Into the Woods

I love picnics.   I don’t know if it was my first picnic, but it is the first one I can remember.  We ventured into the Black Forest in Germany.  I remember the sun-dappled forest floor and the wooden hamper with the leather straps that held the plates and cutlery in place. I remember the  the scratchy wool plaid blanket and the red thermos from which my parents drank coffee.  I remember my baby sister. But mostly I remember knowing that I was in the very woods in which Hansel and Gretel lost their way.  My father confirmed it. He also pointed out that these were the woods where the woodcutter let Snow White go and where a prince later found her.  The very woods.  He didn’t need to remind me that there was probably a wolf behind a tree waiting for a little girl to come skipping down the path.

I love picnics.  We had a picnic yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day.  We, four generations of us,  sat in the lush green of Libby Park.  I asked my mother if she remembered that picnic the Black Forest so long ago.  She remembered it vividly.

It was long ago and far away and yet these woods are very present in Room 204 this week.  We  have started a genre-study of Folk and Fairy Tales.  Our anchor texts are from the Brothers Grimm, untouched by Disney.  Children need these stories to deepen the well and broaden the landscape of story and literature. This week we will go deeper into these woods as readers and writers.  We won’t get lost.  I know the way.

And so do you.  Let me know the name of your favorite folk or fairy tale.

mothers day

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and loves her work. She especially enjoys teaching children how to be enthusiastic readers, writers, and problem solvers. Every year, she hopes to inspire her students to be committed citizens who know they can make a difference in the world around them. When she is not teaching, Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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3 Responses to Into the Woods

  1. Paige says:

    When I was a little girl, fairytales were Disney fairytales — Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella. Then, on one one summer day spent at my grandmother’s house, I picked up a book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and started reading. What were all of these stories? Snow White and Rose Red — who the heck was Rose Red? On that day, fairytales became more than stories about pretty princesses who were rescued by princes (though, unfortunately, even the Grimms had plenty of that!).

  2. blkdrama says:

    I loved the Little Matchstick Girl, everything Grimm for me and I totally loved Danny Kaye in Hans Christian Anderson, the movie
    Bonnie

  3. Libby says:

    Annie, I wonder if you’ve come across Sarah Beth Durst’s novels, Out of the Wild and Into the Wild? They are lovely riffs on fairy tales and their persistence.

    I had a battered copy of Grimms’ fairy tales illustrated by Wanda Gag. I loved the obscure ones the best.

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