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Lynn Sear


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Katie Barrett

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A Writing Root for Grimm Tales for Young and Old

£5.00 (inc. VAT)

KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Fate vs. Free Will

Author(s): Philip Pullman


Retelling from a particular viewpoint, analyses, dialogue

Main Outcome:

Own version traditional tale


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root which guides children to examine a range of Grimm Tales and looks closely at the common characteristics shared by many.  Through the sequence of learning, children will analyse the language, characterisation and common story structure across many of the tales. Using the story of Cinderella, they will make comparisons between many versions of the same story and analyse the extent to which these stories can be classified as ‘fairy tales’.  Children will eventually work towards creating their own Grimm tale, planning for a balance of dialogue and narrative and using devices to advance the action quickly.  There will be an opportunity for children to create books of their own writing.

Synopsis of Text:

In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a'clear as water' retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice.From the quests and romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' to the danger and wit of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my-Hedgehog' and 'Godfather Death', Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story's background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted for so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.These new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman's Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.

Text Rationale:

Philip Pullman is a significant and award-winning children’s author and we chose this reworked collection of classic fairy tales for his engaging style and clarity of storytelling. Children will learn the stories of well-known characters and keep the tradition of storytelling alive. The rich and multi-layered tales will provoke much debate amongst the children for their presentation of characters, and the roles, fates and consequences they occupy.  

Links and Themes:

Traditional tales, Brothers Grimm, fairytales, traditional tales, character roles, storytelling, fates, consequences

Date written: January 2015

Updated: April 2021

A Spelling Seed is available for Grimm Tales for Young and Old.

Spelling Seed Overview:


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Grimm Tales for Young and Old by Philip Pullman.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Word List Words

disastrous, mischievous, recognise, shoulder, stomach

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words with the /i:/ sound spelt ei after c

Words ending in –ent, –ence/–ency

View Grimm Tales for Young and Old Spelling Seed

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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