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Home » Blog » Literacy » How to Introduce Fables, Folktales & the Fairy Tale Genre to 2nd Graders

How to Introduce Fables, Folktales & the Fairy Tale Genre to 2nd Graders

Comprehension, Literacy

Written by: Katie Palmer

Fables, fairy tales and folktales are all genre that are very engaging and enjoyable to read. Students love the element of magic in a fairytale and the moral of a story in a fable. Folktales can teach students about cultures of a particular region. If this unit is coming up in your curriculum calendar, then sit back, grab your coffee and check out these great ideas to introduce the fable, folktale, and fairy tale genre to students!

Fairy Tale Genre

Perhaps the most famous of the three genres, fairy tales, often starts with the words “once upon a time”. Although there are many types of fairy tales written, these stories contain many elements specific to the genre.

Elements of a Fairy Tale

The following are the most common fairy tale genre characteristics:

  • Once Upon a time: say thee words to students and they will sit back and be ready for a tale!
  • Magical or mythical characters and places
  • Good & Evil characters
  • Feature castles and kingdoms
  • Talking Animals
  • A reward for goodness
  • Happily ever after ending
  • Written to provide entertainment, primarily to kids
  • Examples: Cinderella or The Frog Prince

Making a fairy tales element anchor chart, like the one below can be beneficial to cement student learning and set the stage for fun fairy tale conversations.

fairy tale anchor chart idea

Folktales Genre

Elements of a Folktale:

  • Usually passed on from generation to generation
  • Based on day to to day activities
  • Tied to a cultural region
  • Written for people of all ages
  • No known author
  • Examples: Little Red Hen or Stone Soup
anchor chart for teaching the elements of folktales

Fable Genre

Fables usually feature the following elements:

  • Written to teach a lesson or moral
  • Characters are animals, objects or forces of nature
  • An example is Aesop’s Fables or The Ugly Duckling
anchor chart for teaching kids about the characteristics of fables

Fairy Tale, Folklore & Fable Classroom Activities

Check out the fun teachers and students can have with fairy tales in the classroom!


We all know videos are engaging for students, so why not kick of your fairy tale unit with one!

  1. Elements of a Fairy Tale-Michale Byrne]

This is a quick intro video listing the elements of fairy tales.

2. Fairy Tales Fitness-Mr. Melissa

This is a fun idea for a brain break during the fairy tale unit! The exercises are set to fairy tale characters!

Fairy Tale Genre Books for 2nd Grade

Students love to have books in their hands! Here are some great fairy tale books (and some fractured versions) to share with the class as a read aloud or for their independent reading time.

Note: The links below are Amazon Affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Folk & Fairy Tale Easy Readers Pack

Written at guided reading levels E-I, these are perfect for the lower readers to feel some independence.

Rough Faced Girl

Always a student favorite, this story is the Native American Version of Cinderella. It has beautiful illustrations and elements of magic.

Cinderella Stories Around the World-4 Beloved Tales

This book contains four versions of Cinderella from Canada, China, Egypt and France.

The Frog Prince

A traditional telling of this famous fairy tale.

The Frog Prince Continued

Why not share the fractured, hilarious sequel?!

Folktale Genre Books for 2nd Grade

The Little Red Hen

Stone Soup

Always a student favorite!

Fable Books for 2nd Grade

Aesop’s Favorite Fables

More than 130 Classic Fables for Children

The Ugly Duckling

Bonus book idea: Do fairy tales readers theater with this great resource!

12 Fabulously Funny Fairy Tale Plays

More Ideas for Teaching the Fables, Folktales, and Fairy Tales Genre

  1. A really fun way to work in fractured fairy tales is by comparing and contrasting them to the original version of the tale! Check out this post: Compare and Contrast Fairy Tales for ideas!
teach kids to compare and contrast different versions of the same fairy tale with these read aloud variations

2. Work on Moral of the Story and fluency at the same time! Lucky Little Learners has a resource perfect for combining these two skills! Part of the growing 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension & Fluency Passages Bundle is a Summarizing the Moral of the Story pack.

This resource features three levels of fiction passages that focus on moral and summarizing. There are also comprehension questions for each text.


Each week for 16 weeks, a new set of free reading passages will be delivered by email.

2nd Grade Comprehension & Fluency Leveled Reading Passages

Hopefully these ideas get your fairytales, folktales and fables unit off to a great start!

Happy teaching!

how to introduce fables folktales and fairy tales to 2nd graders


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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