We arrived for our last week at Overby-Sheppard excited to see the kids for the final time. We were all excited to get off campus and play the games that I had come to realize were more for increasing our energy levels than decreasing theirs. When we got there we immediately delved into our go-to race, tag, and duck-duck-goose shenanigans the kids look forward to so much.
When we finally finished tiring them out, the groups split up and we sat in a circle to implement a plan we’d constructed to read how the children really felt about the fairy tales we’d been telling them for the past three weeks. We touched base in the car with what questions we thought would provoke interesting material for our upcoming papers. After the questions we went around the circle making our own fairy tale phrase by phrase to see what aspects were the most important to them. Some the questions were:
– What fairy tales do you remember?
– What are you favorite fairy tales?
– What are your favorite characters from these stories?
– What things need to be in a fairy tale to make it one?
The answers to this varied slightly, but what we found most apparent was the prevalence of film influence what the children perceived as fairy tales. For example, when we asked the children what we thought their favorite fairy tales were, the answers we received were unanimously linked to the movies they had recently seen. When asked what things need to be in fairy tales, one boy responded with “vampires.” I think this accurately reflects how movies affected these children’s views, because not once did we as a class reference vampires in our interactions with the Overby-Sheppard students, nor did they have a presence in real fairy tales. They are, however, similar to fairy tales in their magical aspects, and have a strong presence in the modern entertainment world.
Rapunzel, The Princess and the Frog, and Sleeping Beauty were named in our group as the favorite fairy tales. All of the children who said these were their favorite tales cited the MOVIES they had seen for their reasons. This again supports the notion that the line between movies with fantastical elements and fairy tales is blurred for these children.
We loved spending time with these kids week after week and it was truly sad to part with them on Tuesday. From them boosting our egos in telling us that we can actually draw, from calling us “mommy,” or the incessant hugs—these children brightened our days while in turn giving us some perspective on fairy tales.