A Web quest
"Cinderella" is more than the version produced by Walt Disney. The first version of this story was written down by the Chinese in the tenth century, and more than 900 variations have been discovered in cultures worldwide! In addition, modern authors have adapted this famous tale into modern versions. This web quest is designed to help you explore some of the numerous variations on this story and help you learn why they are important.
For Fun: the names of Cinderella in other languages
- Read five different versions of "Cinderella," choosing one from each country. The stories are divided in to groups by continents to help you choose; try to get as great a variety as possible. All of the "Perrault" versions are French so only choose one of them. Complete the graphic organizer to compare and contrast the stories. After reading all five stories determine four or five aspects of the story (conflict, setting, etc.) you think are important and use these topics to complete it with titles going down one side and topics across the top. Put the most important, overall difference in the oval.
Note: You may also buy or check out print versions of "Cinderella" stories. Your teacher may also have some on hand.
- Next read the satire on "Politically Correct Little Red Riding Hood" and or "Politically Correct Three Littel Pigs" or'Twas The Night Before Christmas for Lawyers" or " If Dr. Suess were a technical writer.
Groupings of Stories
"The Baba Yaga" (Russian)
"The Twelve Months: A Slavic Tale"
"Conkiajgharuna" (Little Rag Girl--Georgian, a part of the former USSR)
"The Wonderful Birch" (Russian)
"Salt in Food"--written by a Romanian student; scroll down until you find it
Versions of Perrault's "Cinderella" (the one known by most American children--French)
"Tattercoats: An English Tale"
"The Princess and the Golden Shoes" (Scottish)
"Cinder Maid" (European)
"Katie Woodencloak" (Norway)
"Fair, Brown, and Trembling"(Ireland)
"Rashin Coatie" (Scottish--in dialect but readable)
"The Green Knight" (Danish)
"Ashenputtel" (called "Cinderella here--German)
"One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes (German)
"King Lear" from Tales from Shakespeare (a retelling of a drama by Shakespeare with roots in folklore--British)
Challenge: read Shakespeare's King Lear
"The Princess on the Glass Mountain" from The Blue Fairy Book; scroll to page 290 (Norway)
"Kari Woodencloak" (page 189 in The Red Fairy Book--Norweigian)
Asian (Korean choices, among others, available in print versions)
"The Story of Tam and Cam" (Vietnamese)
"The Wicked Stepmother" (Indian)
"Yeh-Shen: A Chinese Cinderella
American (Appalachian, Southern, African-American, and more Native-American choices available in print versions)
The Mi'kmaq Cinderella
(available in print versions)
1. Write your own satire of the Cinderella story. You may satirize the Perrault version, with which you are probably most familiar, or you may satirize another version. Realize that satires do not work with a particular audience unless the original story is very familiar. To write a satire, try changing one aspect of the story or writing the story from another point of view. You may choose to design a picture book for this option, although it is not required.
Below are several web sites to explain to you how to prepare a storytelling, two of which are by professional storytellers.
"Preparing a Story" by Papa Joe
"Tell a Story" by Aaron Shepard
"How to learn to tell stories"
"Handbook for Storytellers" by Inez Ramsey