Implementation of “Fairy Tales and Imagination: Making Magic Happen” (SOI-HR-346)

Author: Mirta Kovač, a Croatian language teacher

School/Organization: Srednja škola Dalj

The learning scenario I applied in my class was “Fairy tales and imagination: Making Magic Happen” by author Tihana Turković. I made the decision on implementation because I was interested in whether students would like this kind of work and because this topic was applicable in my class. I also used the script to make students see the fundamental features of the fairy tale, distinguish between folk and artistic fairy tales, and determine their common traits. In addition, I was thrilled with the opportunities that Europeana could offer to facilitate work with students. I tried to stick to the original script. I changed the order of the activities by first assigning students to write fairy tale text, which they narrowed down to a hundred words, then making it out of paper, writing their elaborate text in it, and decorating it with their own illustration. The activity I didn’t carry out with the students was making GIFs because the IT classroom wasn’t available to me at the time, and I would have exceeded the time I had planned to process my fairy tale.

In my teaching process, I applied the scenario of Tihana Turković,“ Fairy tales and imagination: Making Magic Happen”.

I made the decision to implement it because fairy tales are a teaching unit that I process with the first grades of high school. These are 15- to 16-year-old students. They worked on their own and in groups. I liked the method of activity that the author applied in her scenario, and this is one of the most interesting topics for the students. We met fairy tales at our earliest age; they are texts that people love and remember all their lives. Fairy tales and imaginations are inseparable. We all fantasized that one day we would become princes and princesses. We always remember them as well as the people who read them to us.

In the script, I made small modifications because my students are slightly older than those for whom the script was intended and we did not have all the technical conditions available. Through this implementation, students have learned about the opportunities offered by Europeana.


The first class was held in the school library. I gave the students a few fairy tales with different headlines. After a short tour, I asked them if they liked fairy tales and knew any of them. Then I read them the fairy tale of Ivana Brlić-Mažuriranić, How Potjeh sought the truth.

After listening, the students determined the meaning of the concept of a fairy tale and looked for its basic characteristics in the above example.

Picture 1. Students in the library

Group work

The next activity took place in the IT classroom. The students were divided into four groups and searched the resources of Europeana for images of the authors of fairy tales, one by one. The authors were Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, C. Perrault, H. C. Andersen and Ivana Brlić-Mažuriranić. After this activity, they read a fairy tale of their choice, and found its basic characteristics, exchanged experiences, and came to the conclusion that there are distinctions between folk and artistic fairy tales. They singled out what new features were introduced into the artistic fairy tale. The activity lasted 45 minutes.

Picture 2. Students in the IT classroom

Exploring Europeana

The next activity also took place in the IT classroom. The students were divided into four groups. Each group received one author of a fairy tale whose paintings had to be explored using a Europeana’s resources. The authors were Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, C. Perrault, H. C. Andersen, and Ivana Brlić-Mažuriranić. Participants were asked to explore the available resources (e.g., the museum exhibition, library, Internet, etc.) and find out which fairy tales were written by the author assigned to them. Participants were encouraged to visit Internet resources, especially Europeana. When they researched the resources, each group presented their author and his works. After this activity, they read a fairy tale of their choice and singled out its basic characteristics, such as its formulaic beginning, the victory of good over evil, the black and white characterisation of characters, the appearance of supernatural beings, etc. The activity lasted 45 minutes.

Creating  our own fairy tales

The last activity the students really enjoyed was making their own fairy tales without glue, staples, or other binding methods. To accomplish the task, they only had to use their own imagination. They then wrote their fairy tale in the booklet and illustrated it. It lasted fifteen minutes. The activity I didn’t do with the students was to build GIFs. I needed an IT classroom that was not available at the time, and I would have exceeded the planned time to process the fairy tale. I assigned them to create GIFs for homework. Finally, we evaluated the entire work, showing how enthusiastic the students were about the teaching activities.

Picture 3. Students creating fairy tales

At the end of the activity, students were able to define the concept of fairy tales, interpret the stylistic features of fairy tales, explain the idea, recognize that fairy tales are one of the simple epic forms, and distinguish folk fairy tales from artistic fairy tales. I would recommend this scenario to language teachers because there are a number of activities in which students are not passive and their creativity is expressed.

After the activities were carried out, the students expanded their knowledge of fairy tales. They linked their theoretical knowledge to selected literature. By working in groups, they interpreted and exhibited selected texts. They conducted a study of fairy tale writers using the resources of Europeana. They discovered the importance of Ivana Brlić- Mažuranić in the development of Croatian literature and expressed their creativity, potential, and qualities by writing fairy tales and making them out of paper.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? “Fairy Tales and Imagination: Making Magic Happen“ created by Tihana Turković

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Slovenská národná galéria.

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