Fairy tales are engraved into our very fabric. From the oral traditions, to Grimm’s fairy tales, and all the way to our modern stories, these tales have conveyed information, taught important lessons and passed on history. But how do fairy tales fit into our modern understanding? In this class we will talk about the importance of fairy tales and their impact. We will tease out what makes them work, but also analyze them for the subtle or blatant biases that were sometimes present. We will rewrite old fairy tales in a contemporary setting and voice, before then taking our understanding of the genre and writing new fairy tales set in the world as it is now.
Day/Week One: Before the first meeting, students will read several examples of classic fairy tales found in the handout. In class, students will discuss those stories and their connections to the ordinary world. What defines a fairy tale? How have they been created though the ages? What components makes them work?
Day/Week Two: Now that the components of fairy are clear, students will group deconstruct one of the old fairy tales. They will write down the plot, the symbolism, the characters, and the morals, then write a parallel description of a modern world retelling. .
Day/Week Three: This week, students will take the fairy tale that they group deconstructed the prior week, and completely rewrite the old fairy tale by following the structure, but revising the setting, characters, and even plot. The outlining will be done in class, and finished between classes.
Day/Week Four: Students will write a completely brand new fairy tale, one that is set in the “real” world, but that still draws upon the same components that the old fairy tales do. The shaping will be done in class, and finished between classes.
Day/Week Five: Finally, students will share parts and summaries of their stories, give examples of how their fairy tales did or did not work, and talk about the importance of fairy tales in the world today.