Cinderella: A Cross-cultural Story

byPatricia W. Kite
What makes a good story, especially one that has been adapted by almost every culture in the world? I developed this unit for my third grade language arts class to teach the concept of story using story elements, the attributes of a fairy tale, and the cultural influence on a story. It is designed to last four weeks, 75 minutes each day. The unit could also be used in lower or upper elementary grades. My overall strategy in designing this curriculum unit is to use three Cinderella stories from three different cultures (Iran, China, and Africa) as a basis for cooperative learning, partner learning, individual learning, and teacher-directed learning. There will be five activities for each story: 1) compare and contrast the three different cultures, 2) map each story's elements, 3) identify the attributes of a fairy tale in each story, 4) journal writing response to a guest visit, 5) examine a different point of view in each story. As a culminating activity, my students will apply the three concepts of the unit in writing a Cinderella version of their own set in modern America.

(Developed for English and Social Sciences, grade 3; recommended for English and Social Sciences, grades 2-4)

Comments (3)

    Sally Thomas Miller (William Fox Elementary, Richmond, VA)
    Subject taught: language arts and Virginia Studies, Grade: 4
    Pat Kite is to be commended for creating such a fabulous resource for all elementary teachers. In fact, her unit can be used for students of all ages.
    I can't wait to use her unit with my fourth graders.
    Thank you for providing such an exciting tool for teaching our students.
    Congratulations, Pat!
    Kim Horton (Carthage High School, Carthage, TX)
    Subject taught: English, Grade: 10
    complete text
    I am doing a unit on Cinderella Around the World on the high school level. We have been unable to find the complete text of many of these stories. Is there a resource which makes them available?
    Becky Morales (Kid World Citizen, Sugar Land, TX)
    Subject taught: ESL/Spanish
    One quick note
    I love your activities, your thorough research, and the concept. The one thing I implore you to change, is the reference (in several parts) to Africa as a country. It is a continent, with 54 countries. You simply cannot say \"Iran, China, and Africa... in these countries...\" We do a disservice to kids to lump such diverse cultures into one erroneous label.

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