Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye
Lesson Plan, Grades 3-6

 created by Suzanne Barchers, Ed.D.

Classroom Theater:

Prepare and perform the play form of this story.

Things to Talk About:

  • The narrator in this story is a private eye. What kind of tone or style does he use as he tells the story? Give examples from the story.
  • The author uses many characters from other stories. Make a chart that lists the characters and their original story.
  • The elements of a mystery include: motivation for the investigation; the search for evidence; the analysis, organization, and classification of evidence; the prediction; verification of the hunch; and the resolution (Flack, Jerry. Mystery and Detection. Teacher Ideas Press, 1990, p. 3). Identify the elements of a mystery in this story.


Write Your Own:

Choose one of the characters who conspired against the king: the miller, the miller’s daughter, or the captain. The king ordered that they be thrown in the dungeon. Write their defense as if you were their attorney.

Careful Reading:

  • Writers often develop a profile of the characters in their stories. Based on your reading, create a character profile of Rumpelstiltskin. Write complete thoughts about him, such as "He is observant and notices details." Include at least five traits in your profile.
  • The author used many colorful phrases, such as "squirmed like a worm" and "stash of golden cash." Find other examples of colorful phrases or metaphor.

Interesting Words:

Play Exclusion Brainstorming with the students. To play the game, write the vocabulary words listed below on the board before you read the story. Tell the students that some of the words don't belong in the story. Ask them which words they would exclude and which they would keep. Draw a line through the words that don't belong. Discuss why they would exclude them. After you read the story (or the student do individual readings), repeat the process. Discuss their choices.

bowling guard loom knight gold rescue
treasury captain hay fever muck lieutenant miller
sewer trickster dungeon storeroom princess investigate
moat sneeze warehouse weave straw enchantment

Creative Activities:

  • The captain called Rumpelstiltskin many different names, such as Bumpletallskin. Find several examples in the story. Then create new examples the captain might use.
  • Create something to advertise your classroom theater, such as a poster, invitation, or movie trailer.
  • Brainstorm what might happen when the king meets King Midas. Do you think he will he be rolling in gold? Summarize what the next "happily ever after" might be.