First Grade Fairy Tales For Teaching



I am gathering my list of fairy tales for first grade – you can see the tales I choose the first time through first grade here:   (and here were a few more thoughts for those of you who are wondering what Dr. Steiner himself said about introducing the alphabet:


This year, I am planning the following: (# in the Pantheon Edition Grimm’s Fairy Tales)

B- #101, The Bearskin

M- #93 “The Raven”

D – #129  “The Four Skillful Brothers”

N –  #19 – “The Fisherman and His Wife”, modified to include a net

R – #29 “ The Devil With The Three Golden Hairs”

L- “Longshanks, Girth and Keen”  – my favorite Slovak tale

G –  #64 – “The Golden Goose”

C- “The Prince of Butterflies” by Dorothy Harrer

H-  “Hansel and Gretel”

F – #57  “The Golden Bird”

T-  #12 – “Rapunzel”

S – #153  “The Six Swans”

J – “The Princess of the Golden Stairs” by Dorothy Harrer, modified to include a jug

K –  #52 – “King Thrushbeard”

P – #76 –  “The Pink”

Q –  #62 – “The Queen Bee”  and introduce U at this time as well

V – #195 –  “The Drummer”

W –  #97 – “The Water of Life”

X, Y, Z – The story from the Christopherus First Grade Syllabus

“A” –  #3 “Our Lady’s Child”

E –  Oh, I would like something different than “The Golden Key” but I have not found the right story yet!

I-  #121 – “The King’s Son who Feared Nothing”

0 –  #91 – “The Gnome”


There are many more fairy tales throughout the year, in drawing and painting and modeling lessons, and in science, math and even more language arts blocks.  I am planning to make a reader from the story “The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat”, if any of you are familiar with that tale.  I am planning a Russian tale for the making of our second reader, and then to finish the year with the last language arts block from the Christopherus First Grade Syllabus.


I would love to hear what you all are using this year!

Many blessings,

20 thoughts on “First Grade Fairy Tales For Teaching

  1. Hi Carrie,

    This is wonderful! Thank you!

    I was wondering if you covered any of these fairy tales during your daughter’s kindergarten years, even briefly? If so, do you just expand on it (the fairy tale) when you present it in the first grade?


    • Hi Bonnie!!

      Sometimes there were tales that came up in the six year old year that we re-visited during first grade..but these are often like treasured old friends. A child’s memory is not well-developed in the middle portion of that first seven year cycle, so often the child comes away with different things upon hearing the tale again as a seven year old (just as a nine or ten year old hearing it again upon listening to lessons of the younger sibling will also take different things away)..I know many parents who try to schedule “all new” fairy tales for the first grade, but I often think repetition for the first grader is not a terrible thing.

      Hope that helps,

  2. Hi Carrie,
    Thank you SO much for this, and all your help. All your posts are so valuable to me. I am feeling my toward starting Grade 1. In your reference: could you tell me what is a “container” story?

    In addition to the story and letter work, someone else suggested reading the adventure tale in The Wise Enchanterer as a read aloud, as it goes through the alphabet. I like this as it includes a South African flavour.
    Thanks, Carol

    • Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for answering about the Container Story…I was wondering about that, too. Two follow up questions for you:

      1.) Since it seems like there is a 3-day rhythm, what do you do the 4th day? Do you start a new topic or use the day for follow up??

      2.) How does form drawing fit into this? Do you start that before introducing the alphabet/fairy tales or during?

      Thanks again!!


    • Bonnie,
      You can use a two or three day rhythm; it really depends..If I use a three day, I may tell the new story on Wednesday after our work for the first story is completed and finish up on Friday in doing so. Or use a two day rhythm. First graders really only need a four day week.
      Form drawing is a separate block in the beginning of school, with several more form drawing blocks to follow during the year in addition to weekly form drawing…
      With some weeks of no form drawing at all, of course.

      Hope that helps,

  3. Thank you so much for this. I have a list my self, but when you want to change up a story or two- its great to have someone else’s list as a starting point. When Lyra did first grade I had a problem with that.

  4. Thank you for this and…perhaps a little off topic: do you have any fairy tales you’d suggest for a 3.5 – 4 year old? As to what we are using: Our daughter has been building fairy houses and is interested in fairies. Right now we speak about them as spirits that protect the Earth.

    • Stacy,
      There is a list of fairy tales by age at the bottom of this post:

      If you are searching specifically for little stories with fairies in them, why not make up your own sweet story?
      There are also many stories in Waldorf Education that involve talking about the “elemental helpers” of the earth. You could try the little pink Waldorf Kindergarten book, which I believe is on-line for free over the On-line Waldorf Library.

