Cinderella Stories

Students read multiple versions of the fairytale Cinderella, challenging them to think about how the culture, or setting, of the story influences the plot, and examining the setting and characters.

Unit Summary

In this first unit of second grade, students read multiple versions of a classic fairy tale, Cinderella. Through reading various versions of the same story, students are not only exposed to a wide variety of cultures, but they are also challenged to think about how the culture, or setting, of the story influences the plot. In 1st grade Literature, students took a trip around the world, exploring a wide variety of themes and stories from all over in order to build a foundational understanding that our world is made up of many diverse and unique cultures. This unit builds on the exposure to new cultures students received in 1st grade and provides an opportunity for students to explore the idea that even though cultures may appear to be different, there are many things embedded within the unique characteristics of different cultures that make them similar. Storytelling, and the role of storytelling, is one of those similarities. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with others in the sequence, helps students build empathy and understanding of people and cultures that might be different from them.                                  

The different versions of Cinderella help students understand the components of a fairy tale and the lessons associated with traditional fairy tales. Over the course of the unit, students will be challenged to ask and answer questions about the text and illustrations as a way of deepening their understanding of plot, setting, and characters. In the first section of the unit, students will focus deeply on the setting, characters, and plot of the different versions of Cinderella, learning to compare and contrast the nuances across different versions. In the second section of the unit, students will read Cinderella stories that vary from the traditional plot structure but still include the underlying theme that a person’s actions (good or bad) influence their life outcomes. In this section, students will dive deeply into three texts to analyze different characters’ traits and how the author uses those traits to help reveal the lesson of the story

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Texts and Materials

Core Materials

Supporting Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What lessons can we learn from the characters in traditional fairy tales and folktales

Below are some of the lessons students might learn from Cinderella:

  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Treat others with respect.
  • Beauty is on the inside.
  • If you are kind, you will be rewarded.

 

  • How can we use the lessons we learn from fairy tales in our own lives?

When applying the lessons to their own lives, encourage students to be proactive and antiracist. If possible, connect it to causes bigger than themselves (e.g. racial justice, anti-bullying, etc.).

Fluency Focus Areas

  • Readers read with expression and volume to match interpretation of the passage
  • Readers use proper intonation to show interpretation of the passage

This unit is one of the only units in the sequence where the majority of texts are read aloud to students. Therefore, the focus of this unit is on modeling reading aloud with prosody. This involves reading with expression, timing, phrasing, emphasis and intonation in a way that supports comprehension and meaning making. In later units, and during independent reading, students will have multiple opportunities to practice fluent reading in grade-level texts.

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Produce simple sentences
  • Convert fragments to sentences

Complete sentences are the foundation for all writing. In this unit, students learn to differentiate between a fragment and a complete sentence. We recommend using our guide Sentence-Level Feedback and Support (Grades 3-5) to provide individual and small-group feedback to ensure that all students are able to use complete sentences by the end of the unit.

Narrative Writing Focus Areas

  • Brainstorm and outline before writing
  • Develop a focused narrative with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Use descriptive language to show, not tell, character feelings
  • Use temporal words to show passing time 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

admire arrogant ashamed cross crafty culture delighted deceitful desperate dread envy entranced fairy tale generous genuine graceful humble jeer long marveled obedient peer pleased proud relieved sob temper vain weary

Related Teacher Tools:

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Cultures around the world are all unique. They share many similarities and differences. If a culture is different from yours, ask questions to learn more.
  • Fairy tales are fictional stories that come from all cultures. Common characteristics of fairy tales include; set in the past, have fantasy, make-believe or magical elements, have clearly defined good and evil characters, most often have a happy ending, and teach a lesson that is important to the culture they come from. 
  • There are several major characteristics of all Cinderella stories:
    • Cinderella arrives, is the most beautiful woman at the ball, the prince falls in love.
    • The clock strikes midnight, she runs away and drops her glass slipper.
    • The prince tries to find Cinderella by putting the glass slipper on all women in the land.
    • It fits Cinderella, they marry. 
    • Changes Cinderella: she’s no longer a servant, but a princess
    • Changes stepsisters: they apologize, and Cinderella forgives them and lets them live at the palace 
  • These characteristics differ based on the setting of Cinderella and the values/elements of the culture. 

