The Best Fairy Tale Activities for Your Primary Students


Teachers, we are working our way to the finish line! Spring is right around the corner, and we need all the motivation we can get. (So do our students…) Something that keeps me going is all the fun units we get to do with our students near the end of the year. One of my all-time favorites is fairy tales. The students love all the different fairy tale activities and fun read alouds that go with them. So teachers, let me ask you: are you looking to sprinkle some magic into your classroom?

So many teachers are teaching fairy tale units these days, that Education to the Core created an entire unit full of folktale, fable, and fairy tale activities. We have fairy tale sequencing printables, comparing and contrasting different fables, and character trait activities. You can find all of these resources to create your unit on ETTC Premium. Check out our fairy tale activities by clicking the button below.


1. Start with the Classics

With the number of fairy tales out there, I often feel like it’s a unit that could be taught for months and months. There are so many different things to teach within fairy tales. That’s what I love about the timing of this unit being near the end of the year. Students can take everything they’ve learned throughout the year and apply it while listening to these magical stories. Whether it be making predictions, visualizing, or comparing and contrasting, students are able to incorporate a variety of skills, which makes this unit even more meaningful…and magical!

2. Once Upon A Stem

We love a good interdisciplinary unit, am I right?! Being able to take what we’re doing in literacy and apply it to other content areas always feels like a win as a teacher. And for students, it only extends their learning and allows them to fully emerge themselves into what we’re learning.

Once Upon a Stem challenges give students an opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience. With 20 different and unique challenges, there is something for every topic. Each challenge comes with differentiated stem stories, a teacher’s guide, vocabulary cards, and student journals to make this resource a truly exceptional addition to your fairy tale unit.


3. Fractured Fairy Tales

My favorite thing about fractured fairy tales is teaching my students point of view. Being able to read a well-known fairytale, and then contrast it with the same plot but from a different point of view, allows students to learn about perspective. I think one of my favorites is reading the story of The Three Little Pigs (aff), and then reading The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs (aff). Fractured fairy tales are generally sillier and goofier than the original versions, which seems to win over our little learners. And to be honest, I kind of like them better too.

I like to also work on comparing and contrasting with my students between the two versions of the fairy tale. Students are able to point out similarities and differences.

If you’re not sure where to start with fractured fairy tales, start with the author Nancy Loewen. Her spin on all the classics is truly hysterical!  Some of her classics include:


4. Readers Theater

Let’s take the magic further! If you’re looking to spice up your reading groups, try introducing readers’ theater! There are a lot of benefits to incorporating this into your small group time. Not only does it offer students an opportunity to practice reading with expression, but it is something new and exciting, which can impact their motivation to read. Allowing students to practice the same lines over and over again, also helps with their fluency.

In my experience, students really enjoy picking out the character(s) they want to play, highlighting their lines, and sometimes we even perform for the class! Break out the craft supplies and let them make a costume or mask to go with the character they’re playing. Have fun with it!


5. Fairy Tale Activities – Directed Drawings

I love using directed drawings, all year round. And it just so happens that I have a set of directed drawings specifically for fairy tales! Knights, ogres, dragons, fairies–literally all things fantasy! It’s a great way to engage students in writing… without them realizing it! You’ll leave your students on the edge of their seats, curious about what the next day’s directed drawing will be!


6. Fairy Tales Around the World

Take a look at a few classics (gingerbread man, the three little pigs, little red riding hood, goldilocks) through a different lens and see how other cultures around the world tell a different version of these stories.


7. Make your own Fairy Tales Activities

A great way to end your fairy tale unit with your students is by challenging them to come up with their own fairy tales. Typically we create a JamBoard as a class and brainstorm different types of characters and settings that a fairy tale might have. I love to see their creativity emerge through this type of activity.

Some like to keep the same characters, but switch up the plot. Others may like the plot of a common fairy tale, but enjoy switching out the characters. Regardless of the end product, students truly enjoy the process of brainstorming, and then furthermore, sharing their stories with their peers.

Teachers, I hope your school year ends happily ever after. And may these last few months with your students be nothing short of magical!

How do you bring fairy tales into your classroom and reading block? Be sure to reach out, comment, and share the magic below!



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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.