Cinderella by Vera Southgate

Teacher Guide by Heidi Deck

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

Cinderella Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Cinderella Include:

The Cinderella fairy tale has been adored by children all over the world for centuries. Since the Brothers Grimm version was published in 1812, thousands of other versions have been written and retold. All of them share the endearing main character, Cinderella, who is taken for granted despite her pure and kind heart.

Cinderella Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Cinderella Summary

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Cinderella is a great book for teaching students beginning-level summaries. Students are often familiar with the tale, but will need to use the details from this version to create a successful summary storyboard. This is a great stepping stone to summarizing lengthier chapter books. The storyboard format will help students practice being concise and will enable them to think critically about the importance of certain events.

Consider having students plan their storyboard using a blank template prior to creating the full storyboard online. Students should begin with the narrative in each box before adding character dialogue. This will allow them to focus on the purpose of summarizing and determining importance before getting distracted by the details of the storyboard. Students can also be given a set number of frames to use as a guide towards conciseness. After planning on a template, students can compare the important events they chose with a partner, and the class could discuss why different events in the story were included in the storyboard over others.

Example Cinderella Summary


  • Cinderella lives with her father and sisters. She is constantly put to work.
  • Cinderella’s sisters are invited to the ball but she is not.


  • Cinderella meets her fairy godmother and is transformed for the first time. She leaves the ball before the magic wears off.
  • The second night of the ball, Cinderella is transformed again and makes it back just in time.


  • The third night of the ball, Cinderella is transformed again, but leaves right at midnight and loses her shoe.
  • The prince searches high and low and finally finds Cinderella.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Make a storyboard summary of Cinderella.

  1. Click the "Use This Template" button to open the storyboard.
  2. Make pictures that show two main events from the beginning of the story.
  3. Make pictures that show two main events from the middle of the story.
  4. Make pictures that show two main events from the end of the story.
  5. Write a sentence under each picture.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Cinderella Character Map

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In this activity, students create an outline for the characters in the story, paying close attention to the feelings and actions of both major and minor characters. Students can also provide detailed information regarding the character’s actions and how they influence other characters.

You can click on this map and create a copy on your teacher account. Use it as is, or to edit it for the level of your class. Printing it as worksheets, for your students to complete while reading, is a fast and easy way to incorporate this character map into your classroom.

Included in this map are:

  • Cinderella
  • The Ugly Sisters
  • The Fairy Godmother
  • The Prince

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  1. Identify the major characters in Cinderella and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a Storyboard That character to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the Textables for Physical Appearance, Traits, Motivation and Relationships.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Cinderella Character Traits Activity

This activity allows for a more in depth look at one or more characters with a focus on character traits. Students should provide textual evidence to support the character trait they choose. Students can support their ideas with dialogue, thoughts, or actions of the character they are portraying.

Here is an example of a character trait storyboard using the grid layout. This example features a comparison of character traits between Cinderella and her sisters, but students could focus on any of the characters in Cinderella.

Possible character traits for characters in Cinderella:

  • Cinderella: Kind, Selfless, Genuine
  • Ugly Sisters: Cruel, Selfish, Rude
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Cinderella Vocabulary Lesson Plan

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Vocabulary development is always helpful as students work to comprehend stories. Students can use context clues to determine the meaning of many of the words, but a more in-depth look at vocabulary is a valuable activity for any book. Students can use a spider map or a traditional storyboard to illustrate words using context clues, definitions, and depictions scenes the words are used in.

Vocabulary Words from Cinderella

  • Elder (adj.) - One who was born first, especially among siblings
  • Weary (adj.) - Very tired or bored, especially because you have been doing something for a long time
  • Ragged (adj.) - Torn and in bad condition, usually clothing or paper

Here is an example of a vocabulary spider map:

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in Cinderella by creating visualizations.

  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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Cinderella Theme Activity

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In this activity, students will determine a theme for Cinderella and support the theme with evidence from the text. One of the themes that is clearly depicted in Cinderella is the idea that kindness is rewarded. Another is that true beauty comes from inside. Cinderella’s sisters are not ugly on the outside, but their cruelty results in ugliness. Students can use a grid layout to depict the textual evidence that supports a theme of their choice.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies a theme from Cinderella. Illustrate examples of the theme and write a short description below each cell.

  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify a theme from Cinderella and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for examples that represent this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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A Quick Synopsis of Cinderella from the Well-Loved Tales Collection

The Well-Loved Tales version of Cinderella, by Vera Southgate, is a retelling for second and third graders. It begins with Cinderella and her two elder sisters, whose mother recently passed away. They lived with their father and Cinderella was forced to do all the work. Her two sisters were beautiful, but because of their terrible tempers, they became ugly. Cinderella worked from dawn until dusk and slept by the hearth of the fire. As she was always dirty, she came to be known as Cinderella. People in the town thought she was a maid because she was only seen in rags.

When the king arranged a grand, three-day feast for his son, the prince, Cinderella’s sisters were invited, but she was not. Her sisters thought it was absurd that Cinderella would even desire to go to the ball. When her sisters left for the ball, she wept. Her sadness was interrupted by the kind voice of her fairy godmother. After hearing Cinderella’s troubles, she gave her instructions to get a pumpkin, a mouse trap with six mice in it, a rat trap with one rat in it, and two lizards. With a few touches of her magic wand, the fairy godmother transformed the items into the most wonderful carriage imaginable, six fine grey horses to pull the carriage, a coachman, and two footmen. The final touch was the transformation of Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful, pink silk ball gown with satin slippers.

After giving careful instructions to return to return home before the clock struck twelve, her fairy godmother waved farewell to Cinderella, and she was off to the ball! No one recognized her, but everyone noticed her. The prince immediately took a liking to her, and refused to dance with anyone else all night long. Cinderella remembered her godmother’s warning, and left the ball just in time. She arrived at home as the clock struck twelve and was quickly transformed back to her former self. Her sisters could talk of nothing but the beautiful princess that stole the prince’s attention and how nobody knew her name.

The next evening, Cinderella’s sisters left again for the second ball. Once again, Cinderella’s godmother appeared and Cinderella was transformed into a princess. This time, she was even more beautiful and wearing a blue satin gown. She danced with the prince all night, but remembered her godmother’s warning with five minutes to spare. She dashed out of the ballroom and was halfway home when the clock struck home and the magic disappeared. She had to run the rest of the way home, but made it and was sitting by the fire upon her sisters’ return. Again, they went on and on about the mysterious princess.

On the evening of the third and final ball, Cinderella’s godmother arrived just as her sisters left for the ball. Her third and final gown was the most beautiful – gold and silver with a diamond tiara. Everyone was stunned with her beauty, and Cinderella lost track of time. She left in such a hurry that she lost her glass slipper. Cinderella ran all the way home in her rags, but the prince found her shoe. He vowed only to marry the woman who fit the dainty shoe.

The prince searched high and low, and many women tried to squeeze their foot into the shoe. He finally arrived at Cinderella’s house and her sisters tried to squeeze their feet into the shoe until their feet bled. The prince asked Cinderella’s father if he had any other daughters. He said she was much too dirty, but the prince insisted.

The shoe fit perfectly, and the prince knew at once this was his bride. Cinderella’s fairy godmother appeared one more time and transformed her into the princess. The prince lifted her onto his horse and rode away with her.

Essential Questions For Cinderella (Well-Loved Tales)

  1. Is wealth or kindness more important?
  2. Why is kindness important?
  3. What qualities are important to you in your friends and family?
  4. What does it mean to be beautiful inside and out?
  5. How can hard work and strong values pay off?

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