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Why Teach Fractured Fairy Tales in Middle School

Learn about why teachers should teach fractured fairy tales in middle school.

You may already teach fairy tales in your classroom, but you are missing out if you neglect to use fractured fairy tales with your students. Fractured fairy tales are just what they sound like – a fairy tale that has been reimagined from its original state. 

In other words, a fractured fairytale takes elements of a classic fairy tale and reimagines certain aspects of it.  And the great thing is – they are really engaging for students. We all know the stories – Cinderella, Rapunzel, or Beauty and the Beast – and long before a certain mouse got ahold of them, fairy tales have been a part of our world.  

We all want to make reading fun for our students, and before you discount using these stories in your middle school classroom,  we want you to check out the reasons why we think you should teach fractured fairy tales.

Reason #1: They help students use and develop critical thinking skills. 

Any kind of story writing takes a certain amount of creativity. But it can be difficult for students to really hone in on that skill. Using fractured fairy tales, students learn how to analyze and problem-solve within a story in order to understand the deeper meaning. 

When writing their own stories, students can take their favourite elements, twist and turn them, break them up, and completely redevelop them into new stories. Doing this not only helps strengthen and develop creativity within their writing but also requires them to use critical thinking skills to help the story make sense. 

They need to be able to analyze the stories, interpret them in their own way, and think about how the fairy tale they chose can take an out-of-the-box turn that’s different from the original. 

Reason #2: They can help students gain familiarity with classic stories. 

Fairy tales are stories that nearly everyone is familiar with. We know the Grimm brothers started some of the most famous ones, but all over the world, different cultures have their own fairy tales and interpretations of classic fairy tale stories. 

Students might not get excited when they hear they are going to learn about classic literature, but when they hear they are going to learn about fairy tales, they might be a little more interested, as a lot of fairy tales are well known. 

Reading fractured fairy tales is a great way to start when it comes to reading classic literature. While students might groan when they learn they have to read a novel, reading fairy tales is a little more exciting, as they are short but still have the language and writing style one would find in a longer book. 

Not only do fractured fairy tales help students gain familiarity with classic stories, but they will also help them learn and understand various literary elements such as plot, setting, and character development. And students will see that there are different ways of telling a story, depending on the fairy tale and author’s origins – and that fairy tales come in all genres. 

Reason #3: They can help students find their creative voice and writing style.

Reading a fractured fairy tale – as with any story – is just the beginning. Once you take in the words, you have to be able to analyze them to understand their deeper meaning. When students create their own fractured fairy tales, not only do they get to write the words, but they also get the creative license to come up with the meaning behind their story. 

The stories they come up with might have a connection with their own personal life and events, and through planning and analyzing, students can see how their writing style and voice take shape based on this. 

When students learn how to write creatively, their journey usually starts based on their experiences and what they have seen, heard, felt, etc. By using fractured fairy tales, they can incorporate their life experiences into a fun and creative literary outlet. And the more you nurture that skill as a teacher, the more excited your students will get about writing. 

Fractured Fairy Tales Analysis Assignment

Fractured fairy tales are a fun, engaging tool to use when studying traditional fairy tales – their humour and irreverence make them appealing to older students. 

The compare-contrast aspect of this assignment requires students to read and talk about the original fairy tales without feeling that they are studying something too elementary for them.  In this assignment, students read, discuss, and analyze both versions of the fairy tale (traditional and fractured) and then create an interactive presentation for their peers.  

And while this product includes suggestions for tales and their fractured versions to use with your students, it can be used with any traditional and fractured fairy tales you choose. It also can be done independently, in pairs, or as a group project.

Resource Includes:

  • Book Suggestions
  • Genre-Based Assignment Sheet
  • Standards-Based Assessment Rubric
  • Points-Based Assessment
  • PDF & Digital Formats

Try using this resource with your students to keep them engaged in their learning and to help them enjoy reading these types of stories and books. Find the Fractured Fairy Tale Analysis Project on Teachers Pay Teachers USD or Shopify CAD

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