Monday, December 29, 2008

Topic: Fairy Tales

Question: What is an interesting method for introducing fairy tales to secondary students?

10-second review: Teaches Anne Sexton’s transformed fairy tales along with the tales that she transformed into poetry—Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Title: “ ‘This Book of Old Tales/ Which Transforms the Brothers Grimm’: Teaching Anne Sexton’s Transformations.” KA Keely. English Journal (November 2008), 69-75. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “I have learned the hard way over the years that it is important to teach Grimms’ Fairy Tales along with Sexton’s revisions, because students are for the most part familiar only with the Disney versions of these tales. Because of this skewed familiarity, knowing only the mildest, ‘cleaned up,’ sentimental versions of these tales, students are likely to find Sexton even darker than she is when they read, for example, about a dove’s pecking out the eyes of Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters, a detail that Sexton takes straight from the Grimms’ version.”

Summary: Students discuss how the Grimms’ Tales are rewritten in the Disney versions. Also study the structure of the tales: separation from familiar surroundings, challenge and return to society at a higher social rank.

Comment: Excellent article. Worth keeping. RayS.

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