Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Previously by Allan Ahlberg

Ahlberg, Allan.  Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007.  9780763635428

Quantitative Reading Level: Reading Level 4.8, Fountas and Pinnell N

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

I would rate this as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Literary Text”.  The story is told backwards starting with Goldilocks arriving home after her encounter with the bears and then going back to what happened previously.  The story alludes to “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Jack and Jill”, “The Frog Prince”, “Cinderella”, and “The Gingerbread Boy” so readers need to be familiar with those stories.

What happened before Goldilocks went to the bear’s house?  How was that related to Jack?  Did you know Jack in the beanstalk is the same Jack as in “Jack and Jill”?  What happened to the frog when he was a prince?  Did you know Cinderella knew the Gingerbread Boy?  This story looks at the relationship between different fairy tales and imagines what happened “previously”.

Content Area: Reading/ELA

Content area standard:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.

Curriculum Suggestions:

Students can compare this version of the different fairy tales with the “real” versions and perhaps find other alternate versions.

Students can try to write “previous” versions of other tales.

Personal Thoughts:  I know I have said it before…I love alternate versions of fairy tales and this is no exception.  I like how the author ties various tales together and how he works backwards.  What a fun book!

High Interest Annotation: What happened before the famous fairytales?


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