IF THE SHOE FITS: CINDERELLA TALES AROUND THE WORLD STUDY GUIDE
by Cathy Kaemmerlen
All in all, there are some 1500 different versions of Cinderella, a folktale, or story that is passed down. As it is passed down, the words come out differently, depending on the teller, and the culture. Small changes happen all the time, but the framework stays basically the same. IF THE SHOE FITS presents an overview of the basic Cinderella or transformational tale as well as three versions: one from Ireland in which Cinderella is a boy named Billy Beg; one from Native American Indian culture in which Cinderella is named Oochigeaskwa, the Burnt Faced Girl, and one new version from the jealous stepsister’s point of view. Lots of fun with Cinderellas and Cindefellas and shoes that do and don’t fit and living happily ever after…
Cathy Kaemmerlen, professional actress, dancer, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for her rapport with audiences. A performer and “creator of shows” since she can remember, she has toured in schools coast to coast, since receiving a BA in English/elementary education from UNC-Charlotte, and a MFA in dance performance/choreography/theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She tours through Tattlingtales Productions, the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County Teaching Museums, and has received numerous grants and honors, including Outstanding New Interpreter for her region with the National Association of Interpreters. She is the author of four non-fiction books.
Background on Art Form
Telling stories is an oral tradition, dating back to when mankind first developed a language or form of communication. Storytelling is a universal way of passing down information to be saved and remembered for generations to come. It is an interactive art form in which the storytellers’ passion for the story, material, and information, is passed on to the audience, who sorts through, interprets, stores, and synthesizes what is heard.
Teachers, please read this to your students.
Today we are going to have a program by actress storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen about three different Cinderella tales from around the world. There are over 1500 different versions of that tale, from many different cultures. A Cinderella tale was one of the original folktales, passed around by word of mouth before it was written down in its final form. Cinderella tales are known as transformational tales in which the main character is transformed or changed during the story; in which an element of magic is involved (sometimes we think of the magic involving a fairy godmother but it could be other helpers) ; and in which the main character is given a gift to help her/him out (sometimes we think of the magic glass slippers, but there are other options too.) All in all, when the story is told out, the main character usually finds happiness and lives…happily ever after…of course.
Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students:
What do you think transformational tale means?
What is a folktale? What is the oral tradition?
Why do you think there are so many different versions of Cinderella?
Do you have a favorite version?
What are the elements in your favorite version?
What other magic helpers have you run into in different versions?
Why have Cinderella tales been so popular over the years?
Vocabulary to look at before and after:
folktale: a tale passed down, usually orally, from one person or generation to the next.
fairy tale: a magic tale or wonder tale that usually has European origins.
persecuted: one who is unjustly treated
various names for Cinderella: Peu d’Annisso (France); Aschenputtel (Germany); Cap o’Rushes (England); Hearthcat (Portugal); Katie Woodencloak (Norway); Ashpet (Appalachia); Tam (Viet Nam); Rhodopsis (Ancient Greece); Benizara (Japan.)
Warm Up Questions for meeting the Georgia Performance Standards for “Listening/Speaking/Viewing”:
Describe the perfect audience.
What are some of our class rules for being good listeners?
How do we show someone we appreciate their visit to our school or classroom?
How does being part of an audience help make you a good citizen?
What are some examples of bad audience behavior or attitudes?
How does a negative audience member effect your enjoyment of a show or performance?
How would this make the performer feel?
How do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
–Make a list of the magic helpers from the different versions.
–Make a list of fairy tale/folk tale openers and closers such as: Once upon a time…and they lived happily ever after. Long, long ago…snip, snip snout, this tale’s told out.
–Make up your own 1501st version. If you’re studying a different country or culture in social studies, such as Japan, make up a Japanese version of the story using what you have learned about the Japanese culture.
–Listen to Prokofiev’s musical version of Cinderella, based on the Charles Perrault version. See if you can follow the story and if the music helps you see and describe the characters. Rogers and Hammerstein have composed a musical version that is available on videotape with Brandy and Whitney Houston and also one with Lesley Anne Warren. There are also ballet versions with male dancers hilariously playing the stepsisters.
PRINCESS FURBALL by Charlotte Huck
CINDERELLA AND CINDERELLA’S STEPSISTER by Russel Shorto
SIDNEY RELLA AND THE GLASS SNEAKER by Bernice Myers
THE ROUGH FACED GIRL by Rafe Martin
CINDERELLA: THE ORYX MULTICULTURAL FOLKTALE SERIES by Judy Sierra
PRINCE CINDERS by Babette Cole
CINDERELLA by Marcia Brown
CINDERELLA by Amy Erlich/Susan Jeffers
CINDERELLA by Paul Galdone
CINDERELLA or THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER by Charles Perrault
ASCHENPUTTEL by the Brothers Grimm
CINDERELLA DRESSED IN YELLA by Ian Turner
THE BROCADE SLIPPER by Lynnete Dyer Vuong
THE WAY MEAT LOVES SALT: a Jewish Cinderella tale retold by Nina Jaffe
ABADEHA: the Philippine Cinderella, adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz
ANKLET FOR A PRINCESS, a Cinderella story from India, adapated by Meredith Brucker
THE PERSIAN CINDERELLA, adapted by Shirley Climo
ASHPET, An Appalachian Tale, retold by Joanne Compton