Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Newsworthy Fairy Tales

Kerry McMillen


After reviewing several familiar fairy tales, students work in small groups to rewrite the familiar story as it might read as a news article in today's newspaper.


The student focuses on a central idea or topic (for example, excluding loosely related, extraneous, or repetitious information).

The student demonstrates a command of the language including precise word choice and use of appropriate figurative language.

The student uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the format (for example, using appropriate voice; using descriptive language to clarify ideas and create vivid images; using elements of style, such as appropriate tone).

The student knows the events in the plot related to the central conflict.


-Overhead projector/markers
-List of familiar fairy tales
-Samples of some of the fairy tales
-An assortment of newspaper headlines and articles


1. Collect various news articles of current events.
2. Gather supplies listed in materials list.


1. Write a list of familiar fairy tales on the overhead projector. Ask students to briefly summarize each tale.
2. Choose one fairy tale. Ask students to imagine how it might read as a news article in today’s newspaper.
3. Have students look over several recent news articles to find the kinds of words and phrases used to describe events in the stories and headlines. Also, have students look for the 5 W’s in each news article. (Who? What? Where? When? Why?)
4. Brainstorm for headlines for the tale. Example—For “Little Red Riding Hood,” you might say “Woodcutter Rescues Girl from Wolf.”
5. Work together to create a news account of the fairy tale. Write student’s account on the overhead. Remind them to include the 5 W’s. You may need to read the fairy tale to them orally before beginning to write the article. Example –For “Little Red Riding Hood,” you might begin by saying, “An anonymous woodcutter was credited in saving the life of a young girl.”
6. After writing a class story, divide students into small groups to turn another fairy tale into a current news article.
7. Have the groups read the actual fairy tale to the class as well as their news article version.
8. Turn in to teacher for assessment.


Assessment of students’ news articles will be based on the following rubric:

Full Accomplishment (3) Student’s news article uses precise words to accurately reflect the major events in the plot of the fairy tale. The article is written in the style of newspaper writing and includes the five W’s.

Substantial Accomplishment (2) Student’s news article focuses on the topic but may not include all of the major events in the plot of the fairy tale. Word choice is adequate but may not be precise.

Little or Partial Accomplishment (1) Student has difficulty writing an article in the style of newspaper writing and may only minimally address the topic. Student’s work may be incomplete.


This lesson could be adapted to use with other works of literature other than fairy tales.
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