Fairy Tales Unit Finale: 6 Exciting Activities Your Students Will Love

Inside: Six fun culminating activities for the end of your fairy tales unit

When I taught fourth grade, I always loved seeing second graders celebrate the end of their fairy tales unit. They came to school dressed as their favorite fairy tale characters and literally had a ball that day!

I admit it. I was jealous.

Now that I teach second grade, I get to participate in the coveted Second Grade Fairy Tale Ball.

Every year I look forward to the “drumroll moment” when I announce the fairy tale ball. Students consistently respond with enthusiasm.

“I remember when my sister did that!”

“I already know what my costume is going to be!”

“Can it be tomorrow?”

But what do you include in a fairy tale ball? After eight years of teaching second grade, I have found a lot of fun activities. When we’re really having a ball, the activities may span for two days.

Design Your Fairy Tale Ball

My biggest goal for the fairy tale ball is to make it a memorable experience for my second graders. They worked hard learning about the genre, discovering changing character traits, and even reading some fractured fairy tales to make them question the morals of beloved Cinderella.

After all that hard work, it’s time for some fun!

Here are six of my favorite activities to incorporate in the grand finale of our fairy tales unit.

1. Make the Magic

Making a magic wand is a fun fairy tale craft to use in your fairy tales unit.

Once students see me get out pretzels, icing, and sprinkles, it’s all over.

Making magic wands is always a hit. It’s also very easy.

  1. Spread some vanilla icing on a pretzel rod.
  2. Dip the pretzel in sprinkles
  3. Ta-dah! – a delicious magic wand

As a non-food option, you could cut out stars and attach them to a Crazy Straw.  Students can decorate their stars with glitter glue, sequins, or good ole crayons.

2. Guess My Character

Is it Red Riding Hood? Granny? An evil witch?

Students love to play guessing games, and this is a great one! You can choose the characters for this game based on the stories you shared in your fairy tales unit.

Here’s how to play.

  1. Give each student a fairy tale character, but don’t tell they who they have.
  2. Tape the characters’ names on students’ backs.
  3. Students give each other clues to guess the name of the characters.
  4. Once the character is guessed, students can exchange the card for a new one.
End your fairy tale unit by having students play "Mystery Characters".

3. Act It Out

Using readers’ theater in my class is always a hit.  Students love acting out their favorite stories (or different versions of the stories).  You can find lots of great readers’ theater scripts for fairy tales with a quick Google search or searching on TPT

I love the creativity and thought that goes into scenery and props.  Depending on how much time we have, we may spend several days creating and practicing. 

If you take a peak in my room during this time, you will see:

  • Pig ears made from string and construction paper
  • Porridge bowls made from cardboard
  • Just about everything else under the fairy tale sun

You may end up finding random craft items in your room for weeks to come, but seeing the students’ creativity and imagination come to life is worth it!

Bonus: The STEM activity below is included in the fairy tale freebies at the end of this post.

4. Let It Fly

What better way to end a fairy tale unit than using paper airplanes?

When my students complete this STEM activity, they consistently ask me to do it again. They love it!

The Slides below share step by step instructions and help create a memorable experience for my students year after year.

The first slide in the Fairy tales STEM activity
The second slide in the Fairy tales STEM activity
The third slide in the Fairy tales STEM activity
The final slide in the Fairy tales STEM activity

5. Dress up

Students can dress up as their favorite fairy tale character. Options to go with this include:

  • Guess my character
  • Fairy tale character parade
  • Give a brief speech stating your opinion about the story.
  • Share your favorite part of the story
  • Pair students and have them interview each other as their character
Dressing in costumes is a great way to end your fairy tale unit.
Hopefully, your students won’t get TOO into character! Photo by Maya Kruchancova.

6. Fairy Tales Unit Favorites

List the books you’ve shared throughout the fairy tales unit. Have students pick a favorite and design a cover for the book.

Encourage students to be inspired by the covers you have on display, ones in their book bins, or leave it up to their imagination.

Students could also think of their own fractured fairy tale and design a cover based on their ideas.

Try it – Have your students create the cover without a title. Then have students try to guess each other’s books.

Have Fun!

Having a fairy tale ball is a great way to end your fairy tales unit. If you’re feeling brave, you could also incorporate some music and dancing. (Some years I’m brave enough, others – not so much.)

As your students come dressed as their favorite fairy tale characters, don’t be surprised if you get some jealous looks from other teachers. They know you’re about to have a ball!

Let’s Go Backwards

Before you are ready for your fairy tale ball, you will want to incorporate some comprehension activities to make sure your students understand the genre.

My FREE Fractured Fairy Tales Activity Bundle is just what you need to keep your lessons on track.

By filling out the form below, you can have all of these activities delivered straight to your inbox.

Here’s what’s included.

  • A Venn diagram to compare and contrast different fairy tales
  • An organizer to help explain the importance of the setting, whether it’s in the woods, ocean, or outer space
  • An organizer to describe characters from the naive little fish to the sly wolf
  • A comparison chart to look at a variety of different versions of a fairy tale.
  • An organizer to show the unique pop of magic in each fairy tale.
  • BONUS: A STEM activity with paper airplanes – a surefire winner for your students!

What do you love most about your fairy tales unit? I’d love to read about it in the comments below!

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Teaching blogger for elementary teachers

Mary Wingert, licensed educator (K-12 Special Ed. & 1-8 General Ed)

I started teaching in 1993.   I have taught special education, fifth grade, and fourth grade.  I moved to second grade in 2015, and I am still there today.  

I believe in teaching strategies that are effective, differentiated, and engaging. I am looking forward to building a community of teachers who feels the same!  Read more here.