Rapunzel is a wonderful children’s story and German fairy tale first assembled by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. This story of a girl trapped in a tower awaiting her prince is applicable even today. There are a number of great ways to incorporate the story of rapunzel into educational activities for primary school students.
Overcoming Adversity Journal
One of the great ways that the story of Rapunzel can be incorporated into the classroom is by using the tale as a means to gain greater insight into the lives of elementary school students. In this tale, Rapunzel must overcome adversity in her life. She is guarded by an evil witch, who cuts her beautiful blonde hair and forces her to stay away from her beloved prince. Despite this struggle, Rapunzel overcomes the odds and successfully reunites with her prince and lives happily ever after.
After relaying this story to students, a teacher can ask students to think about difficulties that they have overcome in their ordinary lives. The teacher can ask students to spend a few minutes thinking about times when they have been in difficult circumstances, and how they navigated through hardships. Students can send spend some time free writing in a journal in order to collect their thoughts and think about ways to overcome such struggles in the future.
Partner Free Sharing Activity
After students participate in this free-write, students can get together in pairs to share one of their experiences overcoming adversity. By sharing with each other, each student will learn that they are not alone in their personal struggles. Since each student has a personal struggle, the students will have much to talk about. Students can freely offer advice to each other about how to navigate difficult times and better improve their lives in the future.
Scaffolding Anti-Bullying Activity
Students can also use their previous knowledge and their new information about Rapunzel to address a new situation. In the first part of this activity, students will map out the ways that Rapunzel resolved conflicts. This will provide students a basis to start.
Next, students will be introduced to a new situation. For example, a bully (just like the witch in Rapunzel) has been treating them poorly in school. What are some of the ways that students can address this issue and prevent bullying in the future? By asking this question, the story of Rapunzel can be used as a platform for an anti-bullying dialogue.
Thus, despite its original publication in the distant past, the story of the Rapunzel has great value in a 21st century elementary school classroom. Rapunzel is a girl that many students can relate to, and can be used as a scaffolding mechanism to introduce new topics and ideas to students in a creative way.