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 studentsâ€™ expectations of what literature is.
Another 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.