Pass out small papers and let students write one of the following on the paper: love it, like it, hate it. Collect and tally the vote on the board. Voting with the papers allows shy students to stay anonymous and yet give their true opinions.
We made a character chart with a list of all the main characters and their personality traits. In the book Pia is compared to an eagle and Enzio is compared to an antelope. Why? Choose animals to represent Prince Gianna, Prince Vito, and Princess Fabrizia. (We did this in pairs. I gave the pairs about 5 minutes to discuss and determine. Then the pairs shared their decision with the entire class.)
Are these good characters? Interesting? Why/not?
Genre: Fairy Tale
Discuss the traits of fairy tales.
- Special Beginning and Ending Words ("Once upon a time")
- Castles and Royalty (king, queen, princess, prince)
- Magic (magic objects and talking animals)
- Things happen in 3s and 7s
- Poverty (poor working girl, poor family, poor shepherd booy, etc.)
- Universal Truths (the tale touches on a universal experience or hope)
How does this book fit into the fairy tale genre? Give specific examples. In which ways is it not like a fairy tale?
1. Where is the setting of the book? What clues are given?
2. What was in the pouch? (I did research on the red coral, cornos. This website was an interesting read re: cornetti, and I shared parts of it with my students to help them understand more about the importance of the red coral.)
3. Have your students ever heard this quote before: "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." What does it mean? How does it apply to the story? Who do they think has it best? Peasant, king, or taster?
How does this relate to our lives?
Quotable Quotes for Discussion
1. When one has nothing, nothing disappears.
2. He who sleeps catches no fish.
3. The wind in one's face makes one wise.
4. Be careful you do not waste your life on duties.
5. If one's head is in the clouds, one cannot see the gold at his feet.