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Inferring underlying values 2

Learning intention

For students to be able to infer the underlying values of familiar tales.


The stories chosen for this activity have been selected for their familiarity, so that students can focus on other aspects of the text. Teachers could replace these stories with any stories that are familiar and culturally appropriate for their class. Teachers using the stories supplied may wish to extend the activity to explore the inherent gender stereotypes portrayed.


Cinderella to the grade.


and identify the underlying values of the story.


a list on the board. For example:

  • Good triumphs over evil.
  • Sweetness and virtue will be rewarded and meanness will be punished.
  • True love conquers all.
  • A woman must be meek, mild and forgiving to deserve true love.


students' suggestions.


students to justify their opinions. There are a range of possible values that students might see underpinning Cinderella.




students to work in pairs to identify the values that underpin another familiar story in fewer than 10 words. For example, The Lion King, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or a novel they have recently read.


students' responses and provide feedback.


students with a scenario or encourage students to create their own scenario.


students to write a short paragraph where the characters clearly demonstrate a particular value.

For example:

  • A girl is walking along the street and sees a purse on the ground. What happens next?
  • A boy visits his grandmother and she can't read the newspaper because she has lost her glasses. What happens next?


students to share their writing with peers.


students to identify the values demonstrated in each scenario.