Ms. Gokturk



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.



  1. Choose one of the following stories or motifs to study. Have it approved by me: only 2 students per choice.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 children’s book.
  4. CREATIVE 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 your book.
  5. PRESENTATION. 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.
  6. READ ALOUD PRESENTATION. You will read your story to the class during “story-time.” This is the oral presentation part of your project.



Fairytales with Multiple Versions

  1. Beauty and the Beast
  2. Bluebeard
  3. Cinderella
  4. The Emperor’s New Clothes
  5. The Fisherman and His Wife
  6. The Goose Girl
  7. Jack and the Beanstalk
  8. The Frog Prince
  9. The Gingerbread Man
  10. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  11. Hansel & Gretel
  12. King Midas
  13. Little Match Girl
  14. The Nightingale
  15. The Princess and the Pea
  16. Rapunzel
  17. Rumpelstiltskin
  18. Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose)
  19. Snow White
  20. Stone Soup
  21. The Three Little Pigs
  22. Thumbelina
  23. The Ugly Duckling


Fairy Tale Motifs

 [See D. L. Ashliman’s University of Pittsburgh site: for the links to the stories.]


  1. Abducted by Aliens. The aliens in these legends are not men from outer space but the underground folk: fairies, trolls, elves, and the like.
  2. Air Castles. Tales about daydreams of wealth and fame.
  3. 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.
  4. Animal Brides
  5. Animal Brides and Animal Bridegrooms: Tales Told by North American Indians
  6. Animals in Exile
  7. 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.
  8. Bald Stories: Folktales about Hairless Men
  9. The Bird's Three Precepts. Fables in which a captured bird gains its freedom by giving its captor three pieces of advice.
  10. Breaking Wind: Legendary Farts
  11. Bride Tests. Folktales about housekeeping tests used for choosing a bride.
  12. Cat and Mouse. Fables about cats and mice.
  13. Changeling legends. Fairies, trolls, elves, and devils kidnap human children, leaving their own demonic offspring in their place.
  14. End of the World. Folktales in which storytellers from around the world make light of paranoia and mass hysteria.
  15. Fairy Gifts. Stories from around the world about mortals who are blessed or cursed by the "hidden people."
  16. The Foolish Friend and other tales in which a fool kills an insect resting on someone's head, with catastrophic consequences.
  17. Foolish Wishes. Tales about the foolish use of magic wishes.
  18. The Fox and the Cat and other fables about the dangers of being too clever.
  19. Golden Fowls
  20. The Hand from the Grave. Legends from Germany and Switzerland about wayward children whose hands, following their death and burial, refuse to stay buried.
  21. Hog Bridegrooms. Tales in which a beautiful maiden is forced to marry a hog or a hedgehog.
  22. 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.
  23. Human Sacrifice in Legends and Myths
  24. 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 trap.
  25. Japanese Legends about Supernatural Sweethearts.
  26. The Language of Animals. Folktales about wife beating.
  27. Melusina. Legends about mermaids, water sprites, and forest nymphs and their sensuous relationships with mortal men.
  28. The Mermaid Wife
  29. 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.
  30. Monkey Bridegrooms
  31. Every Mother Thinks Her Child Is the Most Beautiful
  32. Town Mouse and Country Mouse.
  33. Your Choice? See something that’s not here?