Reinventing a Fairy Tale

Reinventing a Fairy Tale600Using an existing fairy tale, students will reinvent it, adapting it to a modern day lifestyle. Characters from another tale can be stolen and brought into their updated tale. The student will be able to conclude how thinking “outside the box” and using imagination can lend itself to the creation of a more appealing story for a child.

Time Frame: 3 (41 minutes each) Periods
Class Size: 20


  • 11.4.9 E Identify practices that develop the child’s imagination, creativity, and reading and writing skills through literature.


  • How exciting is it when you get to be part of a group that is on the cutting edge of doing something cool? You get the opportunity to change history and rewrite it to include what is in your world of today. You will be taking one of the fairy tales familiar to you as a child, and modernize it. A tattooed Cinderella with purple hair rides to the castle not in a stagecoach, but on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Lo and behold, the Gingerbread Man turns out to be a jogger, and blends in with other runners in a city marathon taking place at the time. The Three Little Bears call 9-1-1 and Goldilocks is arrested for breaking and entering. And the list goes on…

To give you an idea of props you can use, I have included a list of what I have available for my students. Think of old clothes in your closets or items sitting around your house, inexpensive items from a craft shop, past Halloween costumes, thrift shop specials…


Clothing Accessories Miscellaneous
Blue sequin gown Wide brim straw hat Flip cell phone
Lavender gown Baseball cap Produce bag (brown)
Toga costume Handbag Straw broom
Graduation Cap and Gown Pink suede purse Cloth diapers (doll size)
Blue sateen skirt Doctor’s medical bag Baby Doll
  Beauty queen tiara Steering Wheels (2)
  Happy new year tiara Bunny rabbit
  Black horn rimmed glasses Vegetables
  Fashion rings Island woman
  Purple scarf Stuffed toy pony
  Stretch fashion hair ties (6) Bouquet of flowers
  Fashion Boa Plastic covered eggs
  Hawaiian Lei Pixie wand
  Heart shaped box
  Foam train
  Spritz bottle
  Lace doily
  Wooden tree
  Mall tote basket
  Metal Pail
  Half mask
  Wooden chest
  Pin cushion
  Matchbox cars
  Blue clues stuffed animals
  Plants (2)
  Small metal sprinkler


Background for Teachers

  • There is a period of advance prep needed to gather the preschool fairy tale books and the props for students to use. Groups will possibly be using the same props as the previous group that just acted. Have students pick up and return props before and after their skits.

Instructional Procedures
Day One:

  • Discuss project. Students will choose an existing fairy tale from a list written on the board. The list consists of tales only from the fairy tale books currently available in the classroom. Students will use them for reference and to familiarize themselves with the fairy tales. Check your local library for use of a free resource.
  • Show students the available props that may be used for their skits, and provide each group with a list of the props. They may also bring some from home to use.
  • Students may choose their group members (groups of 4-5 students), consisting of at least one outgoing type personality per group.
  • Groups each choose a fairy tale and come up to the supply table to pick up their associated fairy tale book.
  • Groups read and review their chosen fairy tale. On a provided sheet of paper, one student from each group should write down ALL ideas as they brainstorm. They should also write down how they plan to incorporate the teacher provided props, plus any of their own.

Day Two:

  • Develop a script. Make copies for each group member. Encourage groups to time themselves as they act out their plays, at their tables and without props.

Day Three:

  • Perform skits. One class period total for ALL plays (maximum five minutes each, which includes setup and breakdown). I generally allow a few minutes at the start of class for planning purposes.


  • This is a very hands-on role play which will encourage lots of creativity among the student groups.


  • You have had fun here today stretching your imagination to be as creative as could be. Just imagine your excitement if you were a child and getting to do this! This is an activity that could be done with school-aged children, possibly performing for a preschool level child.


  • Teacher observation of student participation in role play of reinventing a fairy tale.

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