English Reception Summer Letters, Short Retellings of Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales

Step into the magical land of fairy tales by sharing Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hansel and Gretel. Discuss, retell, sequence and write your own version of the stories. Enjoy growing a beanstalk and creating a new cottage for the witch.

Sleeping Beauty (suggested as 5 days)

Active Learning

  1. What is a Fairy tale?
  2. Sleeping Beauty
  3. Retelling a tale
  4. Writing Sleeping Beauty

Creating and Thinking Critically

  1. Reading Sleeping Beauty
  2. Inviting the Grumpy Fairy
  3. Writing Sleeping Beauty
  4. Fairy Tale Day

Exploring and Playing

  1. Small world retelling
  2. Castle construction
  3. Fairy tale explorers

Books to Share

  1. Read a traditional version of Sleeping Beauty. What did children think of the story? What would it be like if the good fairy cast a spell on us? Take a ‘magic wand’/some jingle bells and try casting a sleeping spell on the class.
  2. Play Sleeping Beauty (Hamilton Storytelling video). Why was the bad fairy so cross? Have children ever felt left out? What could the King & Queen have done to make her feel better? What might have happened then?
  3. Display and read Sleeping Beauty (Hamilton Group Reader) and compare. In this version, the characters are animals. What other animals could the illustrator have drawn them as? Squirrels? Rabbits?
  4. Reread Sleeping Beauty (Hamilton Group Reader). How else might the prince have woken up Sleeping Beauty? How do children like to be woken up in the morning? What makes them sleepy at night?

Poetry/Rhyme of the Week: Three Lullabies (resources)
Discuss the purpose of lullabies. Has anyone got a baby at home who has trouble going to/staying asleep?! Why is sleep important? Children choose their favourite to learn. Can they sing it to a sibling, pet or toy? Sing during the week, ending in everyone falling asleep! You could supplement these with lullabies from home.

Group Reader: Sleeping Beauty
This enchanting fairy tale, retold by Ruth Merttens, provides a decodable version of the story perfect for using with emerging readers. The lively illustrations will engage the children’s interest as they discover the tale of a princess who slept for a hundred years. This book is ideal for using alongside a block of work on fairy tales.