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Ella Enchanted

Last updated Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Author: Gail Carson Levine
Date of Publication: 1999
ISBN: 0060275111
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2005

Synopsis: (from the publisher) In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Note to readers:
•  This is a chapter book that you won?t be able to finish. Aim to read through chapter 5 (although you do not need to reach that point), and tell the children that the book will be placed into their library if they would like to check it out and read the rest.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What would it be like to be able to do magic? What would you do? What do you think it means to be enchanted?
•  What other fairy tales do you know?
•  What does it mean to be cursed? What does it mean to be obedient? Independent? To rebel?
•  What do you and your mother do for fun? How do you make each other laugh?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What are some spells that initially sound like they would have good consequences, but could have bad consequences? What could be dangerous about the spell?
•  Obedience sounds like a good trait; how could it be dangerous? In what other contexts could people being obedient, either alone or in a group, be dangerous?
•  Is there something about your character that you feel you can?t change? What is it? Why?
•  How would you feel if you were Ella?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of the fairies you met in the book, Lucinda and Mandy, or illustrate a scene from the book.
•  Write a spell on the top of a piece of paper. On the left side, draw the possible good consequences, on the right, draw the possible bad consequences.
•  Sit in a circle with the group, and create a group fairy tale. One person starts with one sentence, and the next person continues with the continues. At the end, illustrate the fairytale.

Special activities:
•  Play Simon Says. Take turns being Simon, everyone else is Ella Enchanted and must do what Simon says.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!