Sunday, December 03, 2017

Fairy Tales - Beauty and the Beast

In 2017 we have had several fairy tale project themes!  The first was in the spring (and I am only now putting up the pictures) and it was all "Beauty and the Beast"!!!

Click the "see more" if you want to know how we created a fairy tale project in our home (this can be for homeschoolers or just a fun family activity!)
 First, what you will want to do is choose a fairy tale.  In this case we chose "Beauty and the Beast" and then search your library system and save any books or movies that are based on this (age appropriate  of course).  Also, don't feel like you must read all the books you get.  Some you will know instantly aren't a great choice, and some might be just to see how an illustrator interpreted the story differently.
 We often discover that the Disney  version isnt always the favorite choice as we read and watch the different versions, but all of them have gotten great discussions going.  Do amazon searches, google searches,  netflix searches, and yes look for documentaries and basically anything that might fit the theme of the fairy tale and look interesting.

The process of finding and collecting and watching and reading will take about a month or longer so don't rush.  If you rush and try to read only that fairy tale and ALL the stuff in a week you can burn everyone out on the theme.  

The idea is to use it like a topic to enjoy as a family.  As you read a few books and then watch a movie and read a few more picture books and watch another cartoon (or musical depending on what you find!) You and the kids will pretty naturally start talking about what you like and don't like or what is different in each version or the same.  Which characters are missing from different versions and does that make the story more interesting? 

There are lists of questions to ask about movies and books that you can search for online, but sometimes its best to just notice yourself and keep it natural.
 We did a poetry teatime themed with beauty and the beast. Some people might leave out the poetry and just decorate like they are having a party!  Whatever works for your family.  Our poetry was inspired by the names of roses.  I had an old rose magazine and everyone chose rose names to use in their poem.  It was a free write type poetry time.  We didn't revise or make them awesome,  but I did keep what we came up with just to record this time in school.

We wrote (only as long as individuals felt like doing it) and shared.  No pressure, no "right way" to do it.  Just inspiration and see what comes out. :)
You can also just find poetry to read (this is in the Poetry teatime Companion book) and I put the poem on our chalk board for inspiration at one point during this time. 
Another thing I googled was stained glass type crafts for kids and decided this would be the easiest and most fun for us.  Its been a while but I think we just used crayons for the pictures and then rubbed oil on the backs before sticking them to the window.  We did use black acrylic  paint for the lines I think, but that was a bit hard to keep the mess down... I wonder if electrical tape could work as well? 

Anyway, you can buy a store packaged craft or coloring book or search for your own.  Definitely choose the one that fits your family and just keep looking for the fairy tale them!  Also, you could find all this before starting but I can't seem to do that.  We start with the reading and shows and just add stuff as I find it.
My girls made pipecleaner roses and hung them from the twig above our table!  Pipecleaners are so great for the people that are afraid of messy crafts.  Basically my girls use them like clay and just go nuts twisting  and molding however they want.  
Roses were blooming at the time around our apartment complex and I knew the manager wouldn't mind my carefully clipping some to use for our table. :)  Enter "nature walk" to our theme.
A close up of the pipecleaner roses.

Crepes seemed like a food I could do for our tea time and is French so totally goes with the theme again.  Enter geography and cooking (possibly math there!)

My girls usual help prepare, but not always, sometimes they play or decorate  while I get it ready.

Note, all these pictures are not all from the same day (as you can see the chalk board has changed) we were moving into poetry month in April (started the fairy tale in March) and I usually do a poetry teatime near the end of the themed readings and shows.
We watched a documentary on where the beauty  and the beast story might have come from (on netflix) as well - enter history.

Since this theme we have also gone through Snow White, and The Little Mermaid.  We have seen and read other fairy tales this year, but those are the ones my girls wanted to delve  into.  But each are the same as far as set up and what you can get out of it.

-Search all over for books and movies related to the them.
-Leading to history, geography, language (big juicy conversations!) Laughter and fun! Art, baking, decorating, original writing, poetry, nature walks, and so on.

-As you get going with this, and your kids get into it, they will likely  start coming up with their own ideas on projects or be inspired  in ways you don't always expect.  Your job is to search for those books and movies and resources.  

-Then put them in a basket or lay them out and read bits a day from here and there.  If your kids are strong readers then they can help with the reading aloud part.  

-Throw on a movie or cartoon (do a youtube search for "fractured fairytales" for some funny versions of your fairy tale!) inbetween here and there. And do sit and watch it with them!  Kids love sharing their movies with us!

-Keep your eyes open for crafts or art projects or food you might want to add in to the chosen theme.  

-Take pictures and make memories!

I had been doing similar themes like this with books (Heidi, Narnia series, Alice in Wonderland, ect.) last year, but the fairy tale project with Brave writer got me thinking how you could use fairy tales to do more types of reading with less volume.  They have a free download for the fairy tale project in jot it down which can give you other ideas.

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