Retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Lesson Plan prepared by Deborah Hallen

1. To read for entertainment.
2. To discover the elements of fairy tales.

Introduction: What is a fairy tale?

(Elements of a fairy tale: Characters are either all good or all bad; A “Magic Being” is either helpful or threatening; Hero must complete a necessary task; There’s a reward; There are repetitive features such as numbers, names, incantations, or actions; Coupled with magic are realistic heroes facing problems such as poverty, loss, abandonment, but they triumph.)

Begin Chart:
Title/ Good People/ Bad People/ Magic Event/ Deals Made/ Duties to Fulfill/ Numbers/
Reward or Punishment/ Key Words

encountered, intrigued, whirring, gleaming, succeed, scarcely, piteously,
inquiries, unusual, weep, sob, greed, miller, valued, passion, straightaway,

Write each word
on a card to introduce the words. Have students listen for the words as you read the story.
Animals to find: horses, moth, bird, insect, dog
Names to find: Mistress Miller; The Three Kings: Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar
Idioms to know: “For the life of her”

Discussion Questions:
1. Was the miller right in telling the king that his daughter could spin straw into gold? Why? Why not?
2. Is Rumpelstiltskin a good man or a bad man? Can we understand that he really wanted a baby to care for?
3. What kind of man is the king?

Extension Activities:
1. Write a different ending to the story.
2. Listen to MAZURKA in A MINOR, Op. 7, No. 2 by F. Chopin
Listen to WALTZ in D FLAT MAJOR, Op. 64, No. 1 by F. Chopin
Can you hear the funny little man spinning?
3. People in the U.S.A. usually have a first name and a last name. Find out the
origin of your last or family name, and how you got your first name.