Cinderella Cinderella

Reading Lesson Plan
Students will be introduced to Cinderella stories from around the world, recognize differences and similarities among the stories, and create their own version of a Cinderella.

Lesson Plan graphic

A collection of Cinderella stories:
  • Walt Disney's Cinderella (1974) - US
  • Yeh Shen (Louie 1982)  -China
  • The Cinder Maid (Jacobs 1916) – retold Grimm tale
  • Little Sister and the Month Brothers (DeRegniers 1976)   –Slovic
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Steptoe 1987) – Zimbabwe
  • Nomi and the Magic Fish (Phumla 1972) – written by a 15- year old Fingo-Zulu girl
  • The Talking Eggs (Souci 1989) – Creole folktale
  • Princess Furball (Huck 1989)
  • Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderalla Story (Souci 1997)

  1. Break students into groups and have them use clustering to brainstorm everything they know about the term Cinderella. You don't need to give them too much direction, just let them write.
  2. Tell your kids that the version they are familiar with is the American version (or the one from your area). Present the books from other cultures, showing students the covers and reading the titles. Tell them that you will be reading them throughout the week and that they will be writing their own version.
  3. Read the books throughout the week or for older students let them read the books at a center or during free time.
  4. Create a chart on butcher paper for comparing the stories. Here are some things you may want to include:
    • Title
    • Author
    • Illustrator
    • Country written about
    • Setting
    • Characters (good and bad and descriptions of personality)
    • Events / Plot
    • Magic?
    • Other important parts
    • Date written
  5. After reading each story, fill in the chart as a class for each version.
  6. When the chart has been completed, have students compare and contrast the stories in small groups. Provide a list of questions for them to discuss.
    • Is there a general theme to the stories?
    • Is the main character similar? What about the bad guy?
    • How do early and late stories differ?
    • How do the themes differ from country to country?
    • Can you tell anything about the countries from the stories?
    • What is your favorite one? Why?
  7. Have students write their own Cinderella story in groups of 4 or 5. They will need a title, names for their characters, an original plot, and all of the features of a story.
  8. Have each group present their version as a play.

Sootface Have students reflect on their classmates' plays as well as on their own. Also have them reflect on the task of coming up with an original tale. Have them compare and contrast the class plays/stories. Out of all of the Cinderella versions (both the class ones and the published ones), what was their favorite plot? Who was their favorite main character? Have the class vote on their favorite versions and tally the results in graph form.

Did the class' stories follow the general Cinderella theme? Were they original? Did they participate in the discussions comparing books? Were they able to support their choices? Did they enjoy the activity?