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The Cinderella Projects

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 2nd Grade
Standard 1

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 2
Reading: Literature Standard 2

Group Size

Large Groups


Utah LessonPlans


The use of multicultural versions of the story Cinderella helps students make comparisons and observations.


Part One -- Cinderella Art

Part Two -- Cinderella Theatre

Additional Resources


Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella, Adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz (Philippines); ISBN 1- 885008-17-1

Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella, by Jewell Reinhart Coburn (Cambodia); ISBN 1-885008- 09-0

Anklet for a Princess, by Lila Mehta (India); ISBN 1-885-00820-1

Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella, by San Souci (Caribbean Islands); ISBN 0-689-80668-X

Chinye: A West African Folk Tale, retold by Obi Onyefulu (Africa); ISBN 0-670-85115-9

Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, by Gail Carson Levine (boy version, chapter book); ISBN 0-06- 028336-X

Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition, Adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn (Mexico); ISBN 1-885008-13-9

The Egyptian Cinderella, by Shirley Climo (Egypt); ISBN 0-690-04824-6

The Faithful Friend, by Robert D. San Souci (Caribbean Islands); ISBN 0-02-786131-7

The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story, by Rebecca Hickox (Middle East, India); ISBN 0-8234-1513-9

Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella, Adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn with Tzeza Chera Lee (Asian; Thailand, Laos, Vietnam); ISBN 1-885008-01-5

The Korean Cinderella, by Shirley Climo (Korea); ISBN 0-06-020432-X

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, by John Steptoe (Africa; Zimbabwe); ISBN 0- 663-59261-5

The Persian Cinderella, by Shirley Climo (Persia, now Iran); ISBN 0-06-26765-8

The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin (Native American); ISBN 0-698-11626-7

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China, retold by Ai-Ling Louie (China); ISBN 0-399- 20900-X

Background for Teachers

Students should have some knowledge of Disney's Cinderella. This is the most common and most kids are familiar with this version. Students need basic knowledge of painting, sculpting, and creating art with cutting or tearing paper. Students should be familiar with depth (perspective) in works of art.

Intended Learning Outcomes

3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn

Review with students the characters from Disney's Cinderella (Cinderella, Stepmother, Stepsisters, Fairy Godmother, Prince and Mice). They will be making a graph on the board of their favorite and least favorite characters. On the board, write the names of the characters at the bottom and give each student two different colored sticky notes (pink and yellow), have them put their pink sticky note on the board above the character from Disney's Cinderella that is their favorite, or that they relate the most to. The yellow sticky note goes above the character that is their least favorite. In their journals, have them write about why those particular choices were their most and least favorite. For example, "I like the mice because they help Cinderella."

Instructional Procedures

Part One -- Cinderella Art

(These activities to be done over a period of 5 days or more.)

  1. Gather the students onto the carpet.
  2. Ask students to tell you about the Disney version of Cinderella. (If necessary, use a Disney version picture book and do a picture walk to go over some of the details.)
  3. Explain that there are many versions of Cinderella from many different cultures and over the next few days you are going to be reading and comparing the stories.
  4. Read The Rough-Face Girl.
  5. Ask students to rate what they thought of the story. (Fist to 5: keeping their hand on their chest so only the teacher can see, have them hold their hand in a fist if they did not like the story at all, 3 fingers out if it was OK, or 5 fingers out if they liked the story. You could also let them use any numbers in between to show the degree of their like or dislike for the book.)
  6. Have the students go back to their seats, and hand out the Comparison Chart.
  7. Make an overhead of the comparison chart. Fill out the Comparison Chart on the overhead as the students fill out their paper.
  8. Start out by having the students describe the Cinderella character from The Rough-Face Girl. If the Rough-Face Girl and Cinderella have something in common, it goes in the oval in the middle. If it is something that is specific to the Rough- Face Girl, it goes in the parallelogram. If it is something that is specific to Disney's Cinderella, it goes in the trapezoid.
  9. As they are comparing the two, make sure that each idea is put in the proper place on the Comparison Chart. For example, if they are comparing Cinderella with the Rough-Face Girl, and they say they both wear rags, "rags" would fit in the "clothing" area.
  10. Once the Comparison Chart is filled out for all of the character and story elements, re-visit the illustrations in The Rough-Face Girl.
  11. Ask the students to look closely at the pictures, and ask what they notice in the illustrations that show this story comes from a Native American culture. (Moccasins, teepees, buckskin clothes, paintings on the teepee, etc.)
  12. Have students list what they noticed in the "Specific Cultural Aspects" rectangle at the bottom of the Comparison Chart.
  13. Repeat with three more Cinderella stories representing three different cultures (see additional resources). Reiterate the differences between the various stories and cultures they represent. This is a great opportunity for you to look at your classroom, see what types of cultures are represented, and choose a story from those cultures.
  14. After reading and comparing stories, students will create their own work of art choosing a scene from one of the multicultural versions of Cinderella. Students may use any type of art medium available to them such as, watercolor, crayon, marker, diorama, torn paper, etc.
  15. Share with students the Art Rubric so they know what is expected to be part of their artwork.
  16. Encourage students to take their time to really think about the elements they will put in their piece. Also remind them about depth (perspective). Objects closer to them will appear large; objects farther away will appear smaller.
  17. Remind them about the illustrations and the things they noticed which made that story specific to a culture. They need to try and re-create those items in their piece of art.
  18. Have students sketch out their idea in their journal before they begin creating their piece of art.

