I love fairy tales and folk tales and often use them to work on reading comprehension. Because the kids have often heard the story already in some version or another, including ESL kids who have probably heard it in their native language, I find it's a successful way to introduce reader responses and comprehension activities. It's also great to act out these stories or pretend to be one of the characters. Here are some pictures of what I do with fairy and folk tales. This Gingerbread Man unit is available on TPT for Free: Sample Fairy and Folk Talk Unit - FREE
The first part is making sure the kids understand exactly what happened in the story by asking text-based questions.
Then the kids have a chance to discuss and answer higher-order critical thinking questions about the story and make some connections.
Once you're sure the kids know exactly what happened in the story, have thought about why it happened and what they might have done differently, it's time for Story Mapping. Some activities you might want to do:
- sequence events
- write a summary of the story
- explain character actions and feelings
- describe the setting and explain what it is important
- identify the most significant events in the story and explain why they were so important
- retell the story from the point of view of one of the characters
Learning to write a summary: sequencing pictures, using picture-clues to pull out the main ideas
Finally, drama and extension can be added to the unit.
- use characters cards or puppets and have the students pretend to be one of the characters. 2 or more students can get together and have a conversation "in character"
- put a student in the "hot seat" as one of the characters and have him/her answer questions from the "audience" in character
- act out a reader's theatre for the story
- retell the story in song