Walter Crane's illustration of "Rumpelstilzchen" from Household Stories from the Collection of the Brothers Grimm, 1886
The Story of Rumpelstiltskin seems to lend itself perfectly for a cross-curriculum study guide. Many of the ideas for the following lessons came from my friends on the Storytell Listserve, the participants at the Sharing the Fire Conference, the Internet, and some of my own creations. Whenever possible I try to acknowledge where the ideas sprang forth. If you would like to submit an idea, please contact Marilyn Kinsella and I will see if it fits in to this page. The ideas below are only meant to be used sparingly. Kids are savvy to "using" a story to get into a lesson.
Fellow tellers, feel free to copy and use some or all of these suggestions for your own study guide. If you contact me, I will e-mail you, as an attachment, the study guide I give to teachers. You may copy the study guide onto your Word Document. Change, add, and delete to make it yours and then save it. Now, for your next study guide you can use the same file - change, add, delete...and rename the file. Then, "save as." You will save not only the first study guide but the second as well. That way you already have the basic set-up for this type of study guide in Word. You will not need to set it up yourself. If you prefer to set it up yourself, the directions for this type of study guide is at Study Guides - forms toward the bottom of the page.
Summary of Rumpelstiltskin:
A young woman wants to marry the King, but is told that first she must spin straw into gold or die. A funny trickster (Rumpelstiltskin) agrees to do it, only if she promises her first born child. He does, and she marries the King. When she gives birth to a child, R comes back and demands the child for payment. Since he loves to play games, he says that the Queen may keep the child, if she can guess his name in three days. He comes back three times to ask her what his name is. In the meantime the King inadvertently discovers the man in the woods who is saying his name. The Kings rushes home to tell the Queen. When R returns the third time, she says his name and he disappears forever.
These really depend on which version the teller relates. I have based these on my version that can be found at Rumpelstiltskin.
Where did this story take place? Is this a story from present day? Why not? Name the characters in the story? Who are the two main characters? What happened first in the story? Second? Next.... Where did the king's mother lock Esmerelda? What is a spinning wheel? Can straw turn into gold? Describe the baby. What did Esmerelda have to do in order to keep her baby? Where did Esmerelda go to find more names for babies? How did Esmerelda find out the little old man' name?
Discussion questions with no right or wrong answers:
Why did Esmerelda tell R that he could have her first born child? Was that a good or bad idea? What did R want with a baby? Where did R live? Who was he? Is he a good or bad person? What does the word Rumpelstiltskin mean? Can you give Rumpelstiltskin a new name? What are some magic things in this story? What are some real things? If this story happened today, how would the story change? Why did R disappear forever when Esmerelda said his name?
Versions of Rumpelstiltskin on line:
Rumpelstiltskin My version with lots of participation for young audiences
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0500.html A list of many versions from other countries followed by the stories themselves
http://suzyred.com/readerstheater.html A readers' theatre version
http://www.fictionteachers.com/classroomtheater/rumple.html A fractured version suitable for small play or readers' theatre.
Lesson Plans: A cross-curriculum guide for lessons from Rumpelstiltskin
Interesting Tidbits on ole Rumpie...
The Name of the Helper, by D. L. Ashliman, also gives background on tale type 500, "in which a mysterious and threatening helper is defeated when the hero or heroine discovers his name." The texts of several editions from Grimm are reprinted, and variants from a number of countries, including "Tom Tit Tot" and "Duffy and the Devil" from England.
