Fractured Fairy Tales

 < PALEYEDUCATION : Onsite/Online Classes

Grades 2–4

Class Description

What happens when you take a classic fairy tale, mix up the storytelling elements and throw in a little imagination and creativity? The answer might be found by watching The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, popular in the 1960s, which frequently included short cartoons called “Fractured Fairy Tales.” These shorts used zany techniques and hilarious devices to transform traditional fairy tales into something completely different. In this class for young learners, students will review the basic elements of storytelling before viewing and discussing a variety of wacky, imaginative, and untraditional fairy tales from the Paley Archive.

Class length: one hour 

All classes are interactive, with guided discussion designed to encourage active observation and critical thinking.


As a group, provide definitions for the following words and concepts, which will be referenced during the class.

CHARACTER: A person or an individual

FAIRY TALE: A narrative of adventures involving fantastic forces and beings (as fairies, wizards and goblins)

FOLK TALE: A characteristically anonymous, timeless, and placeless tale circulated among a people

MYTH: A traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon

PLOT: The plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work)

SETTING: The time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work

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This website is a good source of fairy tales that can be read or studied in the classroom. The SurLaLune Fairy Tales Site has annotated fairy tales, including information about their histories, similarities with various tales, alternate tales, bibliographies, illustrations and art work).