Throughout our unit of inquiry How We Express Ourselves (Stories are share and responded to in different ways), we have been conducting a big investigation. After viewing the Billy Goats Gruff musical play at the theatre, someone in our class explained that it was a fairy tale. Immediately a question emerged from other students: "What is a fairy tale?" First we collected our ideas and current knowledge. Through that discussion, some other stories were mentioned, like Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
To see if any other theories would emerge about fairy tales, we had another discussion the next day. Ms. Alison asked us: "Is the Billy Goats Gruff a fairy tale?"
First we made a big list of all the stories we thought were probably fairy tales. Then we wrote a letter to Mrs. Grant, our librarian, to collect her ideas so we could add even more stories to our list.
As we continued to explore, analyze, and question, the excitement continued to grow. Most children independently talked to their families about fairy tales and searched their homes for books, puppets, and artifacts that would support our investigation. In fact, our inquiry was almost entirely supported by the items children brought from home!
The more stories we explored, the more convinced we were of AJ's theory that fairy tales "have more good guys than bad guys". Once we'd finished going through our list of stories, we concluded:
All of the stories are fairy tales, except for The Ugly Duckling and Pinocchio because those stories have more bad guys than good guys. We're still not sure about Jack and the Beanstalk though because we couldn't agree on which characters were good and bad (principled or not principled). What do you think?