How to Retell a Fairy tale in 5 Easy Steps

There’s something about fairy tales. No matter how many times you read, no matter how old you are or who you are – They never get boring and never go out of style! One of the things that makes fairy tales or myths fun is retelling them! Thinking, what if this happened instead of that? What if the bad guy won, what if the prince never came, what if the hero had superpowers…The possibilities of retelling a fairy tale are endless!

And because everyone knows at least one fairy tale, this makes retelling them even more exciting to read and even write about, especially if you can’t think of a story idea at the moment. When retelling a fairy tale or any story, the basic idea is already there, the main thing is changing some of the elements to give the story a different outcome. Since February 26th is tell a fairy tale day we decided to give you a masterclass on how to retell a fairy tale in 5 easy steps for kids.

How to Retell a fairy tale

Before we begin, you can download our fairy tale retelling pack here to help you out.

  1. Know the story: Before you go retelling a fairy tale, read the original a couple of times so you fully understand the plot. Make notes of the key characters, villain/s, and main conflict, how it starts and ends and even what the main message/moral of the story is. This will help you to simplify to the story into bitesize chunks that you can understand.
  2. Review the fairy tale: Now it’s time to get critical! Was there anything that bothered you about the story? Anything you hated or could improve on? Was the hero too nice? Did they forget about something?
  3. Now retell the fairy tale! Now that you know the original fairy tale, it is time to change it up. Here are some ideas on how to can retell a fairy tale:
    • Switch role of the hero and villain: Is Cinderella as nice as you think? What if Snow White turned out to be the evil one? Imagine your favourite fairy tale with the hero being the villain!
    • Tell from another character’s perspective: Fairy tales can be very simple in nature, good always prevails evil. But what if it was a little more complicated than that? What the villain was once nice, but through years of hardship went evil? It can be really fun trying to imagine the story from another character’s perspective, such as the prince, stepsisters, Jack’s mother, or the witch in Snow White…
    • Change the time period: Imagine Jack and the Beanstalk set in the year 2501 Instead of Jack climbing up a beanstalk, he teleports into another dimension. And instead of an evil giant, there’s an evil computer virus or something. Changing the time period can really change the plot of the original fairy tale, but keep the overall meaning the same.
    • Change the story genre: A genre is a type of story, like horror stories, comedy, crime, sci-fi or even a biography. You could try putting a sci-fi or crime spin on all the fairy tales. For example, imagine a detective investigating the destruction of the three little pig’s houses or the case of granny going missing in Little Red Riding Hood.
    • Do the ultimate crossover: Mix the characters from different fairy tales into one ultimate tale. Take villains such as the big bad wolf and Captain Hook and put them in Snow White. And you could say how their storylines all connect and create conversations between these characters.
  4. Use a storyboard to outline your new fairy tale: Retelling a fairy tale can be complicated stuff! We recommend you use our storyboard printable to help you out in mapping out your new fairy tale before writing it out. You may also find this guide on how to outline a book useful.
  5. Write your fairy tale: Now that you have mapped out your fairy tale retelling, it’s time to get writing. If you need help with writing out your stories, try out our free story-writing lessons!

Don’t forget to download your free “retell a fairy tale activity pack“!

For more inspiration, check out our list of fairy tale writing prompts which includes a whole bunch of prompts on twisted fairy tales. You can also read our guide on how to write a fairy tale.

More Fairy Tale Story Telling Fun

Looking for more ways to retell some famous fairy tales for Tell a fairy tale day? Try our printable finger puppets and create your own paper theatre. And our interactive fill-in-the-blank fairy tale stories, let you retell some fairy tales using your own words!

How to Retell a Fairy tale in Five Easy Steps imagine forest

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