Note from Candace: If you do a Google search for fairy tale units and such, you will find a wealth of information. For this particular unit, I have tried to stick to ideas pertaining to princesses particularly, and lessons where I can tie in the Scriptures with Jesus as our King and Father! If you would like to go in depth on any one of these additional topics (fairy tales, castles, individual stories, etc.), just do a quick search. We used this unit for about a month. Pick and choose the lessons that will be best for your family!
Princess & the Kiss: A Story of God's Gift of Purity by Jennie Bishop
Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss (Revive Our Hearts)
I'd Be Your Princess: A Royal Tale of Godly Character by Kathryn O’Brien
His Little Princess: Treasured Letters from Your King (His Princess) by Sheri Rose Shepherd
Cinderella – several different versions
Polite as a Princess by Melissa Arps
What Is a Princess? (Step into Reading) By Jennifer Weinburg
“princess” stories/fairy tales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.
Princess Things To Make And Do (Usborne Activities) by Ruth Brocklehurst
Read several different versions of Cinderella. Discuss how they are different and how they are similar. You may even want to make a Venn Diagram or chart comparing/contrasting the different versions.
Some other versions include:
Baba Yaga (Russia)
The Cinder Maid (various European sources)
Rashin Coatie (Scotland)
Conkiajgharuna, the Little Rag Girl (Georgia)
Find many different versions (printable text) at this website
Name all the characters that are typical in a princess/fairy tale story. Discuss the role of each. (King, Queen, Princess, Prince…)
Genre: Fairy Tale
Discuss what a fairy tale is, name other fairy tales that you have enjoyed together. Possibly read a few other fairy tales throughout this unit. What are common characteristic of fairy tales? Can your student determine any? The setting is an undefined time and place; some type of magic is usually included; there is usually a prohibition that affects the plot (Cinderella was told she couldn't go to the ball); a transformation takes place (physical or character transformation) -- beast turns to a prince or ugly duckling turns to swan.
Discuss the term “make-believe.” Are these stories real and TRUE or make believe? Ask your child if they make believe when they play dress up or such?
If you’d like to do a lesson on poetry, here is a cute limerick on Cinderella that I found. Maybe you and your child can write a limerick together. Note that in a limerick the first, second and fifth lines each have eight syllables, and rhyme with each other, while the middle lines have only six syllables and a separate rhyme.
There once was a girl - Cinderella,
Who had a sad story to tella.
Her stepsisters were mean,
Made her sew, cook and clean,
Until she wed a prince of a fella
Drama: Acting out a
For a fun activity to help your child summarize a story, make puppets on popsicle sticks and have your child re-tell the story using the puppets you make together.
Throughout this unit it might be fun to play dress up with your child. Dress up as princesses and be sure to ACT like a princess as well!
Names of God
Name all the different names for Jesus that you can think of, write these down. Make sure to mention Jesus is our King of Kings! Discuss what these other names mean. If you would like to go more in depth on these names, you could focus on 1 name of Jesus per day of this study…finding scriptures to go with each. Discuss what it means to be a “child of the king.” Does this make us princesses and princes?
Kingdom of Heaven
Learn about the Kingdom of Heaven, use Matthew 13 as the scripture basis.
Character Building: Industry
Discuss how Cinderella was a hard worker. How can we be diligent with all of our responsibilities, with a cheerful heart as well?! Possibly show the clip of the Disney Cinderella movie where Cinderella sings as she works, with all the happy animals/birds singing too.
Discuss what beauty means, and being beautiful on the inside is more important than beauty on the outside. Read 1 Peter 3:4 together.
Devotional: His Little
Princesses-- Treasured Letters From Your King
We are using “His Little Princess – treasured letters from your King” as our devotions for this month. Each page is a letter to the princess from the King along with a scripture and prayer.
Moses and the Princess
You can use the Bible story about Moses and how the princess finds a baby in the basket, if you’d like to discuss a Biblical princess. (Exodus 1:6-2:10.) Additionally, on this site is a neat online storybook of this story, with questions to be answered by child afterwards, there are also coloring pages for the story.