Names for Rumpelstiltskin:
Rumpelstiltskin or Rumpelstilzchen; Doubleturk; Mistress Beautiful; Dwarf Holzrührlein; Bonneführlein; Nägendümer; Kugerl; Hoppetînken ; Zirkzirk (Germany Purzinigele (Austria). Tarandandō (Italy). Winterkölbl (Hungary). Kruzimugeli (Austria). The Girl Who Could Spin Gold from Clay and Long Straw (Sweden). Tom Tit Tot; Duffy and the Devil (England). Whuppity Stoorie (Scotland). Peerie Fool [Peerifool] (Orkney Islands). Gwarwyn-a-throt; Penelop; Silly go Dwt (Wales). The Rival Kempers (Ireland). Kinkach Martinko (A Slav Folktale) Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian - US)
The name is believed to derive from an old children's game called Rumpele stilt oder der Poppart, which was mentioned in's Geschichtklitterung, or Gargantua of 1577, a loose adaptation of Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel.
http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?NameMagic Information on naming and it's magical connotations
http://www.answers.com/topic/riddle-game?hl=rumpelstiltskin Rumplelstiltskin poses a riddle to finding his name. Riddling is often used in stories. Find out more about Riddles.
http://www.answers.com/topic/spinning-wheel?hl=rumpelstiltskin Interesting information on the spinning wheel
http://www.edconpublishing.com/proddetail.php?prod=IIL02&cat=11&PHPSESSID=76375d8b41ba2e1fa0e357b24ac3bc6c Link to a page for book from the Learning With Literature Series that center on ideas using "color."
References for Books:
"Rumpelstiltzkin" from Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, reprinted online at Rick Walton, Children's Author: Classic Tales and Fables. Moser, Barry. Tucker Pfeffercorn: An Old Story Retold. Boston: Little, Brown, 1994. A brilliant adaptation of "Rumpelstiltskin" set in a coal town. Rumpelstiltskin, retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. New York: Dutton, 1986. An award-winning picture book based on the Grimm Brothers' 1819 edition, with detailed oil paintings in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Zemach, Harve. Duffy and the Devil: A Cornish Tale. Illus. Margo Zemach. Farrar, 1973. A comical variant of the tale from Cornwall, with humorous illustrations in muted tones, awarded the 1974 Caldecott medal. Hamilton, Virginia. The Girl Who Spun Gold. Illus. Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2000. An adaptation of a West Indian tale, "Mr. Titman.," using colloquial language that, according to Hamilton, reflects "a lilting West Indian speech pattern, then and now." The artists used "acrylic paint on acetate, over-painted with gold paint. The gold borders were created using gold leaf." Tom Tit Tot by Evaline Ness An English variant Stanley, Diane, Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter Maguire, Gregory. "Rumplesnakeskin." Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. Tashjian, Virginia. The Talking Fish in Once There Was and Was Not: Armenian Tales. Little, Brown, 1966 (398.2 TASH) Ferradiddledumday (A Blue Ridge version of "Rumpelstiltskin") by Becky Mushko Originally published in Blue Ridge Traditions, 1998. A website on this version is on http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/texts/ferradid.htm Uchida, Yoshiko. The Ogre Who Built a Bridge in The Sea of Gold and Other Tales from Japan. Scribner, 1988 (398.2 UCHI) A carpenter seeks help from the Red Ogre to build a strong bridge for his village. The carpenter has to guess the Ogre's name after the deal in order to keep his eyeball. Judy Sierra's book, Can You Guess My Name: Traditional Tales From Around the World. Three stories that are like Rumpelstiltskin. From Sweden, Titeliture, from Nigeria (Yoruba) How Ijapa the Tortoise Tricked the Hippopotamus and from Japan, there's Oniroku Angela Carter in her Virago Book of Fairytales a Scandinavian variant: Three Ugly Aunts. Use visually oriented and auditorily based media including computer equipment rentals http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/faerie_tale_theatre_rumpelstiltskin/ Information about the popular video series "Faerie Tale Theatre" http://www.greattapes.com/gt/product.phtml/rumpelv Information on the Rabbit Ears Production of the video.
http://www.worldvillage.com/wv/school/html/reviews/rump.htm A yes, even a video game! http://www.answers.com/topic/spinning-wheel?hl=rumpelstiltskin Interesting information on the spinning wheel