The history of the fairy tale is particularly difficult to trace, because while many various literary forms have survived, oral tellings of these stories have been lost over the years. Still, the evidence of literary works at least indicates that fairy tales have existed for thousands of years. Brothers Grimm were among the first to try to preserve the features of oral tales, and even so, they considerably reworked the fairy tales to fit the written form. Yet, how can we take this written and oral form and mould it to be a successful educational tool?
Originally meant for adults only, it wasn't until the 19th and 20th centuries that ‘fairytales' were considered appropriate for children and children's literature. Fairytales can be used to educate on environment, religion, morals and a plethora of other topics through using metaphor and symbol, just as this productions does.
A picture says a thousand words
After seeing the play, ask your students to draw a picture that best represents their favorite part or idea presented in the play, this is a great way to cement the ideas and themes into their mind, and to have something to put up on the walls of the classroom to remind them of the fun they had at the play.
All for one
Collaborative play building is one of the most effective forms of drama in school, as it means every student develops a sense of ownership over the final product. Why don't you have each member of your class come up with a scene for a play in groups, with lots of help from you of course, and then have them perform their very own piece, just like the theatre students at USQ!
Here are some helpful websites linking to several lesson plans relating to fairytales in education: