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 A literary work that ridicules its subject through the use of techniques such as exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it.

Review Questions

What makes a fairy tale a fairy tale?


What are the characteristics of the genre (fairy tales)?


 Click on "Resources" in the Table of Contents to find a fairy tale to read.

 Do not choose: Jack and the Bean Stalk; Little Red Riding Hood, or The Princess and the Pea (You'll work with those in Fractured Tales).

 Read to see if your fairy tale includes the characteristices of a fairy tale.  Which ones does your include?


Click on "Resources" in the Table of Contents and go to Fractured Fairy Tales to enjoy making three short fractured, satirical tales.

Characteristics of Fairy Tales



1.  A fairy tale begins with "Once upon a time..."

2. A fairy tale happens in the long ago.

3. A fairy tale includes fantasy and "make believe."

4. A fairy tale includes a "Good" character versus an "Evil" character.

5. A fairy tale usually includes royalty, such as a beautiful princess and/or a handsome prince.

6. A fairy tale may include magic with giants, elves, talking animals, witches, or fairies.

7. A fairy tale has a problem that needs to be solved.

8. A fairy tale often requires three tries to solve the problem.

9. A fairy tale has a happy ending: "They all lived happily ever after."

10. A fairy tale usually teaches a lesson or has a theme.








How does Shrek satirize fairy tales?



How does Shrek satirize fairy tales by changing the typical fairy tale in a humorous way?


Keep a list while you watch the clip.



Glossary of Satirical Terms:






Four Techniques





    To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen.



    To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings.



    To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g., the order of events, hierarchical order).



    To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place, or thing.

Writing Satire


Previous Materials--Part 1

Casey at the Bat (versions 1 and 2)

Definitions of Satire and Parody




Create your own satirized fairy tale using the elements of fairy tales and the techniques of satire.





Short version: special



Part 2



1. Choose a fairy tale to satirize. Use the website to print out a story.


2. Listen to a story and review the key elements of the plot.


3. Review, then list the literary elements of character, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme (moral).


    Who                  Personality               Words                                       Actions










    Social setting:



Conflict (problem):




Resolution (solution):





Moral (Theme):





4. Learn how to use the Literary Elements Map from the story read to you.


5. Create a “Character Map” in the tool for multiple characters from the story (e.g., the heroine, the villain, the hero). Print.


6. Complete the Literary Elements Map for the fairy tales you’ve chosen. Print the graphic map.


7. Add to your Literary Elements log for your story (number 3).


8. Begin thinking of how to apply the techniques of satire to your tales.


9. List the techniques and 3-5 ways to rewrite the story to one of satire:

Technique                     ideas from the Story                                                            Possible satirical ideas





















10. Remember that satire has the overarching goals of commenting on or criticizing society. Again, you might call this commentary an underlying lesson or an unwritten moral.



11. Create a list 3-5 specific things to satirize and include specific details and references to your stories.


Part 3

12. Review what makes a good satire. Refer to the excerpt from Shrek as well as other popular or literary satires (Casey, True Stories of the Three Little Pigs).


A literary work that ridicules its subject through the use of techniques such as

exaggeration, reversal, incongruity, and/or parody in order to make a comment or criticism about it.



13. Partner share your ideas and make any revisions.


14. Work with a group on similar characteristics


a. details about the characters

b. details about setting

c. characteristics of the plot

d. etc.



  • Help one another assess which satirical messages would make the best project. Think about the characteristics of a good satire as you talk about the possibilities together.


15. Write in your journal about the options discussed in your group, the advice that you received, and the focus you’ve chosen for your writing.


16. Share your decisions with the full class. Refer to details about satire from the class list.


17. Begin or continute to work on your fairy tale satire.


18. Review the Rubric for Narrative Writing (ask for it) and discuss the criteria for the satirized fairy tales.


19. Summarize the series of events that will take place in your revised version of the tale. These summaries will simply be notes that you can refer to as you work further. Parts of the summary may be used in the final version, but it’s mostly likely that the notes will serve more as a loose outline for the work.


Part 4

20. Review: the writing assignment, the Rubric, and the characteristics of good satire from previous sessions.


21. As a prewriting activity, complete the Literary Elements Map in order to gather ideas and think through the story in more detail. Print your findings. Complete the “Character Map” in the tool for multiple characters from the story (e.g., the heroine, the villain, the hero).


22. Also try the Plot Diagram Interactive, to outline the structure of your fairy tales. Print. You may want to try the Story Map Interactive also.


23. After completing the interactives, use your notes to work on your drafts.


24. Check the lists of fairy tale elements as well as the printouts from the Literary Elements Map as you work. These class resources can provide answers to questions and inspiration for details in the fairy tales that you are writing.



25. Share stories. With whom?




Tales of Wonder



Surlalune Fairy Tales



Grimms Fairy Tales



Google Links Fairy Tales


Note that this site includes links to a variety of fairy tale resources, so carefully select ones that are fairy tales, not resources.


Fractured Fairy Tales



 Practice writing your own fractured tales.



Literary Elements Resources:


Literary Elements Map Interactive



Plot Diagram Interactive



Story Map Interactive







Optional: Mini-lessons

for writers composing narratives--ask for what you need--



Ask for: Great Leads Handout



Characterization Interactive:

http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/storymap/index.html story map


Character Handout--

Ask for: Elements of Characterization Handout


Connotation and details:

Connotation/Denotation on Mrs. Dowling's Web Sitehttp://www.dowlingcentral.com/MrsD/area/literature/Terms/Connotation.html

    This site provides definitions, exercises, and samples to help explain connotation in more detail or as a reminder for students.


What Is 'Spin'? Web Site


    This short site discusses how colors, perspective, and other issues add to the presentation of an issue in a political discussion. The connotation of props such as flags and balloons are mentioned in this piece that explores the ways that political "spin doctors" build an image. This site might be a nice extension to the lesson if students are considering political issues, or it could serve as a simple resource that brings up issues such as the connotations related to colors.


Dictionary Lesson Plan and Game


This site, "Hang on to Your Virgule as Long as You Can," introduces a dictionary game that can build on connotation and denotation. Much like the NPR game Says You, students would choose an unusual word and create definitions—one true and several false. The lesson is a vocabulary builder, but can also be used as an extension of the connotation lesson if you pay attention to why students make the choices (right or wrong) that they make. What clues about the words lead them to choose a particular answer?




Ask for: Setting Handout



Plot Pyramid for Jack and the Beanstalk



Plot Diagram Interactive



Ask to see: the Plot PowerPoint


Punctuating dialogue:

Using Quotations Marks



Paragraphing dialogue:

Dialogue Tags



Ask for: Dialogue Tags Handout

Ask for: Excerpt Summer of the Monkeys Handout


Collaborating to Write Dialogue


    Taken from the National Writing Project Report, this essay outlines a teacher's use of collaborative activities, such as dramatic enactment of scenes, to help students improve the dialogue in their papers. By writing out sections of the narrative as a dramatic scene, students can easily see the shift in speakers that will need to be represented by paragraphing in the final essay.



NCTE/IRA Standards

1 - Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of

themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to

respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.

Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

3 - Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate

texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their

knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their

understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context,


6 - Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and

punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss

print and nonprint texts.

8 - Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases,

computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate


11 - Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of

literacy communities.

12 - Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for

learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).


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