Fairy Tales in the Classroom

Teaching Students to Create Stories with Meaning Through Traditional Tales

By (author) Veronika Charles
Introduction by Betsy Hearne
Categories: Education
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Paperback : 9781554550203, 256 pages, September 2009

Table of contents


1    "What can I write about?"
      My own journey
      Using fairy tales in the classroom

2    Why Fairy Tales Are Still with Us
      What are fairy tales?
      What is the significance of the tales?
      Mining the potential of fairy tales

3    Going through the Fairy-Tale Woods
      Fairy tales are good for children
      Finding the real world through the magic realm
      Why children are interested in fairy tales 
      Fairy tale form 
      Exercising creativity and imagination
      How children respond to stories 

4    My Work in the Classroom
      A classroom approach
      Advantages of symbols of Propp�s actions
      Complete set of symbols
      Sample action-symbol maps
      The classroom procedure
      Expressing response through drawing
      Selecting stories

5    Tale Type: The Children and the Ogre
      The story "The Black Geese of Baba Yaga"
      The actions in the storyline
      Action-symbol map
      Creating a new story
      Discussion of results
      Making magic
      Back to the real world

6    Tale Type: The Animal Bride
      The story: "The Farmer's Boy and the Orange Cat"
      The actions in the story
      Action-symbol map
      Creating a new story
      Discussion of results

7    Tale Type: Magic Objects
      The story: "The Magic Soup Pot"
      The actions in the story
      Action-symbol map
      Creating a new story
      Discussion of results
      Sessions with older students

8    Expressing Response through Drawing
      Same story, different interpretations
      How children portray stories
      Recollection through visual expression
      Right-brain and left-brain modes

9    Summary: Where to Go from Here
      Integration into curriculum expectations
      Sample follow-up initiatives
      Sample individual student stories
      Follow-up ideas

10  Putting My Approach into Practice
      General description of my approach
      Preparation for class work with a story
      Steps to follow during the activity
      Some practical concerns

11  Teacher Materials
      Anthology of Tales

Master Set of Symbols

Appendix A

Appendix B


Notes to Chapters



Drawing on the work of Bettleheim, Favat, Rodari, Jung, and Propp, Charles explores the basics of storytelling and its innate place in human character. Step by step, she develops an easy and fun-filled approach to creative writing for elementary students. Illustrated in colour throughout with student artwork.


"There is an impressive amount of research and information in this useful book. The teacher is provided with detailed steps to carry through the process with several examples using different types of tales. Besides the anthology of tales, Charles includes a complete set of reproducible symbols, guiding questions for creating new tales, and further notes to accompany some of the tales. This kind of practical detail can be helpful to the practitioner in implementing this technique.
Highly Recommended. "
CM Magazine

"A wonderful resource for any teacher, this textbook would be a particular asset to those working in primary/elementary classrooms. . . What makes this book really unique is her descriptions of classroom procedures, outlining, for example, how to create an action symbol map. . . An excellent resource book which shares a great way to teach fairy tales and inspire story building in children. "
Rated E (Excellent)
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