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Fairy and Fantasy Literature for 7th Grade


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#1 Kfamily

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 05:33 PM

I'm considering the idea that next year for both of my daughters I might combine them for a fun fairy and fantasy theme in literature.

 

These are some works that I'm considering:

 

Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories", "Leaf by Niggle", "Tree and Leaf" and "Smith of Wootten Major", etc. (They've both read Farmer Giles)

The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (Selections...especially The Story of Sigurd)

The Poetic Edda

The Nibelungenlied

Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsuny

Selections of Grimm's Fairy Tales

George MacDonald's Complete Fairy Tales and At the Back of the North Wind...both have read The Princess and the Goblin

King Arthur books by Pyle for younger daughter and possibly Arthurian Romances (Chretien de Troyes) for my older daughter, but I'm not sure about that one...she's currently reading Le Morte D'Arthur by Mallory and may be done with King Arthur after finishing that tome. LOL!

 

Younger daughter has already started The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy and my older daughter read the first book of this series too.

 

ETA: We've just recently read Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

ETA2: And they've both read The Hobbit and the LOTR too.

 

I'd going to add the annotations from SurLaLune and possibly look at Tolkien Professor and Mythgard.

 

What about The Saga of the Volsungs? Both had expressed an interest in it at one point. Maybe this rather than The Nibelungenlied?

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for books that I've missed. Also, I really want to write a syllabus for this one. If you know of any...I tried a search but with no real luck...links to a syllabus along a similar theme, I would really appreciate it. I'm just getting started with this, so I'm sure I've forgotten something... :)


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#2 Aurelia

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 06:50 PM

I don't know if any of these might be what you are looking for, but this is what came to mind:

 

Phantastes, The Lost Princess or The Light Princess and Other Fairy Tales (George MacDonald)

The Mabinogeon

Legends of Charlemagne

The Marvellous Land of Snergs (supposedly an inspiration for Tolkien's Hobbits)

A Fair Stream of Silver (Irish legends)

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales

The Glassblower's Children

The Thirteen Clocks

Mio, My Son or The Brothers Lionheart or Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (Astrid Lindgren)

Peter Pan and Wendy

the Black Cauldron series

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (I like the McCaughrean version, since it edits the more adult scenes)

 

For looking at fairy tales from different perspectives:

any of the Gregory Maguire books - Mirror, MirrorWicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, etc.

The Princess Bride

Stardust

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (and sequels)

 


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#3 Kfamily

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:19 PM

I don't know if any of these might be what you are looking for, but this is what came to mind:

 

Phantastes, The Lost Princess or The Light Princess and Other Fairy Tales (George MacDonald)

The Mabinogeon

Legends of Charlemagne

The Marvellous Land of Snergs (supposedly an inspiration for Tolkien's Hobbits)

A Fair Stream of Silver (Irish legends)

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales

The Glassblower's Children

The Thirteen Clocks

Mio, My Son or The Brothers Lionheart or Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (Astrid Lindgren)

Peter Pan and Wendy

the Black Cauldron series

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (I like the McCaughrean version, since it edits the more adult scenes)

 

For looking at fairy tales from different perspectives:

any of the Gregory Maguire books - Mirror, MirrorWicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, etc.

The Princess Bride

Stardust

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (and sequels)

 

 

Thank you! There are some really great ideas in this list. This will help a lot.

 

 



#4 raptor_dad

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:21 PM

Maybe a compare and contrast with something modern like China Mieville's "Un Lun Dun" it is clean and harmless... otherwise I would recommend Pullman's " His Dark Material's" trilogy but that could be problematic...


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#5 Kfamily

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:26 PM

Maybe a compare and contrast with something modern like China Mieville's "Un Lun Dun" it is clean and harmless... otherwise I would recommend Pullman's " His Dark Material's" trilogy but that could be problematic...

 

China Mieville's "Un Lun Dun"...this looks really good.

 

I'll take a look at Pullman.



#6 Aurelia

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 07:58 PM

I wonder how Un Lun Dun would compare with Neverwhere, since they are both set in alternate versions of London.



#7 raptor_dad

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 08:11 PM

I wonder how Un Lun Dun would compare with Neverwhere, since they are both set in alternate versions of London.

