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Cinderella, Cinderella

Curriculum Tie:

Time Frame:
4 class periods that run 30 minutes each.

Group Size:
Large Groups


This lesson will help students review the story elements of fairy tales, using the original version of Cinderella. In subsequent lessons they will be using this information to compare and contrast different multicultural versions of Cinderella.

Main Curriculum Tie:
English Language Arts Grade 4Reading: Literature Standard 3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

Day 1

  • Story: Traditional version of "Cinderella."
  • Items for the "Guess That Fairy Tale" Game, depending on the countries that the teacher chooses.
Day 2
  • Story: Traditional version of "Cinderella."
  • The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin
  • Character Sketch Map
  • K-W-L Chart
Day 3
  • Story: The Korean Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.
  • Story: The Egyptian Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.
  • Venn Diagram
  • 4X6 index cards
Day 4
  • Story: Traditional version of "Cinderella."
  • The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin
  • Story: The Korean Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.
  • Story: The Egyptian Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.
  • 4X6 index cards
  • Wall chart

Background For Teachers:
There are several versions of the story of Cinderella. You may find other versions at your local library. Adapt the lesson to fit your versions. Here are some of the many Cinderella stories you may want to use for this lesson:

  • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie
  • The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
  • The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe
  • The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story by Rebecca Hickox
  • Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn
  • The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story by Penny Pollock
  • The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
  • Fair, Brown & Trembling : An Irish Cinderella Story by Jude Daly
  • Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn
  • Estrellita de oro / Little Gold Star: A Cinderella Cuento by Joe Hayes
  • Sootface by Robert D. San Souci
  • Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci
  • The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
  • Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition by Jewell Reinhart Coburn
  • Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman
  • Smoky Mountain Rose by Alan Schroeder
  • The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierra
  • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
  • The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Legend by Darrell H. Y. Lum
  • Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale by Robert D. San Souci
  • Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer
  • Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella by Myrna J. De LA Paz
  • Chinye: A West African Folk Tale by Obi Onyefulu

Instructional Procedures:
Day 1

Pre-reading Activity:

  • To introduce the lesson, play the game called "Guess That Fairy Tale". Give each student a piece of paper with 10 items on it. Bring a box with 10 items in it, each representing a fairy tale or a fairy tale character. As you take out each item, the students need to write down the name of the fairy tale they think this item represents. Here are some ideas:
    • Peas - the Princess and the Pea
    • Red Cloth - Little Red Riding Hood
    • Bowl and Spoon - The Three Bears
    • Rose - Beauty and the Beast
    • Beans - Jack and the Beanstalk
    • Yarn Braid - Rapunzel
    • Apple - Snow White
  • Before reading Cinderella, make a K-W-L chart. Begin with the "K" (what you know) and "W" (what you want to know). As you read the story, you can refer back to the chart.
During Reading:
  • Read the original version of Cinderella. Discuss the elements that make it a fairy tale (happened a long time ago, there's an element of magic, it ends with "happily ever after", begins with "once upon a time", etc.).
Post Reading Activity:
  • Return to the K-W-L chart and as a group, fill out the "L" section for what was learned during reading.
Day 2

Pre-reading Activities:

  • Using a character sketch, discuss and write the character traits of Cinderella, from the original version that was read during Day 1.
During Reading:
  • Read the story, "The Rough-Faced Girl." Discuss the different traits of Rough-Face Girl.
Post-Reading Activities:
  • Using another character sketch, discuss and write the character traits of Rough-face Girl. Compare and contrast the two sketches.
Day 3

Pre-reading Activities:

  • Using 4 X 6 cards, write down these 5 words:
    • Pyramid
    • King tut
    • tombs
    • mummies
    • Nile River
  • Using these 5 clues, have students guess which country the next Cinderella story comes from.
  • Using 5 more cards. write down these words:
    • Temples
    • North
    • South
    • Bare feet
    • Hanbok (woman's dress)
  • Once again, have them guess which country they will be studying during this lesson.
During Reading:
  • Read The Korean Cinderella. Fill out the right side of the Venn Diagram, discussing the main ideas of the story.
  • Read "The Egyptian Cinderella". Fill out the left side of the Venn Diagram, discussing the main ideas of the story.
Post Reading Activities:
  • Fill out the middle section of the Venn Diagram, discussing what the two stories have in common.
  • Use the diagram to discuss the author and illustrator. (Can you tell that the same person wrote both stories?) Discuss (Can you tell that the same person illustrated both stories?) Discuss
Day 4

Pre-Reading Activities:

  • Review the elements that make a fairy tale (happened a long time ago, there's an element of magic, it ends with "happily ever after", begins with "once upon a time", etc.) On a wall size chart, make a matrix with the following headings:

Title Country Setting Ending Words
Problem Solution Magic Beginning Words

Assign groups of children to read one of the Cinderella fairy tales that has been read during this unit. As they read, they can look for the different elements contained in the matrix.

Post Reading Activities:

  • Using the headings from the matrix, give each group nine 4X6 index cards. The 4X6 cards are used to write information and illustrate the card, using one of the matrix headings. For instance, the title card would have a jacket cover illustration for the story and title written on it. The characters card would have an illustration of the characters and their names written in sentence form.
  • Continue this for each category. After they write and illustrate the information for their assigned category, they attach cards to the appropriate places and report orally to the class what they've found.
  • Lead a discussion with the class where they can compare and contrast the different versions.

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
These activities can work well in small group work, partner, or whole class. This will help the diverse learner not feel singled out when they receive support.

Only four versions of Cinderella are used in this lesson. There are several other multicultural versions available. [See Background for Teachers.] Have the students move beyond Cinderella into other fairy tales. There are multicultural versions of Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. You can also have fun, take-off versions of fairy tales such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs."

Students can write their own multicultural version of Cinderella using their own town, state, or country.

Write a poem about a character from the story Cinderella. Here is an example of a limerick:

There once was a girl - Cinderella
Who had a sad story to tell.
Her stepsisters were mean,
Made her sew, cook and clean,
Until she wed a prince of a fella.

Students can create a newspaper, which contains who- what- when- where- why news stories as well as personality profiles, editorials, a "lost and found" section and various classified ads. Examples of titles of stories or ads:

  • Missing in action (A news story asks the question, "Where is the shoe?")
  • Rumors of abuse (a reporter investigates mistreatment of the Cinderella by her family)
  • Help Wanted Ad (an ad where the Prince is looking for the person who will fit in the shoe he found.)
Social Studies:
Make a list of traditions, foods, customs, and type of clothing, houses and geographical features that are found in the cultures of each story.

After reading various Cinderella stories, locate each country of origin on a map.

Students may choose a country from one of the different versions and use research and writing skills to write a paper about that country. They could also use this info to make a Power Point.

Label a map showing the different countries in which the Cinderella story can be found.

Assessment Plan:
The graphic organizers and various writing activities will need to be reviewed in order to see that the students are understanding. This will provide assessment each day.


  • The traditional version of the story "Cinderella."
  • The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin.
  • The Korean Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.
  • The Egyptian Cinderella, by Shirley Climo.

Patty Lyman
Clara Jenson
brooke rauzon

Created Date :
Aug 10 2005 16:44 PM