versions of it, write a comparative analysis (to be used as
a Foreword to your book), and re-write one version (or combine the versions)
from a first person account. This first person re-telling will be presented in
a “children’s book” style.
Step by Step
- Choose one of
the following stories or motifs to study. Have it approved by me: only 2
students per choice.
- RESEARCH. Read
at least three versions of your choice. Find some literary criticism on
the topic: historical or cultural context, psychological analysis,
feminist theory, etc. Ask the librarians for help.
- ESSAY PART.
Write an analysis of the stories. This is in essay form. Have a clear
controlling idea/thesis. Include fairy tale elements, literary elements,
and compare and contrast. This will act as the Introduction to your
WRITING. Re-tell your story or stories from a character’s perspective
using first person. Include dialogue, description, and imagination, but
remain within the parameters of the stories you read. This is the body of
Create a “children’s book” style book with illustrations. Your book may
use PowerPoint or your artistic skills. This is the visual presentation
part of your project.
- READ ALOUD
PRESENTATION. You will read your story to the class during “story-time.”
This is the oral presentation part of your project.
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Emperor’s New Clothes
- The Fisherman and His Wife
- The Goose Girl
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- The Frog Prince
- The Gingerbread Man
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- Hansel & Gretel
- King Midas
- Little Match Girl
- The Nightingale
- The Princess and the Pea
- Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose)
- Snow White
- Stone Soup
- The Three Little Pigs
- The Ugly Duckling
Fairy Tale Motifs
[See D. L. Ashliman’s University
of Pittsburgh site: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts.html
for the links to the stories.]
- Abducted by Aliens. The
aliens in these legends are not men from outer space but the underground
folk: fairies, trolls, elves, and the like.
- Air Castles. Tales
about daydreams of wealth and fame.
- Androcles and the Lion.
Tales in which a man pulls a thorn from a lion's paw, thus gaining the beast's
eternal gratitude and loyalty.
- Animal Brides
- Animal Brides and
Animal Bridegrooms: Tales Told by North American Indians
- Animals in Exile
- Anti-Semitic Legends.
A collection of legends reflecting anti-Jewish sentiment among European
Christians. These tales, like their witchcraft
analogs, illustrate an unfortunate chapter in human history.
- Bald Stories: Folktales about
- The Bird's Three Precepts.
Fables in which a captured bird gains its freedom by giving its captor
three pieces of advice.
- Breaking Wind: Legendary Farts
- Bride Tests. Folktales
about housekeeping tests used for choosing a bride.
- Cat and Mouse. Fables about
cats and mice.
- Changeling legends. Fairies,
trolls, elves, and devils kidnap human children, leaving their own demonic
offspring in their place.
- End of the World.
Folktales in which storytellers from around the world make light of
paranoia and mass hysteria.
- Fairy Gifts. Stories
from around the world about mortals who are blessed or cursed by the
- The Foolish Friend and
other tales in which a fool kills an insect resting on someone's head,
with catastrophic consequences.
- Foolish Wishes. Tales
about the foolish use of magic wishes.
- The Fox and the Cat and
other fables about the dangers of being too clever.
- Golden Fowls
- The Hand from the Grave.
Legends from Germany
about wayward children whose hands, following their death and burial,
refuse to stay buried.
- Hog Bridegrooms. Tales in
which a beautiful maiden is forced to marry a hog or a hedgehog.
- Catching a Horse by Its
Tail. Folktales in which a trickster cons his victim into thinking he
can catch a horse by tying himself to its tail.
- Human Sacrifice in Legends
- Ingratitude Is the World's
Reward. A kind person rescues a trapped animal, who in turn threatens
to eat his benefactor. In the end the animal is tricked back into the
- Japanese Legends about
- The Language of Animals.
Folktales about wife beating.
- Melusina. Legends about
mermaids, water sprites, and forest nymphs and their sensuous
relationships with mortal men.
- The Mermaid Wife
- Midwife (or Godparent) for
the Elves. A human helps deliver an elf-woman's baby, or serves as the
elf-child's godparent. Stories of this type are found throughout northern Europe.
- Monkey Bridegrooms
- Every Mother Thinks Her
Child Is the Most Beautiful
- Town Mouse and Country
Choice? See something that’s not here?