Monday, February 2, 2015

Fairy Tales in ELT

Guessing Game Cards

My students love this activity. I'm posting it firstly as it's part of an assignment, secondly because I really appreciate other teachers sharing resources they've made and of course I am keen to contribute to the ELT community.

I usually do the activity something like this.
  1. Ss. put all the cards face down on a desk. 
  2. The first student takes a turn to read a card out to the group.
  3. If a member of the group knows the fairy tale as it is being read, they put their hand down flat on the table.
  4. When the reader has finished the story, they ask one of the students with their hand down flat, 'What story is it... (Maki)?' 
  5. (Maki) says, 'I think it's (Cinderella). 
  6. She is told, 'That's right.' Or, 'Not quite. Anyone else?'
It would be a great introduction to a fairy tale writing activity. 

The best part of the game is that reticent students get caught up in the fun of it and listen keenly to the speaker, so I look forward to watching my students play this game every year.

These are some ideas on main activities to do after this warm-up. Thanks to my classmates at for many of these ideas!

Have students:
  • modernise the fairy tale - students pick a modern moral to tell, e.g. the dangers of texting and walking, drugs, stranger danger, etc.
  • erase the last few lines of the story and write a new ending.
  • switch the gender roles - for example, The Sleeping Cutie and the princess who wakes him up from his 100 years of slumber. Cinderon, the boy who is treated badly by his evil stepfather and dreams of going to the ball to dance with the princess.
  • put out some props that you wouldn't expect in a fairy tale and have each group choose two that they have to incorporate into their version of the story, like a toy helicopter, a cellphone or some soap.
  • tell the fairy tale from the perspective of one of the supporting characters. For example, retell Cinderella from the Prince's point of view. Or the Fairy Godmother's, Cinderella's father, one of the mice, etc.
  • comparing the fairy tales from different cultures - e.g. what are the similarities between Japanese and Serbian traditions?

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