African Tale (An)
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.3 Discuss the importance of personal virtue, good character, and ethical behavior in a democracy.

Students read an African version of the Cinderella story so that they can compare versions and increase their sense of story.

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • recall and make inferences about story events.
  • compare and contrast Cinderella stories.
  • compare and contrast character traits.
  • Read-aloud copy of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (see Bibliographical References)
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Writing paper and pencils
  • Drawing paper and crayons

Climo, Shirley. The Egyptian Cinderella. HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. ISBN: 0064432793

Climo, Shirley. The Irish Cinderlad. HarperTrophy, 2000. ISBN: 0064435776

Climo, Shirley. The Korean Cinderella. HarperTrophy, 1996. ISBN: 0064433978

Climo, Shirley. The Persian Cinderella. HarperCollins, 1992. ISBN: 0060267631

Hickox, Rebecca. The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story. Holiday House, 1999. ISBN: 0823415139

Louie, Ai-Ling. Yen-Shen: a Cinderella Story from China. Putnam Publishing Group, 1996. ISBN: 0698113888

San Souci, Robert D., Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella. Aladdin, 2004. ISBN: 0689848889

Steptoe, John. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. Amistad, 1987. ISBN: 0688040454

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Sit in a circle on the floor and tell the students to imagine they are sitting around a campfire in a time long ago before stories were written down. At the campfire, the group is going to retell a familiar story as entertainment for the evening. You are going to start the story of Cinderella and one-by-one the students will continue around the circle each telling a small part of the story in order. Tell students they may add a small portion of the story. Encourage them to use details that help the listeners picture the people and events in their heads. When they are done with their turn, they look at the next person in the circle as a signal for that person to pick up the story line and continue.

  2. Talk about the experience of telling a story aloud. Talk about the "oral tradition" of fairy tales; how they are spread and evolve over time until they are written down. Help the students recognize that the original story will change with each telling and many versions may exist around the world.

  3. Talk about the "universal theme" of kindness and hard work winning over unkindness and laziness. Ask the students why this would be a theme in stories around the world. This is the theme of Cinderella and is also the theme of the book you read next. Tell the students to be ready to describe the characters in the story and to compare Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters to Cinderella.

  4. Show the students Africa on a map/globe. Tell the students that Africa is a continent with many countries. The setting of this story is "long ago in a certain place in Africa." We don’t know which country.

  5. Read Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters aloud to the class.

  6. Discuss the story. Compare/Contrast the characters. Compare/Contrast the story with Cinderella. Write student comparisons on chart paper. Prompt the students to compare how the actions of each character affected the whole community/others.

  7. Ask each child to list three character traits of both Nyasha and Manyara. Students should identify whether these are positive or negative traits and why. Younger students can draw and label the two characters using words from the brainstorming above. Collect this to use as an assessment.

  8. Discuss the fairy tale traits (see Lesson One: Cinderella, Attachment Two: Fairy Tale Traits) in Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. Look at the list of Fairy Tale Traits and identify which traits are found in this story. Discuss the details: What events were magic and which could really happen? In what different ways was the king shown? Did anything happen three times? Did good win over evil? What is the lesson/moral of the story?

  9. Students draw a picture of the little snake in Nyasha’s garden. Ask students to reflect on what character in Cinderella is like the little snake. Discuss.

  10. Open-ended writing or discussion topic: Why didn’t Nyasha tell her father, Mufaro, about the way her sister treated her?


Student drawings, discussion and writing should demonstrate comprehension of fairy tale traits and parallel comparisons.