As a way of practicing comprehension, writing, presentation, and other communication skills, one of Queens Paideia School’s collaborative groups did a unit on Fractured Fairy Tales. If you don’t know what those are, you should!
Per Marilyn Kinsella, a fractured fairy tale is:
“a fairy or other folk tale that has been modified in such a way as to make us laugh at an unexpected characterization, plot development or contrary point of view.”
Shorter: A story you know well gets a makeover you didn’t see coming. They are great fun, and they have an interesting history too, dating back to the 60s and Rocky and Bullwinkle (attn: baby boomers, Gen X, and YouTube cartoon addicts).
After learning about these zany tales and reading and seeing a few examples, the students practiced reading a reader’s theatre play, Fairy Tale News. They also wrote, designed, rehearsed, and performed commercials to intersperse with the play, and then we filmed and edited all the elements to yield the broadcast you can watch below. It was a lot of fun and our students are justifiably proud of their work. CNN’s got nothing on these kids! Thanks to ELA LM Tim Fredrick for incorporating such productive merriment into their programs. (Audio is a bit wonky, so keep your finger near the volume button on your phone or laptop.)