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


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Bennett, Jillian 1995 , 'The re-worked fairy tale : an approach to teaching how fiction works', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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)

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Bennett, Jillian
Keywords: Children's literature, Fairy tales
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 1-7). Thesis (M.Ed.St.)--University of Tasmania, 1995

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