Beyond Fairy Tales

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Teaching Guide


Throughout history, people tell the same stories about magic, royalty, and fantasy. What is it about a story that makes it a fairy tale, why do fairy tales endure, and what do they continue to teach us? 



This WebQuest is designed to help middle school students learn to identify fairy tales as a fantasy genre and to write and tell stories creatively. 



This WebQuest contains objectives and activities about Fairy Tales. It combines the critical study of the fairy tale fantasy genre with a creative writing task that continues on the same theme. At the completion of the unit, the students will understand what fairy tales reveal about people of the past, the universal themes of fairy tales, and the uniqueness of stories. It integrates Internet resources to meet several reading, writing, listening, and speaking standards and objectives. It also includes differentiated activities and scaffolding. 


Learner Description

This WebQuest is designed for middle school language arts students of all levels who study fairy tales as a fantasy genre. The activities and roles are differentiated to address a variety of learning styles. If technology availability is limited, the activities can be completed using hard copies of books or oral stories.



The students should be able to read or comprehend literature.

The learners will need access to a computer and Internet.

The teacher should group students in groups of four based on individual student needs. The WebQuest could also be completed using larger groups of students and have students work in pairs to complete activities.  

The learners should be familiar with common elements of a fairy tale. A pre-assessment can be done by students using the following link: http://www.quia.com/quiz/1182001.html


Subject Matter

This curriculum is centered on the subject matter of fairy tales and what they teach us about cultures, society, and real life beliefs.

Concepts and Skills

  • Reading, analyzing, responding
  • Division of labor
  • Using graphic organizers
  • Developing higher order thinking skills
  • Creating new ideas
  • Note taking
  • Storytelling
  • Creative writing
  • Use of the Web to support research
  • Teamwork

Goals and Objectives

On completing the WebQuest, the learners will be able to

1. Identify themes and common elements of a fairy tales.

2. Work in a cooperative learning group to compare and contrast story elements.

3. Write a modernized fairy tale.

4. Integrate language, voice, facial expression, and movement to convey the

    meaning and mood of a story.


The enduring understandings are

  1. Cultures are identified by their values and beliefs.
  2. The same themes affecting people are valued across cultures
  3. Heroes and heroines exist in all cultures.

Instructional Plan

This WebQuest is designed to allow the learner to use it on his or her own, without the assistance of a teacher or facilitator. The students will follow the directions they find within the WebQuest.

The activities the learners will follow include:

  • Reading the different web pages and making decisions about roles and tasks
  • Selecting a role and activity to complete, such as analyzing, comparing, writing, or storytelling
  • Use the rubric embedded in each activity to complete the task
  • Explore and research websites provided
  • Complete the assigned task and present products

During the WebQuest, the teacher can:

·       Lead a group discussion with other students about fairy tales

·       Lead a group discussion about the WebQuest objectives

·       Monitor and informally evaluate students using the Monitoring Log (on the Evaluation page)



An Internet-based computer with a web browser

The WebQuest at TeacherWebQuest.com

The web-based resources listed under the Resources link

Print resources of fairy tales

Printed charts and rubrics


Assessment and Evaluation

Learning that occurs from this WebQuest is assessed through a variety of evaluation instruments. The WebQuest requires four projects:

  1. The Sight Seer Activity is a Common Fairy Tales Elements Chart
  2. The World Traveler Activity is a Cinderella Chart and Venn Diagram
  3. The Storywriter Activity is an original written fairy tale
  4. The Storyteller Activity is an oral performance of a fairy tale told by a student

Rubrics for each product are embedded in the Evaluation page. There is also a rubric to evaluate cooperative group skills and an informal assessment Monitoring Log to use to evaluate the objectives being met through observation and discussion.




Materials needed to complete the graphic organizers are on the Materials page

Website links and resources for each activity are embedded within each Activity page.

Trade books of fairy tales should also be made available for students



fairy tale - a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures.

genre - a class or category of literature usually having a particular form or content


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