Part Two -- Cinderella Theatre

  1. Choose several Cinderella stories and write the names of the characters on the index cards or construction paper. If a character does not have a name, identify on the card the story from which the character originates. (Make sure you have at least one character for each student.) Each set of characters should be on one color, for example, all of the characters from The Rough-Face Girl are on blue paper, all the characters from Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters are on green paper, etc.
  2. Place the index cards on the board. Have students choose a character from the board and then sit down.
  3. In their journals, have each student use the graphic organizer "inside out" to write down information about their character. (Draw one large oval that fills up your paper, draw a small oval in the center of your large oval.) On the inside oval, they write their character's name. In the outside oval, they need to write important information about their character. They can answer the questions: Why does your character act the way he/she does? What kind of relationship does he/she have with others in the story? What makes her so nice or mean? Why does he/ she treat "Cinderella" the way he/she does? Etc.
  4. Keeping their journals with them, have each group meet together.
  5. In their journals, have student list some of their favorite scenes from their story, providing the appropriate book for each group.
  6. As a group, they need to agree on a scene to act out.
  7. As a group, have the students talk about their ideas for what they will say and do in the scene, and what might be needed as props.
  8. Share with students the Theatre Rubric, so they know what is expected of their performance.
  9. They need to have one sentence that tells what their character thinks as the scene is beginning for the "freeze" section. For example, in The Rough-Face Girl, the stepsister may think "I am so beautiful, I can't sit by the fire like my sister and become scarred, for if I do, the Invisible Being won't want to marry me." Explain that they will be creating a "freeze" scene and will be sharing their sentence with the class before they act out their scene.
  10. Students may use any props or create their own for their scene.
  11. As students are getting their scene ready, the teacher will walk around and fill out a Participation Survey for each group.
  12. Before the scene is acted out, students will get into their spots and freeze.
  13. The teacher will touch a student in the scene and he/she will "come to life" and tell what he/she is thinking at that moment.
  14. Students will act out their scene.
  15. After they are finished acting, they will remain at the front for a Q&A in character.
  16. The audience may ask any character a question; the actor will need to respond as if he/she was that character.
  17. After everyone has had a chance to act their scene, have them fill out the student Student Participation Survey.


Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration

  • This activity readily lends itself to language arts, folk tales and fairy tales.
  • If you have a student that has difficulty writing, he/she can tell and talk about what he/she will say and do.
  • Have students extend the story. What happened after Cinderella moved out to live with her Prince?
  • Have students write their own version of Cinderella.
  • Students may act or illustrate a "what if" version. "What if the step-sister was nice?" "What if the step-mother loved Cinderella?" "What if Cinderella's parents had never died?"

Family Connections

  • Talk to students' families about their own heritage and where they come from. Find a Cinderella story or other fairy tale from their country of origin to bring back and share with the class.
  • Students could write their own version of Cinderella with their family and then share with the class.

Assessment Plan

  • Comparison Chart
  • Art Rubric
  • Personal observations
  • Participation Survey
  • Theatre Rubric


    Research Basis

    Holcomb, S. (2007) State of the Arts. NEA Today. 34-37

    This article focuses on the benefits of integrating arts across the curriculum. The arts create a "natural bridge that can transfer over to math, history, and science." Focusing on the arts in the curriculum helps students to think creatively and can help students retain knowledge from other curricula areas.

    Rabkin, N. & Redmond, R. (2006). The Arts Make a Difference. Educational Leadership. 60- 64

    Arts education effects student achievement, especially in the lowest socioeconomic status. Arts-integrated programs were associated with academic gains which were seen in standardized test scores, some scores rose as much as two times faster than those in traditional schools. The studies also showed a decrease in students acting out and being disruptive.

    Sousa, D. (2006). How the Arts Develop the Young Brain. School Administrator. 63(11) 26- 31

    Integrating arts across the curriculum increases cognitive activity; the arts engage many parts of the brain and help with learning. Arts integration has positive effects on students. Students learn in different ways; the arts act as a bridge to help learning in other areas. The arts help students relate to others and provide challenges for students that are already successful.

Created: 07/08/2008
Updated: 02/05/2018