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Lesson Map

1

  • What is Culture? — pp. 4–21 and pp. 26–27

    RL.2.1

Identify culture and the ways that cultures can be similar or different by identifying key details in a text Read Aloud.

2

  • Cinderella pp. 1 – 14

    RL.2.1

    RL.2.3

Describe Cinderella, her stepmother, and her stepsisters, and how they act toward people who treat them poorly by describing characters and how they respond to events.

3

  • Cinderella — pp. 15-end

    RL.2.1

    RL.2.3

Describe what happens at the ball and how it changes Cinderella and the stepsisters’ lives by describing characters and how they respond to events.

4

  • Cinderella pp. 1 – 20

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe the setting of Cinderella and how it influences what characters do by identifying and describing key details from the text and illustrations that describe setting.

5

  • Cinderella pp. 20 – 40

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Explain how the queen knows that Cinderella has good character, and what else Zahra does to show her good character by using the text and illustrations to describe characters and how they respond to events.

6

Writing

    L.2.1.f

Produce complete simple sentences orally and in writing.

7

  • Cendrillon

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe why Cendrillon says, “You gave me this night. It is enough,” by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

8

  • Cendrillon

  • Cinderella

  • Cinderella

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.5

    RL.2.9

    SL.2.1

Compare and contrast two versions of Cinderella by describing how the setting impacts the characters and plot of a story.

9

  • Yeh-Shen pp. 1 – 15

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe Yeh-Shen’s relationship with the fish and why it is important by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

10

  • Yeh-Shen — pp. 17 - end

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe why the king did not allow Yeh-Shen to bring her stepmother and stepsister to the palace after they were married by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

11

Writing

    L.2.1.f

Produce complete simple sentences orally and in writing.

12

  • The Egyptian Cinderella

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Explain the role of the falcon and how it makes this version of Cinderella different from others by analyzing details in a text to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

13

  • Yeh-Shen

  • The Egyptian Cinderella

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.5

    L.2.6

Compare and contrast two versions of Cinderella by describing how the setting impacts the characters and plot of a story and analyzing the different lessons learned.

14

  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe Nyasha and how her character is different from Manyara by analyzing details that describe character traits and motivations.

15

  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

Analyze how the author uses character traits to demonstrate the lesson or moral of the story by analyzing details that describe character traits and the lesson.

16

  • The Talking Eggs

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe Blanche and how her character is different from her mother and sister by analyzing details that describe character traits and motivations.

17

  • The Talking Eggs

    RL.2.2

Analyze how the author uses character traits to demonstrate the lesson or moral of the story by analyzing details that describe character traits and the lesson.

18

Writing

Determine if a sentence is a complete sentence or incomplete sentence.

19

  • The Rough-Face Girl

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.7

Describe the Rough-Face Girl and how her character is different from the two older sisters by analyzing details that describe character traits and motivations.

20

  • The Rough-Face Girl

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

Analyze how the author uses character traits to demonstrate the lesson or moral of the story by analyzing details that describe character traits and the lesson.

21

Discussion

  • All unit texts

    RL.2.9

    SL.2.1

    L.2.6

Debate and analyze what lessons we can learn from the characters in traditional fairy tales and folktales and how these lessons translate to our lives by citing evidence from the entire unit to support an idea.

22

Writing

    W.2.3

    L.2.1

    L.2.2

Write a different version of Cinderella by writing narratives that include a beginning, middle, and end.

23

Writing

    W.2.3

    L.2.1

    L.2.2

Write a different version of Cinderella by writing narratives that include a beginning, middle, and end.

24

Writing

    W.2.3

    L.2.1

    L.2.2

Revise your version of Cinderella by adding temporal words to help events unfold in a logical way. 

25

Writing

    W.2.3

    L.2.1

    L.2.2

Identify the four different types of sentences and explain when they are used.

26

Writing

    W.2.3

    L.2.1

    L.2.2

Edit your version of Cinderella by applying generalized spelling patterns when spelling a new word.

27

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.2.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.2.1.f — Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).

  • L.2.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.2.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.2.1 — Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

  • RL.2.2 — Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

  • RL.2.3 — Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

  • RL.2.5 — Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

  • RL.2.7 — Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

  • RL.2.9 — Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.2.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.2.4 — Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

  • SL.2.5 — Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • SL.2.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Writing Standards
  • W.2.3 — Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

  • W.2.8 — Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Foundational Standards

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Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
  • RF.2.4