“The world of make-believe can be a scary place, but never fear: Thanks to a series of reimagined fairy tales published online by the National Rifle Association, classic characters like Hansel and Gretel are now packing heat.” L. Stack, New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: The N.R.A. Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales by Liam Stack, NYT
“The group has published two of the updated tales on its N.R.A. Family website in recent months, entitled Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) and Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns).The stories have outraged advocates of gun control, but their author, Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger, has called them lessons in gun safety.
The stories are really also for adults, and it’s all about safety,”Ms. Hamilton said in an interview on CBS This Morning on Friday. It’s for parents to start those conversations.
N.R.A. Family asked its readers in an editor’s note if the dark overtones of the original fairy tales — an old woman eaten by a wolf and children cooked by a witch — ever made them uneasy. It said the new versions are meant to make the Grimm brothers’ tales less grim.Grandma has a gun too-NRA-Image-the sun
In Ms. Hamilton’s stories, each of the young protagonists (and one grandmother) is transformed from a victim into a hero with the help of a gun…Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, calling the stories a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign.
He said in a statement that the stories were in poor taste in part because nearly 50 children and teenagers are shot each day in the United States, and suicide by gun is a leading cause of death among children over the age of 9.”
Gun Violence Statistics in the U.S.
In One Year on Average (ages 0-19)
“Over 17,000 (17,499) American children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention.” All information © 2016 Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.
Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about the NRA and guns. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- The stories have outraged advocates of gun control.
- The author is a conservative blogger.
- There are dark overtones of the original fairy tales.
- The new versions are meant to make the stories less grim.
- In the stories, each of the young protagonists has a gun.
- Ladd Everitt is a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
- These new depictions are a source of concern.
- There are no consequences for the children here holding guns.
- While distracting the wolf, grandma shoots him.
- Hansel and Gretel bagged a 10-point buck.
Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
Efforts/effortless to reach/read Ms. Hamilton on Friday were unsuccessful. In an interview with N.R.A. News, she said her visions/versions were kinder/kindling than the originals/origins by the Grimm brothers because no grandmothers or children were eaten and, despite/deport the guns, the villains/village were not shot.
Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage
Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- The new versions were kinder.
- No grandmothers or children was eaten.
- The kids do just what they are supposed to do.
- The group has published two of the updated tale.
- The stories are really also for adults.
- It’s for parents to start those conversations.
- A old woman eaten by a wolf in one story.
- Grandma, too, was saved by a gun.
- Hansel and Gretel got a similar treatment.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with discussing or writing about the main idea and points from the article.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
- “There are no consequences for the children here holding guns, walking out into the woods with guns, thinking about killing the bad guys…Children who might read these stories do not have the emotional maturity to understand that gun ownership does come with risks.”
- “In an interview with N.R.A. News, she [Ms. Hamilton ] said her versions were kinder than the originals by the Grimm brothers because no grandmothers or children were eaten and, despite the guns, the villains were not shot. The kids do just what they are supposed to do and get an adult.”
- What is your opinion about these new fairy tales from the NRA? Are they useful or are they harmful for children?
Main Idea / Debate
Directions: Divide students into two teams for this debate. Both teams will use the article as their source of information.
Team A will list five reasons for the new NRA fairy tales.
Team B will list five reasons against the new NRA fairy tales.
Each team will have time to state their points and the teacher decides which team made their points.
For organization, have students use this great Pros and Cons Scale organizer from Freeology
Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.