After two years of creating, conspiring, and co-writing, my writing assistant (Zac Kieser) and I have finished our Twice-Told Tales–Classic Stories With Spin-Off Versions for Read Aloud or Read Alone Fun. Just in time for Christmas gift giving and second semester classroom use! So what exactly is a “Twice-Told Tale”? And what is a book containing twenty of them? Let’s start with the Classic Tale first…..


Everybody loves a Classic Tale. And kids seem to love them more when they are re-created in modern language with engaging characters. And they love them even more when they are made into movies. Thus, my Book-Movie-Book series of products was born. These writing and reading products for grades one through twelve are writing downloads, language arts products, readers, and coloring books created from classic stories (Book) that have been made into movies (Movie) and are now used as the foundation for more books and products (Book).


Many animated (and non-animated) movies today were originally Classic Tales. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and many others that we think of as being more “modern” stories were actually written before 1923 and are in public domain (which means that today’s authors may use them to create books, products, and stories from). They are familiar to children because of the wildly popular (and usually well-done) movies based on them.


The Classic Tale and large screen movie combination make teaching writing so much fun! Kids are familiar enough with the stories that they are terrific springboards for teaching writing—and not just story writing either. (See how I have used Classic Tales to teach research, essay, and story writing in my Book-Movie-Book writing books, Write On, Mowgli; Write On, Peter Pan; and Write On, Beauty and Beast at the Character Ink Store or Amazon.)




One of the most enjoyable writing projects that I have created for our students and books* is that of the Twice-Told Tale. In these projects, students are given a Classic Tale of a certain length (a length that is doable for them to write something similar) and instructed in how to “piggyback” off of that story to create a Twice-Told Tale, a story that has the same types of characters with the same types of goals and obstacles but completely different characters and settings. Our students love these projects, and I love creating them as they build so many writing skills into students’ repertoire via dialogue lessons, scene development practice, descriptive writing instruction, and much more.


This Reader (for read aloud or for kids to read on their own) is the culmination of over a dozen Book-Movie-Book writing projects (and downloadable booklets) that I have created for students. Each of my writing projects has samples. In the case of Twice-Told Tale assignments, they have a sample of the “original” tale and a sample of a “piggybacked” tale. These samples are not just for learning how to write; they are amazingly entertaining, engaging, exciting stories to read also.


The result of all of those writing products, besides the Book-Movie-Book writing downloads for homeschools and brick and mortar schools, was this creative set of tales. Each “original” story is given with a “twice-told tale” following. The originals, of course, contain favorite characters in print and video today–Mowgli, Alice, Beauty, Peter Pan, Mulan, Dumbo, Cinderella, Scrooge, and more. The “twice-told tales” have new friends to meet–spin offs from another time and place–who have found themselves in similar situations as Mowgli, Alice, Peter Pan, etc.


Delightfully fun. Stories that are short enough for quick read alouds. Easy enough reads for middle schoolers to tackle on their own and upper level students to breeze through. And creativity that will spark your readers’ and listeners’ imaginations. (Who knows? Maybe they’ll ask you to help them write their own “twice-told tales” after reading these!)


Download a sample!



I’m sure you would love to know what stories are included in this Twice-Told Tale! Here is the Table of Contents:


Set 1 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Beauty and the Beast”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “The Dolphin and the Sea Monster”


Set 2 –
#1 – Classic Story: “A Christmas Carol”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “A Twenty-First Century Christmas Carol”


Set 3 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Alice in Wonderland”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “A Robin’s Adventure”


Set 4 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Cinderella”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “The Mistreated Beaver”


Set 5 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Dumbo”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “A Squirrel’s Tale”


Set 6 –
#1 – Classic Story: “The Jungle Book”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “The Arctic Book”


Set 7 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Mulan”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “The Lion Who Saved the Kingdom”


Set 8 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Peter Pan”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “Flying Maple and Oak Daughter”


Set 9 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Pinocchio”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “The Stone Boy”


Set 10 –
#1 – Classic Story: “Snow White”
#2 – Twice-Told Tale: “White Beauty”



*Visit our store, my Teachers Pay Teachers store (Donna Reish), and my blog’s “freebies” for even more downloadable English and writing projects for kindergarten through grade twelve–as well as my new Book-Movie-Book products. Each of the tales provided in this book are available as writing projects in my stores.



You can download this reader at the following stores:


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