Everybody loves a Classic Tale. And kids seem to love them more when they are re-created in modern language with engaging characters. And they love them even more when they are made into movies.
Many animated (and non-animated) movies today were originally Classic Tales. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and many others that we think of as being more “modern” stories are actually written before 1923 and in public domain (which means that today’s authors may use them to create books, products, and stories from). They are familiar to children because of the wildly popular (and usually well-done) movies based on them.
The Classic Tale and large screen movie combination make teaching writing so much fun! Kids are familiar enough with the stories that they are terrific springboards for teaching writing—and not just story writing either. (See how I have used Classic Tales to teach research, essay, and story writing in my books, Write On, Mowgli; Write On, Peter Pan; and Write On, Beauty and Beast at Amazon.)
One of the most enjoyable writing projects that my son and I have created for our students and books* is that of the Twice-Told Tale. In these projects, students are given a Classic Tale of a certain length (a length that is doable for them to write something similar) and instructed in how to “piggyback” off of that story to create a Twice-Told Tale, a story that has the same types of characters with the same types of goals and obstacles but completely different characters and settings. Our students love these projects (as evidenced by this collection of their tales!).
This Reader (for family read aloud or for kids to read on their own) is the culmination of one upper junior high/beginning high school class’ projects from their “Beauty and the Beast Twice-Told Tale” assignment. They were taught all of the elements of story writing prior to their writing: setting, character development, goals, obstacles, resolution, dialogue, imagery, description, and more. They were expected (and via my Checklist Challenge actually assigned—see my Beauty and the Beast Checklist Challenge Book) to use all of the elements that they have been taught in their stories.
The result was an engaging, enjoyable, fun, creative set of tales. I think you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed teaching kids to write them!
Book Details: 150 page reader containing nine lengthy stories—one Beauty and the Beast original retelling and eight “twice-told tales” based on the original retelling. Written at approximately junior high readability level. Reader is a part of Character Ink’s Book-Movie-Book series.
Note: Watch for my upcoming reader, Twice-Told Tales—Classic Stories, a book containing over a dozen Classic Tales (with unforgettable characters like Alice, Mowgli, Beauty, Beast, Mulan, Dumbo, and more!) with a Twice-Told Tale following each one. This book will make a fun family read aloud or an engaging “chapter book” for kids from fifth grade and up.
*See the provided back matter for a complete full-book list, but my Teachers Pay Teachers store (Donna Reish), for even more downloadable English and writing projects for kindergarten through grade twelve.