H.C.Andersen Information






"The Princess and the Pea"


At this stage, one rnight be inclined to think that the pupils and teachers have had enough after their intensive work with "The Princess and the Pea", and that it is time to think of sornething new. However, the subsequent phase should not be ornitted. The idea here, briefly told, is to let the pupils write their own fairy tale and then work with it in the same way as described above.

It would probably be best, with this age group, to write a joint fairy tale in the class, even if it rnight be ternpting to let each little group make up its own story.

However, some guidance of the pupil's imagination is usually necessary, and it is also a good opporttunity to explain briefly the various elernents that make up a fairy tale:

  • Departure from the safe and familiar, and succeeding in a number of superhuman tasks.

  • Help from supernatural forces.

  • A kind of test to be passed in order to earn this help.

  • Happiness ever after is the due reward.

Furthermore, the fairy-tale characters have characteristic, almost stereotype features -the storyline almost always follows just one person (the main character).

A rising excitement curve is used, there are repetitions ( often three or seven) and prophecies. There may be rivalry in the family, for example, there may be a cannibal theme, spells occur and some of the fairy tales are quite gruesorne.

It is possible to find more details on the basic elements of the fairy tale in the original language.

Whether you choose to continue with the same group -so that those who have just worked with the shadow play do so again -is up to the teacher and pupils to decide. However, much time is saved by continuing in the same groups.

 The self-produced fairy tales may -as mentioned earlier -be distributed to other classes in one or several other countries. Here, however, the teacher must step in and provide an English translation as a help to understanding tapes or video recordings. However, the exchange of one's own products with those of children in other countries will without doubt enhance motivation in the day-to-day classroom situation -and at the same time give a feeling of solidarity with these children especially when the pupils receive similar, home-made fairy stories.

This whole programme should take approx. 20 hours.





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