The use of multicultural versions of the story Cinderella helps students make comparisons and observations.
Part One -- Cinderella Art
Part Two -- Cinderella Theatre
Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella, Adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz (Philippines); ISBN 1-
Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella, by Jewell Reinhart Coburn (Cambodia); ISBN 1-885008-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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
Part One -- Cinderella Art
(These activities to be done over a period of 5 days or more.)
- Gather the students onto the carpet.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Read The Rough-Face Girl.
- 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.)
- Have the students go back to their seats, and hand out the
- Make an overhead of the comparison chart. Fill out the
Comparison Chart on the overhead as the students fill out their
- 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.
- 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"
- Once the Comparison Chart is filled out for all of the character
and story elements, re-visit the illustrations in The Rough-Face
- 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.)
- Have students list what they noticed in the "Specific Cultural
Aspects" rectangle at the bottom of the Comparison Chart.
- 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.
- 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.
- Share with students the Art Rubric so they know what is
expected to be part of their artwork.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have students sketch out their idea in their journal before they
begin creating their piece of art.
Part Two -- Cinderella Theatre
- 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.
- Place the index cards on the board. Have students choose a
character from the board and then sit down.
- 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.
- Keeping their journals with them, have each group meet
- In their journals, have student list some of their favorite scenes
from their story, providing the appropriate book for each group.
- As a group, they need to agree on a scene to act out.
- 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
- Share with students the Theatre Rubric, so they know what is
expected of their performance.
- 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
- Students may use any props or create their own for their scene.
- As students are getting their scene ready, the teacher will walk
around and fill out a Participation Survey for each group.
- Before the scene is acted out, students will get into their spots
- 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.
- Students will act out their scene.
- After they are finished acting, they will remain at the front for a
Q&A in character.
- The audience may ask any character a question; the actor will
need to respond as if he/she was that character.
- After everyone has had a chance to act their scene, have them
fill out the student Student Participation Survey.
- This activity readily lends itself to language arts, folk tales and
- 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?"
- 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.
- Comparison Chart
- Art Rubric
- Personal observations
- Participation Survey
- Theatre Rubric
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-
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
Sousa, D. (2006). How the Arts Develop the Young Brain. School Administrator. 63(11) 26-
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.