University of Tasmania

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The re-worked fairy tale : an approach to teaching how fiction works

posted on 2023-05-27, 06:54 authored by Bennett, Jillian
By reading re-worked fairy tales - in picture books and woven into an apparent realist novel - to Year Five children and engaging them in conversations over an eight week period, I helped them to position themselves differently, and in so doing to see themselves differently, in that they began to become both critically and creatively aware of how structure and literary patterns contribute to meaning. I taped the children's talk and used their journal entries to evaluate the critical and creative nature of their responses in order to reflect on different ways in which I could intervene to help them become more aware. Whilst at times recording their talk was intrusive, it became evident that it was an effective way of analysing their responses. In the study, the re-worked fairy tales were used as a means of teaching how fiction works from a cultural perspective. The tales and the novel cited in the study are indicative of the change in narrative over the last thirty years and the gradual evolution in the ways stories are told, and the changing views of readers. The metafictive nature of these books emphasises its refusal to take for granted how stories are told. In using metafictional elements the writers/illustrators or \contemporary adaptors\" offer many cognitive and emotional opportunities for children to become aware and acute readers. During the programme the children were read a range of re-worked fairy tales by writers/illustrators which included Jon Scieszka Lane Smith Steve Johnson Roald Dahl and Tony Ross. As a result they began to understand the jokes in the mostly humorous tales where opposition occurs between normal expectations and some incongruous elements. As Kieran Egan points out \"A joke is not only funny; it is potentially another of those little factories of understanding a place where understanding can be made and expanded.\" (1986 p.86)"


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Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Includes bibliographical references (leaves 1-7). Thesis (M.Ed.St.)--University of Tasmania, 1995

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