Southwest Children's Literature

Sun Logo

Little Gold Star/Estrellita de oro: A Cinderella Cuento

In the classroom/library:

Cinderella in the Southwest: Little Gold Star/Estrellita de oro: A Cinderella Cuento and Bubba the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale (Also reviewed on this site by Kent Smith)

EDUCATORS' NAMES: Miriam Rodriguez, 4th grade teacher; Kent Smith, teacher-librarian
CONTENT AREA: English Language Arts
OVERVIEW: Students will study the fairy tale genre, review story elements common to fairy tales and apply their understanding to these concepts by listening to and reacting to two different versions of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella.
PURPOSE: This lesson taps into students' background knowledge of fairy tales and builds on that background knowledge through guided discussion. Students will listen to, compare, and contrast two versions of the Cinderella story set in the American Southwest.

OUTCOMES: At the end of this lesson students will:
1. Generate a list of story elements, most if not all of which are commonly found in the fairy tale genre.
2. Demonstrate their understanding of the mutability of fairy tale story elements (caused by changes in geography, culture, historical period or other factors) by using a graphic organizer of their choosing to compare/contrast two variants of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella.
3. Write a summary of their preferred story, including story elements, an illustration and a caption.

TEKS: §110.15. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 4
(3) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Theme and Genre.
Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:
(A) summarize and explain the lesson or message of a work of fiction as its theme; and
(B) compare and contrast the adventures or exploits of characters (e.g., the trickster) in traditional and classical literature.

1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge
1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (eg., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.
4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
4.1.3 Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres.
4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.

Resources: (This site is currently only available to dallasisd faculty and staff.)
Rubric - Fairytale Story Elements (.pdf made at Rubistar)

Children's Books:
Little Gold Star/Estrellita de oro: A Cinderella Cuento retold in Spanish and English by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Gloria Osuna Perez
Bubba the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by James Warhola

Manila paper
Selection of crayons, markers, pencils, rulers, erasers

1. Introduction (Anticipatory Set)
The hook will be several books spread at each of the tables when the students enter the library, all but one title representing the fairy tale genre; the other title being a biography. The two educators will take turns modeling for students what to look for and how to go about classifying different genres of literature. Students at each table will continue the discussion to determine which book is different from the others. The whole class will meet on the rug to report on their findings. The two instructors will elicit responses that help students to understand the concept of genre, especially the fairy tale genre. Students will pair off and share a short pre-assessment on story elements found in the fairy tale genre.

2. Student Objectives - for day 1 and day 2 - At the end of these lessons:
* Students will explain the story elements commonly found in the fairy tale genre.
* Students will explain how changes in setting, historical era, and culture have an impact in the telling of a fairy tale and use a graphic organizer to demonstrate.
* Students will select one of two versions of the classic Cinderella story, Little Gold Star or Bubba the Cowboy Prince, summarize their selection, include how the story elements may have been altered, provide an illustration of a scene from the story along with a caption.

Day 1:
3. Presentation (Input and Modeling)
a. Build understanding of story elements. Students will watch a short audio of story elements often associated with fairy tales. The following web site helps build this knowledge:
b. Present classic version of Cinderella at Teachers will lead a discussion of how the setting, historical era, and culture influenced the telling of the classic fairy tale version of Cinderella.
c. Ms. Rodriguez reads Little Gold Star aloud. Mr. Smith models filling in the graphic organizer as students point out story elements while the story is being read to them.

4. Check for Understanding
Students discuss story elements and how they are affected by geography, culture and historical era.

5. Guided Practice
Students work in partnerships, selecting a graphic organizer of their choice to compare and contrast the two versions of the tale related to them on day one (Cinderella and Little Gold Star). Teachers circulate around the library, supporting students, listening to conversations, and providing feedback to student efforts.

6. Closure

Students gather together back on the rug for a glimpse at and a brief walk through of Bubba the Cowboy Prince. How will the change of setting, historical era and culture impact the tale?

Day 2:
3. Presentation (input and Modeling)
a. Both educators involve the students in a short review of the previous day's lesson on the impact of geography, etc. on story elements in fairy tales.
b. Both educators elicit responses from students as to where the setting is for Bubba the Cowboy Prince and how it might impact the fairy tale. Note that the subtitle says 'fractured" and ask students what that means.
c. Mr. Smith reads the story aloud as Ms. Rodriguez models how and where to record student responses to the story on the graphic organizer.

4. Check for Understanding
Students review what has been recorded and check for the existence or lack of story elements traditionally found in fairy tales.

5. Guided Practice
Students read the analyzing information rubric on fairy tale elements. Teachers demonstrate how to determine key components of each rubric category and how to distinguish between exemplary, good, acceptable and poor work.

6. Independent Practice
Students write a short summary of their preferred fairy tale with reasons why, include story elements and how the story's setting, culture and era affected them, provide an illustration of a scene from the book with a caption. Students who do not finish can complete their assignment for homework.

7. Closure
Educators will take a quick poll to demonstrate how many student pairs selected each story. Educators will give the pre-assessment test again to measure any gain in student understanding of story tale elements.

Student learning will be assessed by looking at their graphic organizers as well as how successfully they have followed their summary rubric.


Students will continue their investigation into fairy tales by selecting a partner with whom they will search for and select another version of the Cinderella tale. After reading the tale they will present a short book review to the class focusing on the story elements and how they have been impacted by setting, culture, era, etc. Students who are learning English as a second language will be accommodated by the instructors, assisting them in comprehending difficult vocabulary, pairing them with more English dominant classmates, or providing them with Spanish versions of the Cinderella story as well as Spanish graphic organizers.

The school year might conclude with students authoring their own "fractured" versions of a Cinderella fairy tale, with story elements being affected by changes in setting, historical era and culture.

to mainpage

About the Book | Book Review | Children's Voices | Lesson Plan | About the Reviewers