Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Fairy Tale Unit

We have spent the majority of January and the first part of February studying fairy tales - what a fun unit this has been!  As I wrote before, we started by reading Thumbelina, Dan the Dunce, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Ducking and The Nightengale.  These are such fun stories to read and we did cute activities with each of them, too.  We are reading them from this book:

A First Book of Fairy Tales by Mary Hoffman
We continued our fairy tale unit by reading The Selfish Giant first.  The moral of this one is to share, because it makes everyone happier in the end, including you!  Then we practiced caring for our plants by watering the ones in the house.  Here is a link to where you can by this book, if you just want this particular story.  It is never too early to introduce a child to Oscar Wilde!

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
The next story we read was Jack and the Beanstalk.  Again, we read the version in A First Book of Fairy Tales, but here is a link to an individual version.  A really great story about a boy who uses his quick wits to improve his family's life.  After we read this, we planted more seeds to see what else we could grow...this time, it was corn.

Jack and the Beanstalk retold by Steven Kellogg
Then we moved on to this story:

Sleeping Beauty by Brothers Grimm, illustrated by K.Y. Craft
We did not read the Brothers Grimm version (we are not ready for Grimm yet, but I look forward to those days!) but this is the version that I would buy if it weren't already in our book.  After this, we cut an apple in half sideways so that the girls could see the star inside.  I showed them how this would be a great stamper!  We enjoyed the apple for a snack.

A few days later, we moved on to The Frog Prince.

The Frog Prince by Brothers Grimm, retold by Edith Tarcov
After reading this book, what else could we do but hop around like frogs?

We then read a story I had never even heard of before - but I love it!

Diamonds and Toads - a Russian fairy tale

This is a great story about not coveting what someone else has.  Kind of a biblical moral, but told in a Cinderella-esque way.

Have you ever read The Fisherman and His Wife?  What a great tale!

The Fisherman and His Wife retold by Rachel Isadora
This is also a fairy tale about greed and how being greedy can cause you more trouble than it is worth.  The reason I recommend this version is because I enjoy the art of Rachel Isadora, who has won the Caldecott medal before.

We read one of my favorites - The Princess and the Pea.  I really relish the knowledge that I am introducing Juliana to these fairy tales.  I want her to hear them in their non-Barbie, non-Disney form before seeing them all commercialized.  I have nothing against Barbie and Disney (in fact, I wish I had stock in them), but it is important for kids to know that these stories have been around a lot longer than their favorite toys and movies have been.

The Princess and the Pea - a Little Golden Book!

I love that this is available as a Little Golden Book!

The last fairy tale that we read (and it will be the last one for a little while, as we are heading in to our social studies unit) is The Snow Queen - another one that I was not familiar with, but certainly a great one!

The Snow Queen by Susan Jeffers

Loving the art in this version of the story!  The fact that it encourages friendship between boys and girls is just the icing on top!

We are, of course, continuing with our bible stories, too.  We have moved into Judges and the story of Joshua.  Next, we will move onto Samson and Delilah - one of my favorites.

Soon, we will be learning about working, keeping house, and mailing a letter.  That's it for now!


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