Closer Readings Commentary

Beyond Mirror Mirror, what is the appeal of fairytales for Generation Z?

Vasilisa the Beautiful at the Hut of Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin

Mirror Mirror opened this weekend, the long-awaited Hollywood's revisionist take on the Snow White story. It will be followed by several more feature films with fairytale storylines scheduled to be released later this year and early next. Currently there are at least two weekly prime time TV shows with fairytale themes receiving high ratings. In light of this media blitz and generational interest, we might want to ask ourselves (and explore with our students) what is the appeal of such tales - full of enchantment and magic - for young people in our technology driven 21st century?

Open this discussion and extend your students understanding of these archetypal stories with the following EDSITEment lessons and resources:

The Magical World of Russian Fairy Tales

In this lesson, students meet the iconic witch-like character of Baba Yaga who inhabits several imaginative and exciting Russian fairy tales. This old crone is both wise and cruel, lives in a house standing on chicken legs, with servants who bring with them the day, sunset and the night.

Baba Yaga

This student interactive, from an EDSITEment lesson, invites students to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the Russian fairy tale, "Baba Yaga.

Fairy Tales Around the World

In this unit of six lessons, students become familiar with fairy tales. They read and learn to understand fairy tales so that they can better comprehend the structures of literature as well as for the sake of the wonder, pleasure, and human understanding these stories can provide in their own right.

Hans Christian Andersen

Sculpture of Hans Christian Andersen in New York's Central Park.

The memorial was built primarily with funds raised by Danish and American schoolchildren in memory of the author.

Credit: Georg J. Lober, 1956

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales note Hans Christan Andersen's Birthday is April 2nd

The Little Mermaid, the Ugly Duckling, and the Emperor who paraded naked through his city are characters well known to most of our students. In this series of lessons, they meet the 19th-century author Hans Christian Andersen, who created these vivid characters, and hear and read the original texts of several of his stories.

Chronicles of EDSITEment: Beyond the Wardrobe

This page features resources relating to the C.S. Lewis saga, "The Chronicles of Narnia", and provides additional ways to engage their creative imaginations!

Cinderella Folk Tales: Variations in Plot and Setting and Cinderella Folk Tales: Variations in Character

In these lessons, students compare and contrast several versions of Cinderella stories told around the world to find differences and similarities. Five hundred versions of the tale have been found in Europe alone; related stories are told in cultures all over the globe. In America as well, the classic tale, re-envisioned in print and other media, continues to be popular. What changes does the Cinderella story undergo when it's transported from one culture to another? What remains the same? Why do we love the character of Cinderella so much more than her own stepmother does?

Argentina Mundo Niños Spanish-language resource

From the Secretaría de Educación de Mendoza, a site with games, recipes, short stories, proverbs, interactive riddles, and classic fairytales.


Program Specialist EDSITEment