fairy tales

The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, by Lee Harper

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The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, by Lee Harper

The Emperor’s Cool Clothes is a cool new take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.  In it, a penguin who has always wanted to be cool and his counselors, who are very proud of how cool they are, are taken in by a couple of tricksters. The idea of wanting to be cool may have more immediacy for today’s students than the idea of wanting to be thought wise. Enjoy the book as a read aloud for your younger students, or use it as a lesson starter for older students. Here are some cross-curricular activities for the book: Use a Venn diagram to compare this...

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Los Tres Cabritos, by Eric Kimmel

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Los Tres Cabritos, by Eric Kimmel

Los tres cabritos is Eric Kimmel’s Tex-Mex take on the traditional story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. In this story, Chupacabra, the “goat sucker,” a monster traditionally found in Puerto Rico but also part of folklore in other Hispanic communities, lives under the bridge across the Rio Grande which the three goats want to use to cross into Mexico. Each goat tells Chupacabra to wait for his older brother, as in the Scandinavian tale, but each goat also plays music for Chupacabra to dance to.  The oldest brother, however, can make the monster dance with his music. The...

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The Emperor’s Nightingale Lesson Plans

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The Emperor’s Nightingale Lesson Plans

  “The Emperor’s Nightingale” is a story by Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author, set in China. In the story, the Emperor of China discovers a nightingale, a bird which sings so beautifully that its song restores the ailing Emperor’s health.  The Emperor of Japan sends a mechanical singing bird to the Emperor of China, and his court prefers the artificial bird to the real bird — until the Emperor of China falls ill again. The nightingale come back, sings the Emperor back to health, and asks the Emperor to keep it secret. When the servants arrive in the...

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Middle Ages Lesson Plans

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Middle Ages Lesson Plans

  Get medieval for inspiring lessons on social studies, science, and art. The Middle Ages lasted from the sack of Rome in 400 AD to the beginning of the Renaissance in the 15th century, so there’s plenty to work with. Let us share our favorite lesson plans for working on this time period with all grade levels. First, online resources to get your room set up: Dragons Classroom Theme  and Fairy Tale Classroom Theme  ideas give you resources and inspiration for classroom decoration during your medieval unit. History.com has a good overview of the thousand years of the Middle...

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The Teeny, Tiny Woman

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Lesson Plans

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Lesson Plans

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a fun ghost story by early American writer Washington Irving. Read the whole story online with photos at the website of the Sleepy Hollow cemetery.   The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad includes Disney’s terrific cartoon version, voiced by Bing Crosby. It makes a great choice for Hallowe’en party entertainment, or to follow up a reading of the story. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, schoolmaster Ichabod Crane seeks the hand of a wealthy landowner’s daughter. His rival, Brom Bones, is a local hero, a rough sportsman with a gang of friends who...

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