Wishes (Wants vs. Needs)
On the day that you make a magic wand for a craft, discuss how the wand in the princess stories made their wishes come true. Discuss the difference between wishes and needs. Does God grant all our wishes? Does He meet our needs? Possibly make a list of wishes and needs together, helping your child discern the difference.
Bible Study: Treasure
Discuss what treasure is…and what it is in the Bible. Read in Ex. 19:5 and 1 Peter 2:9, we are God’s treasure! Draw a picture of a treasure chest, then draw a picture of your self or write your name inside the chest. Have child write “I am God’s treasure.” underneath. (taken from Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss.)
Bible Study: Purity
Begin a discussion on purity with your child. If your child is still very young, this will be very introductory. You can tell your child that their purity is a special gift from God. Read James 1:17 together. Discuss how your child is a gift to you from God, and also their purity is a gift. You can go into this subject as deeply or lightly as you wish, depending on the age or your child, etc.
Bible Study: Wisdom
The father in Princess and the Kiss tells his daughter to use wisdom in using her kiss. What does the Bible tell us about wisdom in Proverbs 1-2?
1. A princess has the best of manners! Read Polite as a Princess. Discuss the different actions that the princesses do throughout this book and how these make her polite. Have your child name ways they can use good manners like a princess.
2. Read any other books on manners with your child.
3. Have a tea party to practice your manners! Invite a friend over for tea! J
4. Practice frowning and smiling…ask children which feels better on the inside. Discuss how we can make others happy by smiling at them!
5. Have children practice opening the door for each other and discuss how this is a POLITE action we can do for others! Discuss being helpful by being a servant.
6. Teach girls how to curtsy.
1. Have your child name all the different types of housing that he/she can think of. Then discuss what type of house a King, Queen, Prince or Princess would live in – a castle! Where are castles mostly located? (Europe) You may want to look up some castle pictures on-line or get some books from the library to look through.
2. How did characters in fairy tales travel? Horses? Carriages? Coaches?
3. Cinderella originated in Germany. Look at Germany on a map.
4. Cinderella around the
world – there are many versions of the Cinderella story from other countries,
there is a Japanese version, Egyptian version, etc. If you wish, you could get
these from the library and do a mini-study on the countries as you read each
book together. See lesson in Language Arts section with link for stories
on the web.
Have your child estimate
how many feet tried on the glass slipper from Cinderella
Talk about “midnight” and what time that is, have your child find midnight on the clock. Also mention “noon” and the difference between the two. Also, if your child is still in the learning process about time, you can have many lessons with telling time throughout this unit. Ask your child, “what time do you think Cinderella arrived at the ball?”
After reading all the stories in your unit, and discussing the social studies “housing” topic, you can make a graph of all the types of housing used in princess stories. What is used most often?
Depending on your child’s abilities, you can create story problems using princess characters. (If 6 of Snow White’s dwarfs went to sleep, how many were still awake? If 5 people tried on a slipper on Monday, then 2 more people tried on the slipper on Tuesday, how many tried it on all together?)
Discovery and Invention
You can discuss how imagination (princess, fairy tale) can lead to discovery, like the discoveries of Columbus and the inventions of the Wright Brothers.
1. Listen to samples of ballroom music.
2. Learn to do a simple waltz with your child.
3. After reading Cinderella: sing "Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo"-- then play the Brandenburg Concerto by Bach. Talk about how they are the same/different and how themes in music are repeated. Play Mozart's Symphony #40 in G minor (twinkle, twinkle little star). Ask the students to recognize the tune and then talk about the man who actually wrote it and how it was much later that the nursery rhyme we know was put to this tune. (also works for older kids...have them listen longer and recognize the themes throughout the music).
Arts & Crafts
1. Make crowns and tiaras together with paper, glue, glitter, jewels, etc.
2. Make a castle from toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes and cardboard boxes.
3. Make a magic wand together. See Bible Lesson tie-in on wishes, needs, and wants.
4. Design a princess dress together on paper, color it.
5. Make and decorate a treasure chest together. Possibly even make one out of a cardboard box decorated with colored paper and jewels.