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Grade: 1st

Interest-building activity:

Begin by asking your students to raise their hand if they have heard of the story of Cinderella, either through reading the story or watching a movie. Then, open up the story of Cinderella on the iStoryBooks app (on a tablet) or on the website iStoryBooks.co (on a Smartboard or displayed through a projector.) Read the story to the students, pausing every so often to ask students if they think certain situations can really happen or not, in preparation for a discussion on the difference between reality and fantasy.

Lesson Development:

-After reading the story of Cinderella, write down the word ‘reality’ on the board and ask the students if they know what reality means. After taking a few students’ answers write the definition: “something that can actually happen” on the board. Next, write down the word ‘fantasy’ on the board and ask if students know what it means. After taking a few students’ answers, write the definition “something you imagine or something that can’t really happen” on the board.

-Ask students to give examples of things that are reality and things that are fantasy. Explain that there can be situations that are fantasy as well as creatures or items that are fantasy. Start them off with a few well-known examples of fantastical things, like unicorns, dragons, and leprechauns.

-Now turn students’ attention back to the story of Cinderella. Go over the plot of the story, asking students along the way what happens next. As students mention each part of the story, ask them if that part of the story could happen in real life or not, in other words, is it something that could be reality or something that is fantasy? For example: “Cinderella was made to do all the work at home. Is that reality or fantasy?”, “A fairy godmother appeared at Cinderella’s window. Is that reality or fantasy?”, “Cinderella danced with the Prince. Is that reality or fantasy?” If students have a hard time with some of the answers, ask them to imagine if that scenario could happen to them or not.

Homework:

For homework, have students choose a favorite book of theirs that has elements of both fantasy and reality. Have them write down which parts of the story are fantasy and which are reality.

Extensions:

For an art extension, have students draw a picture that represents fantasy and one that represents reality. Then have them write a sentence or two below each picture describing what makes that picture representative of the concept they’re trying to show.

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