Posted by: jockmackenzie | December 2, 2009

Story Writing – using “Little Red Riding Hood”

Picture from fotosearch

My primary purpose for using fairy tales is to give students the very basic plot structure of the short story. The text and a plot outline follow. Other uses of fairy tales are endless. Modernizing fairy tales has been quite popular as has making other versions available for reading – Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes is a personal favorite. (ISBN 0-439-59848-6)


Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a far away place, there was a little girl who lived in a village near the forest.  Whenever she went out, the little girl wore a red riding cloak, so everyone in the village called her Little Red Riding Hood.

One morning, Little Red Riding Hood asked her mother if she could go to visit her grandmother as it had been awhile since they’d seen each other.

“That’s a good idea,” her mother said.  So they packed a nice basket for Little Red Riding Hood to take to her grandmother.

When the basket was ready, the little girl put on her red cloak and kissed her mother goodbye.

“Remember, go straight to Grandma’s house,” her mother cautioned.  “Don’t dawdle along the way and please don’t talk to strangers!  The woods are dangerous.”

“Don’t worry, mommy,” said Little Red Riding Hood, “I’ll be careful.”

But when Little Red Riding Hood noticed some lovely flowers in the woods, she forgot her promise to her mother.  She picked a few, watched the butterflies flit about for a while, listened to the frogs croaking and then picked a few more.

Little Red Riding Hood was enjoying the warm summer day so much that she didn’t notice a dark shadow approaching out of the forest behind her.

Suddenly, a wolf appeared beside her.

“What are you doing out here, little girl?” the wolf asked in a voice as friendly as he could muster.

“I’m on my way to see my Grandma who lives through the forest, near the brook,” Little Red Riding Hood replied.

Then she realized how late she was and quickly excused herself, rushing down the path to her Grandma’s house.

The wolf, in the meantime, took a shortcut.

The wolf, a little out of breath from running, arrived at Grandma’s and knocked lightly at the door.

“Oh thank goodness dear! Come in, come in! I was worried sick that something had happened to you in the forest,” said Grandma, thinking that the knock was her granddaughter.

The wolf let himself in.  Poor Granny did not have time to say another word before the wolf gobbled her up!

The wolf let out a satisfied burp, and then poked through Granny’s wardrobe to find a nightgown that he liked.  He added a frilly sleeping cap, and for good measure, dabbed some of Granny’s perfume behind his pointy ears.

A few minutes later, Red Riding Hood knocked on the door.  The wolf jumped into bed and pulled the covers over his nose.  “Who is it?” he called in a cackly voice.

“It’s me, Little Red Riding Hood.”

“Oh how lovely!  Do come in, my dear,” croaked the wolf.

When Little Red Riding Hood entered the little cottage, she could scarcely recognize her Grandmother.

“Grandmother!  Your voice sounds so odd.  Is something the matter?” she asked.

“Oh, I just have touch of a cold,” squeaked the wolf adding a cough at the end to prove the point.

“But Grandmother, what big ears you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood as she edged closer to the bed.

“The better to hear you with, my dear,” replied the wolf.

“But Grandmother, what big eyes you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood.

“The better to see you with, my dear,” replied the wolf.

“But Grandmother, what big teeth you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood, her voice quivering slightly.

“The better to eat you with, my dear!” roared the wolf and he leapt out of the bed and began to chase the little girl.

Almost too late, Little Red Riding Hood realized that the person in the bed was not her Grandmother but a hungry wolf.

She ran across the room and through the door, shouting, “Help!  Wolf!” as loudly as she could.

A woodsman who was chopping logs nearby heard her cry and ran towards the cottage as fast as he could.

He grabbed the wolf and made him spit out the poor Grandmother who was a bit frazzled by the whole experience, but still in one piece.

“Oh Grandma, I was so scared!” sobbed Little Red Riding Hood. “I’ll never speak to strangers or dawdle in the forest again.”

“There, there, child. You’ve learned an important lesson. Thank goodness you shouted loud enough for this kind woodsman to hear you!”

The woodsman knocked out the wolf and carried him deep into the forest where he wouldn’t bother people any longer.

Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother had a nice lunch and a long chat . . . and they all lived happily ever after.


Thanks to the folks at this site for the majority of the text to Little Red Riding Hood

I. Introduction:

A. Setting:
1. Time:
Past     X
Present Future
2. Specific time: a summer day
3. Place: in a village near a forest
4. Mood (Atmosphere):ordinary, bit of tension when Grandmother warns Little Red about strangers
B. Characters:

Name Physical Description Character Traits

Little Red Riding Hood little girl, always wears cape with red hood
kind, can get distracted, foolish

Wolf big ears, eyes, teeth



C. Antecedent Action:

II. Initial Incident:

A. Type(s) of conflict: Man vs. Nature
B. Problem (in question form): Will anything bad happen to Little Red Riding Hood when she takes the basket to her grandmother’s house?
C. 1st event that shows the problem: Red’s mother sends her to the grandmother’s house but warns her of the dangers of the forest

III. Rising Action:

– the events which begin after the Initial Incident that make us wonder about the answer to the problem.

G – Little Red enjoys a relaxing walk through the woods  

B – suddenly, a wolf appears

G – the wolf just talks to her

B – the wolf finds out where she’s going and takes a short cut to get there ahead of Little Red

B – the wolf eats the grandmother

B – the wolf disguises himself in Granny’s clothing

G – Little Red arrives but realizes something is wrong – Granny’s voice sounds odd

B – the wolf lies, says it’s only a cold

G – Little Red notices the big ears

B – the wolf comes up with an excuse – ears are better to hear with

G – Little Red notices the big teeth

B – the wolf roars, “The better to eat you with!” and begins to chase Little Red

G – Little Red runs and yells for help

G – a woodsman hears Little Red and runs toward the cottage

IV. Climax

The woodsman grabs the wolf and makes him spit the Grandmother out. Little Red and Granny are saved.

V. Epilogue/Resolution

Little Red learns a valuable lesson – never speak to strangers. The woodsman knocks the wolf out and carries him deep in the forest where he won’t bother people any longer.

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