Using an authentic children’s story: El Hada fea (The Ugly Fairy)

I really like teaching Spanish IV because the units, minus one, are all so interesting!  We start the year with Family and Food (advanced vocabulary), continue with a huge arts unit (big focus on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo), move on to goals and aspirations, newspapers and then we enter the myths, legends, fables, fairy tales and conquests unit.  One of my favorite lessons in this unit (among many!), is El Hada Fea by Pedro Pablo Sacristán.


I gave the students a copy of the story EL HADA FEA and had them read it aloud with a partner.  They then changed to a new partner and read it aloud a second time, and moved to a third partner to read it yet again. (My students are very familiar with my request to read the same thing in Spanish multiple times.)  I then asked the partners to identify the characters in the story and gave each person a blank piece of paper.  On that paper each person drew the ugly fairy, el hada fea; then they each drew the witch, la bruja; next they drew the animals in the story (bats, toads, spiders, wolves). Even non artistic high school students enjoy drawing these things!   Looking at the story again, I had them identify words in the story that were part of our active vocabulary in this unit (such as había una vez, mágica, hada, esforzar, poderosa/poderes, etc.) and had them write those words randomly on the illustration paper.  Using their pictures as a guide, but without using the script for the story, the partners then retold the story together. Moving to a new partner, using their pictures, they once again retold the story.  Finally, I put the class back together and assigned roles:  the narrator, the ugly fairy, the witch, the other fairies, the animals.  I gave them five minutes to work together as a group before they acted out the story for me.  It was an activity that they greatly enjoyed.  The repetition of the story, the drawings, and the acting all made it possible that each student completely understood the story. As a followup assessment, I had each student write a brief summary of what they saw as the main teaching point of the story and how the story illustrated that point.

I have now discovered that there is an audio version of the story available and will most likely work that into my lesson in the coming year. What types of activities have you used with authentic children’s stories?

1 thought on “Using an authentic children’s story: El Hada fea (The Ugly Fairy)

  1. Pingback: Cuentos Infantiles: Pretérito Indefinido y Pretérito Imperfecto | Señora B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s