Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Lorenzo Mattotti

a fire to keep them warm in the woods

Our 4th graders drew as they listened to Neil Gaiman’s retelling of “Hansel and Gretel.” I encouraged them to use a lot of black ink like Mattotti, but their expressiveness lies where it lies…..enjoy!

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Writing Fairy Tales with K-2

Creating fairy tales with 1st graders

After reading and discussing fairy tales, StoryWorld cards give students an array of characters, settings, and magical elements to expand the possibilities of their fairy tales.

Here is how I used Storyworld cards to inspire kids to “tell” fairytales:
1. Pick your favorite versions of fairy tales. After reading, discuss the flow of the story:
Characters & setting: How does the storyteller set the scene, or introduce the characters and the setting.
Problem: What difficulties arise? What problem do the main characters run into?
Solution: how do the characters solve the problem? Does some kind of magic help them or do they use their cleverness and bravery and do it themselves?
Conclusion: In all fairy tales, no matter how horrible the conflict,or how numerous the problems, the main characters always overcome them.

2. Divide StoryWorld cards into three piles: character cards, magical element cards, and setting cards. Divide each pile between the groups. An adult should be assigned to each group so group according to how many adults you have.

3. Have small groups dictate their stories with the use of the cards. The adult records.

4. Type the stories, divvying up the text into pages, and give to the art teacher, keeping a copy for yourself.

5. On the iPad (I use Book Creator), or in Garageband on the computer, have same students read aloud the story page by page, creating a different audio track for each page.

Meanwhile…In art class, they can create the illustrations in an handmade book using whatever medium they are studying in art.

6. On the iPad, take photos of the illustrations. You will crop later, so don’t worry about the photos being perfect.

7. Open each photo, enhance and crop.

8. Open Book Creator and create a new book. Add the first picture. Add a text box and type in the words for the first page. You can create a background color to the text or leave it to bleed onto the illustration. Do the same for each page.

9. When you finish, Send to iBookShelf or save as a PDF and upload it to the Internet.

With Storyworld cards, their stories are full of wild adventures, like the best fairy tales–taking us through the darkness to the light!

Imaginative Stories

We started the 2009-10 year reading about the imagination and great reading habits of Grace in Amazing Grace. We followed up by reading the exciting North African Bedoin folktale of Rimonah of the Flashing Sword. Then I played The Rage of Hercules, retold (I edited out the really scary part) by Odds Bodkin and interpreted in ASL by Sarah. We loved all these stories and it gave us good reasons to hit the 398.2 section!