 

"Un Lun Dun" is explicitlyly YA and pitched towards tweens/teens in a sort of darkish YA version of Wonderland.  "Neverwhere" is a clean but darker but literary alternative adult London and also enjoyable but more challenging novel for teens. Mieville's "Kraken" is a alt-London novel that he wrote at the same time as "Un Lun Dun", it is much darker and more mature.

 

For 7th grade I would pick "Un Lun Dun" or "Neverwhere". For high school I think you could read all of them and compare the themes in all three and have a great time.
 



#8 Farrar

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 08:20 PM

I would do The Once and Future King without a doubt.

 

I'm not totally sure what else you'd want to do to fit in with it... There were some great suggestions above, but I'm not sure what direction you'd want to go with the modern materials...


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#9 Tanaqui

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 08:50 PM

Fairy stories being generally European, there's frequently not much diversity in them. To mix it up a bit, I'd second Un Lun Dun and also recommend Dust Girl (and series). You might also try Moorchild, which is more of a classic (not much diversity, just a good book). Or Book of a Thousand Days, which is loosely based off of Maid Maleen, and also written by Shannon Hale who is awesome.

 

The Golden Compass series is... well, I enjoyed the first one as a child, but by the time we got to the third one I was a little annoyed at Pullman's rather vehement anti-theist stance - and I agree with it. I just don't like being beat over the head with the point!


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#10 SilverMoon

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 10:01 PM

You might look at the Faerie and Fantasy lecture course from the Tolkien Professor (free).
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#11 Kfamily

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 10:39 PM

Thank you all for some great ideas! I've been looking at some college syllabi and have found a few other books that look very interesting too.

 

I did see Un Lun Dun on one of them. :)

 

I'm definitely keeping the Tolkien Professor's Faerie and Fantasy close at hand. This combined with a Tolkien book list were part of this inspiration. The girls have always wanted to read the Norse books and we were going to be reading the George MacDonald and Tolkien shorter works anyway. It just seemed to make sense to try and pull a lot of this together.

 

Here are the books I've found on other lists:

The Wood Beyond the World and The Glittering Plain by William Morris

Arthurian Poets: William Morris and Matthew Arnold

Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison

 

I'm also thinking about these books....taken from this thread:

The Glassblower's Children

The Marvellous Land of Snergs

Moorchild

Book of a Thousand Days

The Once and Future King

Un Lun Dun

Phantastes

 

My older daughter has read The Mabinogion but my younger daughter has not.

 

 



#12 SilverMoon

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:19 PM

Wind in the Willows. Truly. You'll never read the beginning of Hobbit the same way again. ;)

 

After your last post I'll also suggest perhaps using the annotated Hobbit for your planning. My oldest spent all of 8th grade chasing rabbit trails from that book. I read the annotations ahead of time and dug up as many of the original sources as I could find.


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#13 Bluegoat

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 12:47 PM

 

The Golden Compass series is... well, I enjoyed the first one as a child, but by the time we got to the third one I was a little annoyed at Pullman's rather vehement anti-theist stance - and I agree with it. I just don't like being beat over the head with the point!

 

I felt like it got away from the story a bit, yk?  Like it was starting to dictate to it rather than come out of it.

 

But, I've found a few of his other series also seem to get a bit loose at the end, so it might be more of a writing problem.
 


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#14 Kareni

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 03:44 PM

It might also be interesting to compare different versions of a fairytale such as Cinderella. 

 

A couple of links of interest ~

 

one

 

two

 

Regards,

Kareni

 


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#15 Homemama2

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 12:47 PM

Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper is so good for middle school.  The first book is Over Sea, Under Stone. Has connections with King Arthur but is (relatively) modern.  Would be especially good with Once and Future King so they catch the references like "the Old Ones" etc.

 

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge was one of MY favorite read alouds I read to my boys a few years ago.  They liked it, but I think it might appeal to girls more.  I would look at it first though bc it might be too young.  If Princess and the Goblin by G. MacDonald and the Red Fairy books aren't too young, this wouldn't be either.

 

ETA:  We loved George MacDonald as well


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#16 fourisenough

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 01:52 PM

I'm considering the idea that next year for both of my daughters I might combine them for a fun fairy and fantasy theme in literature.

