The Fairy Godmother's Assistant
Lesson Plan, Grades 3-6

created by Kathleen Thiebert

Classroom Theater

Use the classroom theater (play) version of this story so the students can put on their own performance of "The Fairy Godmother's Assistant." Give a copy of the play to each student who has a part.

Things to Talk About

  • Who is the hero of this newfangled "Cinderella" story? Explain your answer.
  • Ella is looking for magic to solve her problem. Did she get something better than magic? Explain your answer.
  • "Sensing she was close to deciding in favor of going to the ball, I gave her one more push. 'What have you got to lose?'" In this line of the story, did the assistant really give Cinderella a push? Explain your answer.
  • The king went to the fairy godmother's house looking for magic. Did he get what he wanted? Explain your answer.
  • The king says to the Assistant, "The longer I put off making a decision, the worse it will get." What did the king mean by that? What did the king do after he said that?
  • The fairy godmother's assistant handled the problems of Cinderella, the King, and the two princes in the same way. How is this possible when they all had such different problems to solve?

Write Your Own

You have now entered the Bavarian woods in search of the fairy godmother. Knocking on the little cottage door, you are greeted by the fairy godmother's assistant. Tell him or her your problem and begin writing.

Careful Reading

1) Paraphrase(use your own words): "Her smile was short-lived." (p.4). "(She's getting on in years, you know.)" ( p.l)

2) The story ends with the fairy godmother saying to her assistant, "I told you when I left that you could handle whatever came up." (p15) Do you think, as the assistant did, that those were magic words? Explain your response.

Interesting Words

First define these words mean by using the context clues in the book. Next, write a synonym for each word listed. (Use your own words.)

    1. sensible (p.2)
    2. handkerchief (p.3)
    3. cinders (p.3)
    4. muster (p.7)
    5. enable (p.7)
    6. squabbling (p.8)
    7. absent-minded (p.8)
    8. pronouncement (p.12)
    9. renounce (p.12)
    10. simultaneously (p.12)

Creative Activities

Make a list of all the characters in the story and rate them on "strength in character" (how well they solved their problems). 1=strongest 10=weakest. Explain why you rated them this way. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today, is an example of a figure of speech. How does this figure of speech relate to the "The Fairy Godmother's Assistant" story? Get into small groups and write a community fairy tale. First, think of other fairy-tale characters who could use an assistant to help them (such as Snow White, the Three Little Pigs, and so on). Then come up with a one or two sentence summary of a story involving this assistant. When the group is ready, let one student write down the first sentence of the story. The next student will then continue the story with his or her own sentence. Keep doing this until the story is finished. Make sure that each sentence makes sense in the context of what precedes it.