Hans Christian Andersen

Week 12: Great Literature – Hans Christian Andersen

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Read K – 2:  Read the following short stories from Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales (Compiled by Michael Hague)

  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Little Match Girl

 3 – 4:  Read the following short stories from Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales (Compiled by Michael Hague)

  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Little Mermaid

 5 – 6:  Read the following: 

7 – 8:   Do the following:

  • Read all of the above selections (from Grades 5 & 6)
  • and Read The Snow Queen

Discuss: For EACH story you read, answer the following questions:

  • Every story starts with a problem. What was the problem in this story? (answers will vary)
  • How does the main character overcome his or her problem?
  • Was there a happy ending at the end of this story? Why do you think Hans chose to end the story the way he did?
  • Why do you think this is such a popular story?
  • Did you like the story? Why or why not?

Questions for Grades 5 – 8:

  • Why is Hans Christian Andersen famous? (wrote wonderful stories)
  • What was life like for Hans when he was a boy? (very poor, father died after being in Napoleon’s army, teased a lot by boys, loved by parents and grandmother, loved to hear stories and plays as a child, loved to play with his puppet theater)
  • What was his father’s job? (shoemaker)
  • Where was Hans from? (Denmark)
  • What did Hans look like? (very tall, very skinny, very big hands and feet)
  • Did Hans learn much at school? (no, daydreamer, school bored him)
  • Who was Hans’ favorite author? (Shakespeare)
  • As a teenager, what did Hans like to do with his time? (Sing & Make up stories and plays)
  • Why didn’t people like Han’s stories when he was young? (Stories good but he had little education and his spelling and grammar were terrible)
  • T/F Hans sang well enough that he was able to go to the Royal Theater’s singing school for free. (T)
  • Why did Hans have to leave the school? (His voice changed & he was often sick because he didn’t have warm enough clothes)
  • How was Hans able to get an education? (Directors of Royal Theater found a play he had written “worthwhile” and recommended him to King Frederick VI who gave him enough money to live on for 3 years and gave him free instruction at a boarding school)
  • Describe his experiences under Meisling at school? (Meisling belittled and bullied him until he felt worthless; finally it was arranged for him to have a private tutor)
  • After he finished his education, were his plays and stories a success? (Yes)
  • Why did Hans call his fairy tales “trifles”? (didn’t consider them important)
  • Did Hans ever marry? Why? (no woman wanted him)
  • Name some of Hans most famous stories? (The Little Match Girl, The Emperor’s New Clothes, the Ugly Duckling, the Little Mermaid, the Snow Queen, The Princess and the Pea)
  • How is the Little Mermaid different from the Disney movie? (Little Mermaid doesn’t marry the prince)
  • T/F Hans wanted to be famous for his children’s stories? (F – wanted to be famous for his plays and stories for adults)
  • Authors write best what they know.  For each story you read, tell how one or more of the characters is like Hans or is similar to what he experienced in life?

Activities: 

K – 1: Draw your own pictures to go with one of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories.

2 – 3:  Draw your own pictures to go with your favorite Hans Christian Andersen story and tell in a short paragraph why it is your favorite.

4 – 5:  Write a short essay on one of the following:

  1. Compare and contrast Andersen’s The Little Mermaid with the Disney version of The Little Mermaid.
  2. Compare and contrast The Ugly Duckling with Hans Christian Andersen’s life.
  3. Compare and contrast The Little Mermaid with Hans Christian Andersen’s life.

6 – 8:  Write an essay on one of the following:

  1. Compare and contrast The Snow Queen with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
  2. Compare and contrast The Ugly Duckling with Hans Christian Andersen’s life.
  3. Compare and contrast The Little Mermaid with Hans Christian Andersen’s life.

Copyright December 2nd, 2016 by Gwen Fredette

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