 

These are some works that I'm considering:

 

Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories", "Leaf by Niggle", "Tree and Leaf" and "Smith of Wootten Major", etc. (They've both read Farmer Giles)

The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (Selections...especially The Story of Sigurd)

The Poetic Edda

The Nibelungenlied

Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsuny

Selections of Grimm's Fairy Tales

George MacDonald's Complete Fairy Tales and At the Back of the North Wind...both have read The Princess and the Goblin

King Arthur books by Pyle for younger daughter and possibly Arthurian Romances (Chretien de Troyes) for my older daughter, but I'm not sure about that one...she's currently reading Le Morte D'Arthur by Mallory and may be done with King Arthur after finishing that tome. LOL!

 

Younger daughter has already started The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy and my older daughter read the first book of this series too.

 

ETA: We've just recently read Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

ETA2: And they've both read The Hobbit and the LOTR too.

 

I'd going to add the annotations from SurLaLune and possibly look at Tolkien Professor and Mythgard.

 

What about The Saga of the Volsungs? Both had expressed an interest in it at one point. Maybe this rather than The Nibelungenlied?

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for books that I've missed. Also, I really want to write a syllabus for this one. If you know of any...I tried a search but with no real luck...links to a syllabus along a similar theme, I would really appreciate it. I'm just getting started with this, so I'm sure I've forgotten something... :)

Nothing to add, but if you decide to teach this in an online class at some point in the future, sign me up! My DD3 (age 10) is the fairy/fantasy lover in the family and it is really quite out of my comfort zone/area of expertise. 


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#17 dmmetler

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 02:07 PM

Mercedes Lackey has taken on fairy tales in the Thousand Kingdoms book-it's a world where fairy tales are true, and normal everyday humans find themselves in that milieu. They're adult novels (and I think are actually under a romance imprint), but I consider them reasonable for teens or even YA readers, albeit with the occasional pre-or extra-marital TeA party (usually in places where, reading between the lines, such activity would have happened in a traditional tale, but wasn't explicitly stated in most versions)-nothing graphic. (My fantasy/mythology loving DD has read them-which I wouldn't have let her do if they'd been too explicit).  They're also a little lighter than most of the books on your list-which might make them a nice change of pace, or TOO fluffy, depending on your POV.

 

 


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#18 Kfamily

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 02:19 PM

Nothing to add, but if you decide to teach this in an online class at some point in the future, sign me up! My DD3 (age 10) is the fairy/fantasy lover in the family and it is really quite out of my comfort zone/area of expertise. 

 

I'm planning on making a syllabus for this as soon as I have time to organize it all. I'd be happy to post it here and share it, if you'd like. :)


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#19 Lisa in the UP of MI

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 02:30 PM

I'm planning on making a syllabus for this as soon as I have time to organize it all. I'd be happy to post it here and share it, if you'd like. :)

 

Another fantasy loving daughter here.  How did the syllabus turn out?



#20 Kfamily

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 03:41 PM

Sigh...:) If you can believe it, I'm actually just now getting it ready. :)To say that the past 6 months have been extremely busy would be a huge understatement...and so many changes to my plans! Also, I really wanted to read the majority of the books before creating the lesson plans/syllabus, so I've taken longer because of this too. But, I've read a number of the books and I've written out a rough draft. I can still share it here as soon as I finish it.

 

 


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#21 Aurelia

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:20 PM

Share. Yes. Do that.

 

 

 

 

 

DD and I would love something like that, but I haven't the time to do it myself.


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#22 Momling

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:35 PM

I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan, so have to recommend Wee Free Men here.

Also, Stardust was mentioned above and is awesome and my own daughters have read it (at age 11 and 13) and I would absolutely recommend it, But... some parents might find a scene or two objectionable, so think YA not kids... or pre-read if your family is sensitive.

Edited by Momling, 14 January 2016 - 05:36 PM.

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#23 Lisa in the UP of MI

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:57 PM

Sigh... :) If you can believe it, I'm actually just now getting it ready. :)To say that the past 6 months have been extremely busy would be a huge understatement...and so many changes to my plans! Also, I really wanted to read the majority of the books before creating the lesson plans/syllabus, so I've taken longer because of this too. But, I've read a number of the books and I've written out a rough draft. I can still share it here as soon as I finish it.

