Slice of Life: Choosing to Live Happily Ever After #SOL19 #TWTBlog
It completely changes the message of the story.
Why do you think that?
Well, Cinderella’s slipper doesn’t fall off accidently, she chooses to leave it there. It was her decision to let the prince find her.
Why do you think that is important?
It gives her more power, more choice in her destiny. It is not left up to magic or a man.
Do you think the author changed the play on purpose?
Oh yes. He wanted to make girls who like Cinderella realize they are powerful and can make choices in their life. I like this version so much better!
I have been thinking about author’s purpose since I saw Cinderella last year. I keep replaying that moment when Cinderella does not lose her slipper at the ball. There was a wave of energy throughout the audience. Small voices expressing astonishment:
How will the prince find Cinderella?
How will the story end?
Why didn’t she lose her slipper?
These young readers understood something big was happening. They knew the author made a decision to change the plot and it would impact the big idea or message of the play. This realization was so powerful because they knew this story so well. It was not what they expected so they immediately noticed and wondered why the author adapted the story.
Familiar texts, like fairy tales, help readers consider why authors choose to adapt the original version. The change they experience as readers pushes them to figure out why the change was made – what is the author’s intention? Once readers begin to notice and wonder about author’s purpose in an adapted version of a familiar text, it is easy to transfer this thinking to all texts. Readers begin to take on an inquiry stance in relation to author’s purpose.
It is amazing how one change can shift the mood, tone, and message of a story. Readers need to constantly be thinking about what is happening in a text and how the author is structuring and shaping the text. They need to continually consider why authors choose particular words, structures, and formats. Giving students time to discuss why the author makes choices, leads to great conversations around author’s purpose.
In the end, Cinderella did marry her prince and live happily ever after, but I think some young audience members left the theatre with a deeper understanding of choice – both as young women/men and authors!
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here.