Lesson plan developed by Erika Booth, BA Ed
Common Elements of Fairy Tales:
While not all of these elements will be present in every fairy tale, they are common motifs that you and your students will see.
Familiar beginning and ending phrases - Such as “Once upon a time”, “and they lived happily ever after”, etc.
Good and evil characters – It is usually quite obvious to the reader or listener who is on what side.
Royalty – Princes, princesses, kings and queens are often present.
Reoccurring patterns or numbers – Things or events tend to happen in 3’s or 7’s (i.e. Goldilocks, Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).
Magic – Just about every fairy tale includes some sort of magic or supernatural force.
Talking animals or objects –The main character is often able to communicate with these characters.
Nature – Forests or woods are common settings.
Moral – These tales just about always teach a lesson to the reader. Some scholars argue that this was the reason they were invented in the first place.
Journey or quest – The main character goes on an adventure, solves the problem at hand, and ends up coming back changed.
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