"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)


Students will: Note to teacher: there are more activities below than you will want to use. Review and highlight those most suited to your class.

Materials needed

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.

Pre-reading strategies

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. Options:

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 and differences

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 whole class.

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.

Copyright © 1995 by Jean Rusting (jeanner@ousd.k12.ca.us). All rights reserved.
Converted to HTML (with permission) July 28, 1995 by David K Brown (dkbrown@acs.ucalgary.ca)