"Tattercoats" Lesson Plan
Elementary, Intermediate, Junior high
by Jean D. Rusting,
Author of The Multicultural Cinderella. Rusting Educational Services (4523 Elinora Ave., Oakland, CA, 94619)
Note to teacher: there are more activities below than you will
want to use. Review and highlight those most suited to your class.
- read and/or listen to the English folk tale, "Tattercoats"
- interact with the text using various strategies
- respond to writing prompts
- engage in vocabulary study (word search, spelling list)
- identify basic literary terms
- compare/contrast with another Cinderella variant
- create a graphic response to the story
- engage in student-centered, cooperative group work
A copy of "Tattercoats" is available on the Internet
from the Tales of Wonder site.
Teacher needs paper to reproduce handouts: word search puzzle, copy of story (optional), art materials for graphic response.
Word search puzzle: Download and print. See solutions page for expanded vocabulary study.
Pre-reading writing prompt: Has someone in your family, a dear
friend or a pet died? How do/did you feel? What did you do with
your grief? What are some good (constructive) ways of dealing
with sorrow? How do these ways help? What are some poor (destructive)
ways of dealing with sorrow? Why are these not good ways to deal
with the problem of sorrow and loss.
Review/define these words: genre, protagonist, antagonist, setting, plot.
Words defined by context: What is a train? What are pages? Answer
after reading the story.
Read and listen strategies
Read and/or listen to the "Tattercoats" version: Teacher
reads the story out loud to whole class.
- each student has a copy to follow as teacher reads
- students listen to teacher-created audio tape
- students reread the story in read around groups
- students take turns retelling the story (speaking/listening practice) to the class
Post reading strategies
Spelling list exercise: Students work in small groups to develop
a list of 10 or 15 words which group members believe everyone
should be able to spell. In whole class students combine their
lists and then play spelling games or take written test.
Compare/contrast exercise: If students have recently read another
Cinderella version they discuss common elements, similarities
Graphic response exercise: Ask students to create a picture illustrating
a scene from the story. Students work in group of 2, 3 or 4, and
must write a caption for the story. After students have completed
the pictures arrange the pictures across the front of the room
and ask students to organize them (either sequentially or according
to image, depending on what students have created).
Post-reading writing exercise: Write a letter to the Grandfather.
Post-reading discussion: a new name for Tattercoats: In small
groups students discuss an appropriate name and give a reason
for that name. Students then share their discussions with the
Library / Research
Research idea for students: What do you know about geese? What
exactly does a goose boy or goose girl do? Is this kind of work
done today? Ask your local librarian to help you find information
on domesticated geese.
The story of Tattercoats is found in several picture books and
in various collections. As an extra-credit homework assignment,
students browse their local library shelves for these titles.
Hint: look in anthologies.
- Greaves, Margaret, Tattercoats, 1990
- Jacobs, Joseph, ed., Tattercoats, 1989
- Steel, Flora Annie, Tattercoats, an old English Tale, 1976
Copyright © 1995 by Jean Rusting (firstname.lastname@example.org). All rights reserved.
Converted to HTML (with permission) July 28, 1995 by David K Brown (email@example.com)