Advantages to Using Fairy Tales

There are also a few advantages to using fairy tales that can be missing with other literature.

Some of my colleagues have asked me if I am “teaching down” to my students. I don’t think so. It is not patronizing to use a story the students are already familiar with to introduce them to new concepts.

I also think that using fairy tales offers three unique advantages.

One advantage is that using fairy tales breaks the students’ expectations of what literature is.

billy-goat-gruff-trollAnother advantage fairy tales have for our students is that they can help bridge the gap between the different levels of expectation for high school and college writing.

A final advantage is that I learn about the students. I ask them to choose a fairy tale (or a story) that they grew up hearing, get a copy of it for me, and tell me about their personal experience with the story.

Those are some advantages that I see in using fairy tales to introduce literary analysis.

This is part of a presentation made to the Conference of College Teachers of English: Texas.

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