      Many blessings,

  5. Carrie, thought some parents might be interested to know that there is a FREE Kindle book of Margaret Hunt’s 1884 translation of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales… It doesn’t have a clickable table of contents, but you can enter the title of a particular fairy tale into the search feature of the Kindle. Perhaps this could be useful for (Kindle-owning) moms as they prepare their homeschooling year?

  6. This list is great Carrie! I am slowly starting to gather my materials for 1st grade – so exciting! We’re also about to buy a house and move before we begin our year so it will be a very busy month! Haha! I was wondering about letter order. I have seen so many! Also will you intro the vowels separately? This is one of those areas where I would like to sort of veer a bit from my curriculum and make this my own. I like the one story per letter approach. It’s so nice to see a list like this! Thanks!

  7. Dear Carrie…It has been a while since I last visited as our family has been going through some challenges. But I’m back! And thinking about schooling. My son is 6 in November and he is so very keen to begin his letters. I have been really torn about the whole dilemma. On the one hand, I appreciate the Waldorf pedagogy and waiting until he is 7 but he is so very keen. I thought I’d do Kinder with a Mother Goose Main Lesson book for him to illustrate a nursery rhyme a week in addition to the circle songs and verses, artwork, festivals. Something to create in a book. But now I’m wondering if I should begin the alphabet in January. I have Christopherus’ First Grade syllabus which is great, but, well, what do you think? This outline of fairy tales is so useful! I have gone through and read nearly all the Grimm’s and listed what I thought was appropriate, so this helps support the ones I lean towards. I am also a teacher, so this whole journey ahead with the first of my three is so thrilling! I am very interested in your opinions about a child who is super keen to learn letters, but will just have turned 6. Thanks for any advice you might give,
    xo Jules

    • Hi again!!! Ok, I just looked in your archives (oh, so useful) and found the answers. Wait. Wait. Wait. Let Sleeping Beauty stay asleep until next fall. I’m convinced…didn’t take much, did it? I suppose I always knew intuitively that this was the way to go. Thanks for all your help (!), and I appreciate this forum. You’re doing a wonderful service, Carrie!
      xo Jules

    • Jules,
      I saw from your other comment you figured out what resonated with you, and for that I am glad. My advice would have been to just see if there were also other things that were of interest, and to start with math first rather than letters if one felt academics could no longer wait. Our society puts such a huge premium on literacy, but mathematical literacy is equally important. I would also keep seeking the balance; physical activity, gross motor activity, preparing for festivals, being outside in nature, and social and community building. Those things are very important to the six year old and lay much foundation for future learning.
      Many blessings,

  8. Carrie, Have loved this post. So very helpful & inspiring for first grade. Thanks so much! I’d love to know how you incorporated jug into the The Princess & the Golden Stairs story you suggested. It’s a beautiful story that I like a lot & would love to use but I don’t know a good way to make a jug a prominent image in it. Help! The curriculums I’m using as inspiration both use jester/juggler for the letter j but I’m not resonating with that so had skipped it. I guess ideally I’m drawn to associations with a judge & the idea of justice/good judgement for j (Christian values & meaningful images I’d love to associate) but admittedly I don’t know yet how a j picture image would look & moreover I don’t know of a good story for those. And am not at all gifted with creative storytelling talent either. Anyways tips on the jug in the story would very much be appreciated! Will you be doing these same stories for your next child or do you already have changes in mind? Thank you!

    • Hi Michele,
      I think that list was from my second child going through first grade…I had the book with that story lying by my bed this morning and I looked it up…I am sure I didn’t make the jug too prominent and just added it as a jug on the table when they come in the room to eat the porridge…You could try “The Water of Life” by Grimm Brothers and change the cup in that to a jug, that might be more prominent.
      I am thinking about your image of a judge, but honestly, all that comes up for me there is third grade and fifth grade stories. I will think on it some more. You might want to ask Christine Natale if you can get ahold of her; she has a great knowledge of fairy tales..
      I think for first grade for our third child Autumn of 2106 (I am already reading and picking out stories), I actually am going to use a lot of Eastern European tales – Polish, Slavik, Moravian, Bulgarian, etc; along with Norwegian tales for nature and probably some Native American and African tales as well. There will always be my favorite Grimm Tales and I like a lot of the ones by Harrer, but so many great stories to choose from world-wide!

  9. Pingback: Free Lesson Block Plans and Ideas Grades 1-3 | The Parenting Passageway

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