 

Thank you!  Looking forward to it.  :)


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#24 Lori D.

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:00 PM

Probably too late for me to add to your list, but… just in case… ;)

 

The Never Ending Story (Ende)

While the actual writing is fine (not stellar), it is flat out one of the most creative fantasy worlds ever, and contains a fascinating melding of Christian and Buddhist images/ideas.

 

Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis)

He blends "fairy tale" fantasy and classical mythology elements in an interesting way, underpinned by Christian themes. Maybe consider doing an in-depth study on just ONE book -- I'd actually vote for either The Silver Chair (female protagonist, wonderful example of the "journey to the underworld" theme and images, and fairy tale motif of breaking the spell on the prince), OR, Voyage of the Dawn Treader or The Horse and His Boy (both are great examples of the journey/quest idea in so much of traditional Fantasy, and the second has a very traditional fairy tale quality of peasant boy / encounters fairy tale creature / due to basic kind nature, succeeds and becomes king).

 

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem (Velde)

Okay, not a "classic" and not a "required" book for this kind of a study, but… a very fun and creative look at point of view with 6 re-tellings of the classic fairytale "Rumpelstiltskin" -- I used this one last year with my co-op class, and it sparked some fun discussion

 

Jim Hensen's The Storyteller (1987 TV series)

Something to watch rather than read: the writing of these 30-minute fairytales is outstanding -- beautiful language, powerful themes, and clever blending of frame story (the storyteller) and inner story (the tale he tells). Also, the writing of the 2001 Hallmark Arabian Nights mini-series is outstanding as well. Both of these are very worth *listening to* for the language, and for the themes of the power of story and of storytelling...

 

A few other fantasy/fairy tale films that are discussion worthy for middle school ages:

- Labyrinth (1986)

- Mirror Mask (2005)

- Coraline (2009) -- this one esp. would be good for discussing that "dark underbelly" that runs through fairy tales (esp. the Grimm brother tales)

 

 

And while these threads are asking for ideas for a high school level of study, you might find some helpful resources in these past threads:

Fairy Tale unit for high school

Need ideas... classics: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.

Anybody know of a fantasy & science fiction course?

Any serious Tolkien fans??

 

And, just to "second" other posters' recommendations:

- Leaf by Niggle, Smith of Wooton Major (Tolkien) -- short stories

- The Light Princess, The Golden Key, The Wise Woman (MacDonald) -- short stories

- Lilith, Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblins (MacDonald) -- novels

- The Thirteen Clocks (Thurber)

- Sword in the Stone (White) -- first book of the four books that make up The Once and Future King  (OaFK) -- I think middle school is a bit young to really "get" what all is going on in esp. book 3 and 4 of OaFK


Edited by Lori D., 14 January 2016 - 08:12 PM.

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#25 Kfamily

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 06:45 PM

Thank you for the additional suggestions. I've just finished the guides for The Book of the Ancient Romans (by D. Mills) and for A Child's History of the World (Hillyer), so I'm going to try and start organizing and typing that syllabus.

 

:)



#26 Lori D.

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:21 PM

Bumping, just 'cause I always love to hear the end of the story ;) of what the original poster actually did and how it all turned out. :)



#27 Kfamily

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 01:03 PM

Sigh...:)

 

I did write a syllabus and we've just started to read from it, but....

 

I think the syllabus has a good reading list and a lot of good elements, but because we haven't actually used it yet I've been hesitant to share it. Truthfully, the course goals and themes may need some adjusting as we work through it. It's also missing specific lesson plans, writing suggestions and whatever else might be used for evaluation. Basically, it's a really good book list. :)

 

The extra truth is that my daughters, both teenagers now...are so busy with outside classes and activities that I'm finding it hard to fit everything into the schedule. I've just recently informed the girls that we'll need to start spending some time over the weekends with lessons to help make up for the lost time in the week.

