Workshops - Problem Solving Devices
How Did Cinderella Get to the Ball?
(I use this to teach about Problem Solving Devices.)

1. Explain how the use of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella simply happened to be the version that written down by Grimm. The story was certainly told in many other ways.
2. Tell how Cinderella got a nice dress and got to the ball, without using a Fairy Godmother.
3. Give students several categories of problem solving devices. I give them a minute to think of a storyline for each category, listen to a few and move on to the next. When we have had a chance to think of many ways for her to get to the dress and get to the ball, I begin to have students get up in front of the class and tell their best versions. While students tell their stories, I ask the class to give them “C.A.R.” I have them help decide what that stands for. It should come out to something like, Courtesy, Attention, Respect, or Cooperation And Respect.

The categories I use are:

a) Single-handed (With help from no other characters and with no magic.) using one's inner resources like perseverance, faith, or even luck, character has or learns special skill, music, clever storytelling, , etc. Skills allow her to create or earn the things she needs.

b) Helped by an Individual (Still no magic) Someone with a special ability, wisdom or information. Someone whose encouragement brings out her own ability.

c) Helped by a Group (Still no magic) group of heroes, friends, or kind creatures.
group of characters who each have a special skill,

d) Helped by the use of Magic Wizard, Magician, Witch, Fairy or group of Magical Beings
Singlehandedly, she may discover or learn a magic song, dance, or find a magic artifact, or magically change form.

e) Helped by a Spirit Ghost, Deity, Nature Spirit.
If they use a Nature Spirit, (Spirit of the Forest or Spirit of the River for example) give that spirit a reaon to help Cinderella. I wold ask students what Cinderella might have done to make the Spirit of the Forest want to help her. Maybe she planted seeds, or prevented a fire or helped some forest creatures.

f) Made to perform some kind of Task - She meets someone who will only help her after she has performed a special task. stealing from some powerful being, contest for a prize, quest,
race between opposites

g) Reciprocation (Kindness Rewarded) – Doing some kindness not expecting anything in return, but then getting help because of that kindness.

h.) Unexpected Treasure - MC receives something that seems of litle or no value. This thing turns out to be somehow precious.

Example Story:
Cinderella was sitting home all alone. Everyone else had gone to the Ball and Cinderella really wanted to go but she had nothing to wear and no way to get there. She thought about it and said to herself, “I think I’ll just go to the Ball just as I am. Maybe my clothes aren’t so fancy, but they’re clean. And maybe I’m not rich, but I’m a nice person. If the prince is a nice person, he’ll still dance with me and if he’s not, I wouldn’t want to dance with him anyway. So she packed a little lunch and started walking down the road through the forest.

She hadn’t walked very far when she saw an old woman still by the roadside looking very tired and hungry.

“Hello grandmother.” Cinderella said politely.

“Hello child.” The old woman answered. “Can you spare a crumb for an old woman?”

Cinderella felt sorry for the old woman and not only shared with her, but gave her all of her lunch. At once, the old woman stood up and began to spin around in the most peculiar fashion. When she finally stopped spinning, a shocking sight caught Cinderella’s eyes. Before her was not an old woman at all. Instead, there stood a beautiful fairy princess.

“I am the prince’s guardian angel.” She said. “I have been searching all around this land for a young woman worthy of becoming the princess and eventually, the new queen. At last I have found someone like you, so full of kindness and humility. I will help you get to the Ball.”

With that, the fairy raised her wand and instantly, Cinderella was dressed in a beautiful gown. On her feet was a pair of glass slippers. With another wave of her wand, the fairy took Cinderella up into the sky as if they were floating on the wind. She carried Cinderella all the way to the palace steps. And when Cinderella walked through the door, all eyes were on her because she was the most beautiful girl at the Ball.

Note: Remember, in this game, we’re not trying to tell the whole story of Cinderella, just start from her being home all alone and get her a nice dress and get her to the ball. Once she is at the ball, you can stop and give someone else a chance to tell.