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Creek Valley uses fairy tales to get students excited about reading

Retired librarian engages young readers in stories from other cultures

October 3, 2013
CV Media
As part of their September theme on “Get Excited about Books,” Creek Valley Elementary School brought in former librarian/media specialist, Joan Schickert to read and lead a discussion with first graders on fairy tales from other cultures.
Schickert read, Yeh Shen, a Chinese story similar to the story of Cinderella. Kristin Greene’s first grade class sat mesmerized on the carpet as Schickert read the story and told the students about the Chinese culture and how it is represented in the story.

“We invited Joan in as a storyteller as a way to help close out the month and highlight our theme,” said Greene. “It’s a fun way to start the year and get the kids excited about reading. We asked Joan to read Yeh Shen because many nursery rhymes are familiar to the students and helps them to feel confident and successful as readers.”

Schickert’s dramatic reading of the fairy tale certainly engaged the students in the story, which helped facilitate a lively discussion about its relation to Cinderella.

“I was impressed with the way the students were able to compare and contrast the characters and settings in the stories,” said Greene. “They clued in to specific details and they made the connection to our standard instruction for the week, which was compare and contrast. Schickert tied everything together very nicely.”

Among the observations made by the students were some of the details that were different between the two stories, in particular, Cinderella’s pumpkin chariot, and the mice that turned into horses and a dog that turned into a driver, all elements not included in Yeh Shen.

“We hope this particular presentation showed the students that even the same story can be told many different ways,” added Greene. “It will hopefully spark their curiosity as to how other cultures tell stories and that we read for our entire lives and around the entire world.”