Cinderella Stories

Aschenputtel (German)

Cenerentola (Italian)

The Cinder Maid

Cinderella (Bulgarian)

The Little Glass Slipper (French)

Conkiajgharuna (Georgia)

Fair, Brown, and Trembling (Ireland)

The Girl Clad in Mouse-Skin (Denmark)

The Hearth Cat (Portugal)

Katie Woodencloak (Norway)

Little Burnt Face (Native American)

Papalluga (Serbia)

The Sharp Grey Sheep (Gaelic)

Sodewa Bai (Southern India)

For a more extensive listing of Cinderella stories, click here.



Lesson Plan
Cinderellas Around the World
Course: World Literature & Composition (10th Grade)
Unit: Fiction
Overview: The purpose of this lesson is for students to understand the basic elements of fiction by identifying these elements in different versions of the same story. Students will read different versions of the Cinderella story, but all will be asked to identify the same literary elements (setting, characters, plot, etc.). They will also identify some classic literary archetypes (Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother). Students will utlimately discuss the similarities and differences among all the Cinderlla stories as well as to other works of literature. This will hopefully lead to a more general discussion on how culture influences literature, and as an assessment students will write their own versions of the Cinderella story.
Objectives: Students will (a) learn about the origin and history of the Cinderella story, (b) identify basic elements of fiction, (c) compare and contrast different versions of the same story from cultures around the world, (d) understand how culture affects various aspects of literature, and (e) write an original short story.
Georgia Professional Standards: ELA10RL1, ELA10RL2, ELA10W2, ELA3W2
- Disney's Cinderella
-Cinderella, 1997 TV Movie starring Brandy & Whitney Houston
- Elements of Fiction Worksheet
- Shoes from Around the World Handouts
- "Cinderella" Wikipedia Article
- Various Versions of the Cinderella Story across Cultures
Essential Questions
- Pop Quiz
Begin by showing clips from Disney's Cinderella. Consider this the "traditional" or "original" version.
Have the students identify the following literary elements: Title, Author, Language, Setting, Characters, Conflict, Plot, Point of View, Tone, Mood, Motifs, Theme, and Symbols. Distribute Elements of Fiction Worksheet if needed.
Now show clips (or entire film, as time permits) from the 1997 version of Cinderella, starring Brandy and Whitney Houston.
Compare and contrast the two versions of Cinderella. First, identify the basic literary elements, which are essentially the same in both versions. Then, disscuss ways in which the films differ. For example, they are set during different times. Lastly, ask what may have informed these differences.
Explain that the Disney and TV movie versions are just two of over one thousand estimated versions of the Cinderella story from cultures around the world.
Have the students read about the origin and history of Cinderella. Distribute the "Cinderella" article from Wikipedia, or some other sufficient source of information, and read it out loud with the class or assign it as independent reading for homework. The point is for students to gain background information and knowledge about the story. Advanced students will have the opportunity to learn more, while struggling students will be challenged by a difficult text. Essential information should be reviewed later, to ensure all students understand.
Discuss the origin, history, and other essential information about the Cinderell story. As the students read different versions of this story, what do they expect to be similar? What do they expect to be different?
Distribute Cinderella's Slippers handout and discuss how the glass slipper is one element that may differ. While many stories do stick to the original glass slipper, some stories will have a different type of shoe because people wore different types of shoes in the place the story was written. In some stories, Cinderella won't even have a shoe, but a different triquet or object of equal value and significance.
Explain that an object used by a man to find the woman he loves is common, in some form, throughout not only various versions of the Cinderella story but other works of literature as well. Certain character types like "The Struggline Step Child," "The Evil Stepsisters," "The Fairy Godmother," and "Prince Charming" are also common throughout literature. Generic elements of fiction, like symbols and characters, that reappear in different forms throughout literature are called archetypes.
Put students into groups and assign each group a different version of the Cinderella story to read together. While they read, have the students identify the basic literary elements and how the classic Cinderella archetypes manifest themeselves in their version of the story. Also have the students identify the culture from which their version came, and the cultural elements unique to that story.
Allow the students time to research the cultures from which their stories came.
Have students prepare poster boards and brief presentations on their stories. Students should first summarize the setting and plot, then discuss explictly how the archetypes manifested themselves in their story. Posters should include pictures representive of the culture from which the story comes.
Have students take notes on the key details from all versions of the Cinderella story as each group presents.
Ask Essential Questions.
Administer Pop Quiz.
Elements of Fiction Worksheet
Cinderella Project
Pop Quiz
Teaching Standards:
T.A.P.P. Outcome #8: The teacher demonstrates knowledge of the skills needed to teach diverse populations. Insofar as this lesson incorporates stories from a range of countries, cultures, and time periods, it teaches and promotes multicultural awareness--a skill needed by both the teacher and the students--without which the equitable education of diverse students would not be possible.