≪Melissa’s English Class Vol. 13≫ Fairy Tale Project!


Once upon a time we wrote fairy tales in Melissa’s class.


As the third year students reach the culmination of junior high school, I wanted to work on a project that would be fun, creative, and which would allow them to incorporate everything they have learned for the past three years.


I found my answer in fairy tales.


Sharing with the class what a fairy tale is

We started the project by discussing fairy tales and their elements. I asked the class to list all the things they associate with fairy tales and to share them with the rest of the group. The answers—a kiss, a witch, a princess, among others—seemed to come right out of mid-to-late 20th century Disney movies. We addressed the apocryphal origins of fairy tales: while modern stories are often about love, fairy tales do not have to be about that. They are European folktales, and in recent times they have come to be associated with children’s stories.


Then, we moved on to learn one of the core standards of the English Language Arts curriculum—story elements!


Together, we read Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess and worked to identify the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. It was a great opportunity for communication and reading comprehension as each group discussed what they thought were the elements of the story. Additionally, The Paper Bag Princess addresses gender norms and stereotypes in a way that is accessible to children—and English learners—transforming the book from a seemingly facile love story into thought-provoking societal commentary for readers of all ages.

実際にRobert Munsch作の『ペーパーバック・プリンセス』を一緒に読み、エクスポジション(導入の説明部)、ライジングアクション(クライマックスにつながるさまざまな出来事)、クライマックス、フォーリングアクション(クライマックスの後に起こる出来事で話の締めくくりにつながる部分)、そしてdenouement(終局、決着)がそれぞれこの話で言うとどの場面なのかの特定しました。各グループがその話のどこがその構成要素に当たるかを話し合うことはコミュニケーション活動や読解力向上のための良い機会だったと思います。さらに、この『ペーパーバック・プリンセス』という作品は子どもや英語学習者にもわかりやすいレベルで、ジェンダー(社会的性差)や偏見にも問題意識が向けられています。そしてこの物語は一見すると簡単なラブ・ストーリーのように見えますが、そういったことが理解できると、年齢を問わず全ての読者にとって社会的な論評を引き起こす思想にまで発展します。

Then, the fun part came: I had them form groups and write and illustrate their own fairy tales, and the results were both amazing and hysterical. They created hilarious, original stories and they presented them in front of the whole class. We all laughed together as we read each new fairy tale.


To finish the project (and to take a break after working so hard!), we watched Enchanted, a Disney movie that satirizes classic fairy tale tropes while still retelling a love story with a happy ending.


Overall, the fairy tale project was both dynamic and didactic, and a wonderful end for the students’ junior high school years.


Students presenting their original fairy tales













































今回で2018年度最後の「メリッサ先生の英語授業」のブログとなります。お読みいただきありがとうございました。対訳 中学英語科 木村忠徳