An acclaimed author is helping kids respin traditional stories, creating fractured fairy tails.
The author of the “Hero’s Guide” trilogy, Christopher Healy, taught eighth grade language arts classes for three days at Emil Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. He retold classic stories, which inspired the children to invent their own versions of classic tales.
“They were great ideas,” said Healy, after the three-day workshop at the school. “The kids were writing their own stories in minutes.”
Student imaginations ran wild. They worked up stories with different viewpoints and told them for different audiences. Some of the tales were updated to include references to current television shows, movies, and celebrities.
Teacher Catherine Teehan first encountered Healy at a workshop in nearby Paramus. She applied to the Upper Saddle River Education Foundation this year for a grant so that Healy could share his inspirations with her students.
“The eighth-grade Narrative Fiction Unit requires students to create a story with a partner and tell it from the point of view of two different characters,” said Teehan. “I felt the eighth-grade students could use his techniques to write stories from different points of view.”