 

I know it's been forever, but I do still hope to sort this out. I can share what I have with the forewarning that it will be adjusted a lot before it's really finished. :)

 


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#28 LoveMyBeautifulGift

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:11 PM

I love the idea of using fairy tales for lit discussion/writing for next year. DD will be in 7th. I've read every thread I could find that was even remotely related to this idea, and have decided that what I'd really love to do is have her pick a topic, read/watch movies/etc., have discussions with her as she goes A La Bravewriter, then help her work through the process of writing an essay on the topic. We did Figuratively Speaking a few years ago & Lively Art of Writing this year.  I have Writing with a Thesis, too. Plan to use those and Purdue's OWL as resources for her for style, etc.

 

So far, I've come up with a bunch of ideas for topics, some of which may or may not appeal to her

 

Fractured Fairy Tales:

Read Rumplestiltskin Problem, A Tale Dark and Grim, The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, Rump, and/or similar fractured tales.  Watch Once Upon a Time and/or Into the Woods.  Discuss why the author made the changes, what fundamentally changed in the tale and why do you think that was. 

Compare and contrast a classic vs modern version of a fairy tale (Cinderella/Ella Enchanted or Ever After, Little Mermaid/Ponyo, Beauty and the Beast/Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland/Coraline, Pinocchio/A.I., Mulan/She's the Man, etc-btw, if anyone has any more suggestions, I'd love to hear them!)

Compare and contrast classic cultural versions (Many Skins, Silver Slipper, etc)

What are the ramifications of princess culture? 

What purpose do fairytales/legends/myths/etc. serve? Why are they so popular? 

Discuss the merits of fanfiction in terms of fairy tales (ie, current remakes are just fanfics of classic fairy tales, etc).

Discuss archetypes in fairy tales. Give examples of XYZ archetypes from various fairy tales.

What makes a fairy tale? 

Discuss disneyfication. Why did it first happen? What are the ramifications of disneyfication? How is disneyfication a reflection of a wider cultural problem? Is Disney doing enough to diversify its characters/update their versions?

Ballet as fairy tale

Is sci fi the future of the fairy tale?

 

Basically, we will read/watch fairy tales and discuss. Then she will write about it, and I will help her revise and edit as needed.

 

As you can see, some topics are a bit further developed than the rest. Would love to hear any suggestions anyone has about these topics, suggestions for other topics or from anyone that wound up doing a fairy tale study.  



#29 Lori D.

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:35 PM

Sounds super! Lots of great ideas in your list, and lots more in this thread above. :) My only thought would be to preview Into the Woods, as I understand there are some adult relationships and ideas, and you know what your 7th grader is ready for/not ready for. :)

 

If including a look at ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Fire Bird are famous dance versions of fairytales. And The Nutcracker is fairytale-like. Here's a DVD set of performances of some of these.

 

Not traditional fairytale, but you might have fun reading the book/watching the movie and comparing versions of The Wizard of Oz.

 

Do the Arabian Nights tales work into your study?

 

One other movie you might find interesting -- although, again, preview first for intensity -- is The Brothers Grimm (PG-13).

 

Have fun! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

 


Edited by Lori D., 10 May 2017 - 05:40 PM.


#30 LoveMyBeautifulGift

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:33 AM

Thanks for the head's up about Into the Woods-its only on my radar bc one of her friends was talking about it at the last scout meeting, but I will definitely preview it. 

 

Thanks also for the other great info, especially about ballet. Yes, I plan to include Arabian Nights somehow, if only just that we read and discuss some of the tales.  Wizard of Oz could definitely be fun-its a bit of a Halloween tradition for us to watch it every year, we could easily read it and compare.  Will definitely check out the Brother's Grimm movie as well! 

 

Sounds super! Lots of great ideas in your list, and lots more in this thread above. :) My only thought would be to preview Into the Woods, as I understand there are some adult relationships and ideas, and you know what your 7th grader is ready for/not ready for. :)

 

If including a look at ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Fire Bird are famous dance versions of fairytales. And The Nutcracker is fairytale-like. Here's a DVD set of performances of some of these.

 

Not traditional fairytale, but you might have fun reading the book/watching the movie and comparing versions of The Wizard of Oz.

 

Do the Arabian Nights tales work into your study?

 

One other movie you might find interesting -- although, again, preview first for intensity -- is The Brothers Grimm (PG-13).

 

Have fun! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.