We are in the first bend of Lucy Calkin’s Once Upon a Time Fairy Tale unit. Students are rehearsing and drafting their adaptations of either Cinderella or Little Red Riding Hood. Boy are they creative!
One student asked for help and this is how our conversation went…
“I’m not sure what to write next,” she told me.
“Tell me about your adaptation so far.”
“Well, I’m adapting Red Riding Hood. Red Riding Hood has a sister, Nancy. And Nancy is dating Bill, but she is secretly in love with Juan. And then Little Red Riding Hood finds out that Nancy is cheating on Bill with Juan and she slaps Juan. And that’s where I stopped yesterday.” There were more details in here and I may have mixed up some of the events, but I don’t have her notebook with me to reference.
“O.K….Do you know how it is going to end?” I ask, trying not to laugh too much.
“Yes. Bill is going to kill Nancy.”
At this point I feel that it is very important for you to know that this student is one of the sweetest, most empathetic girls in the world. She doesn’t understand why everyone isn’t nice to everyone else. She often brings up the cruelty she sees on the news from presidential candidates. She can not fathom how people can possible be racist. She is THE LAST student that I would ever expect to write this ending…Ok…here’s how the rest of the conversation went…
Pause. “Um…Where does that happen?”
“At a bridge.” She replies, without needing to think.
“Alright..How does that happen?” I ask, more shocked at each response.
“Bill invites Nancy on a date at the bridge, but then he drowns her.”
At this point you may be thinking that I should have put a stop to this very violent conversation and fairy tale adaptation, but I needed to know where it was going.
“Why does he kill her?”
“Because he found out that she was cheating on him with Juan. But, he didn’t tell anyone. He just planned the fake date and murder.”
And then I had a thought, “X…do you watch Telenovelas?”
“Yes. Yes I do.” She replied.