Using Variants of Red Riding Hood to Build Critical Reading Skills

Author: Mindy Cohen


Cook Wissahickon School

Year: 2010

Seminar: Multi-Cultural Fairy Tales: Portals to the Humanities

Grade Level: 4

Keywords: fairytales, reading skills, red riding hood

School Subject(s): English, Literature

 For my curriculum I wanted to pick a genre that would delight my pupils, stimulate their imagination and bring up memories from their own childhood.  As children, some of our fondest memoires are those of sitting on a loved ones lap listening attentively as they wove the tales of the brave, cowardly, undaunted, and scary from a variety of ancient Fairy Tales. Fairy Tales are much more than just stories, they are teachings that have been handed down from generation to generation from which people learn about both the dark and bright sides of life. Children benefit from listening and reading these tales. They provide them with a common framework for communicating the belief that good will prevail and a reason to dream and hope that everything will turn out alright in the end. However, even though most of us have heard these tales over and over, we know little about their origins.

In this unit, I wanted my students to have an understanding of the age of Fairy Tales and for them to understand that for every Fairy Tale with which they were familiar there probably is a variant of that same tale. Based upon this line of thinking, I developed the idea to use different variants of Red Riding Hood to educate my 4th grade children in the important critical reading skills cited by the state standards.

Download Unit: MCohen_unit.pdf

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