Robert Munsch creates strong and opinionated charaters that are fun to introduce to children. The Paper Bag Princess is one of his better known characters and for good reason. She is brave and smart and learns to use those skills in a way that changes how she sees an important friendship in her life. Read this story aloud to your class to open the door for discussions on conflict resolution, friendships or choices.
The Paper Bag Princess Summary
The story begins by introducing Elizabeth, the beautiful princess who lived in a castle and wore expensive princess clothes. She had plans to marry the handsome Prince Ronald. After the dragon came and smashed her castle, burned all her clothes and took Prince Ronald away, Elizabeth took action. She put on a paper bag and went out to find the dragon and rescue Prince Ronald. Her clever plan worked, but in the process she learned about Prince Ronald’s true character and made the decision to walk away.
After completing this lesson, students will
- Discuss what makes a good friend
- Discuss good choices
- Learn about conflict resolution
- Practice creative writing
- Work as a team
- Engage in a mock debate, practicing their public speaking skills
After reading the story, The Paper Bag Princes, ask your class a series of questions.
- What happened to Elizabeth’s castle?
- How did she find the dragon?
- How did Princess Elizabeth defeat the dragon?
- When she rescued Prince Ronald, was he happy?
- What did Princess Elizabeth decide to do?
- What makes a good friend?
- How can you be a better friend?
The dragon in the story claimed that he could burn up to ten forests with his fiery breath. He also claimed to be able to fly around the world in just ten seconds. In this activity, you will be encouraging creative writing with a bragging contest. Write the following phrases on the chalkboard and have the class come up with exaggerated responses. Invite your students to really stretch their imaginations and come up with the most ridiculous brags.
- I’m so strong, I ……
- I’m so rich, I ……
- I’m so sneaky, I …..
- I’m so smart, I …..
- I’m so silly, I ….
- I’m so tall, I ….
- I’m so magical, I ….
- I’m so fast, I ……
After the students have completed writing out their brags, arrange for a “brag-off”, a contest to see which brags are the biggest and most creative.
Set up two teams and appoint a panel of student judges. Have the judges prepare pieces of paper with the numbers 1-10 on them. After each team offers their brag, the judges hold up their score. Keep track of the results on the board as the contest continues, or appoint another student to hold this position. Tally up all the points at the end to see who wins this fun classroom contest. Prizes to the winning teams or for participation are optional.
Munsch, Robert, Munschworks, Annick Press Ltd. 1998