The Princess’ Blankets – Planning Overview

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Dan

Every teacher wants the perfect plan for their unit of work about the book The Princess’ Blankets by Carol Ann Duffy. With this guide, you will learn how to create a comprehensive and organised study plan that is engaging and informative.

From pre-reading activities to discussion prompts to assessments, this unit of work will bring your students’ exploration of this beloved story to life! We’ll cover best practices for creating a successful team of work that your students will enjoy while they learn.

Related: For more, check out our planning overview of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz here.

The Storyline of The Princess’ Blankets

The Princess Blankets tells the story of a young princess who is given a gift from her beloved grandmother – two magnificent blankets. The first blanket is emerald green and will be used for winter when its warmth will be most appreciated. The second blanket is made of the softest fur, designed to provide comfort and security during distress.

The Princess embarks on a journey to happiness with these two magical items. Along the way, she faces many challenges and obstacles but eventually discovers that only by believing in herself can she face any fear or hardship that comes her way. Ultimately, she learns that true happiness isn’t something she can buy or earn – it comes from trusting in yourself and loving those around you with all your heart.

Key Themes

  • Trust: The Princess learns that trusting herself is the only way to overcome fear and hardship.
  • Love: True happiness comes from trusting in yourself and loving those around you with all your heart.
  • Journey: Throughout this story, the Princess embarks on finding true happiness.
  • Bravery: The Princess learns that even when faced with danger, she must conquer her fears and be brave to find true joy.
  • Sacrifice: To achieve true happiness, the Princess must give up her prized possessions for the sake of others.

Main Characters

The main characters in The Princess’ Blankets are the Princess, her beloved grandmother and the citizens of the kingdom she visits.

The story’s protagonist is The Princess, who sets out on a journey to find true happiness and discovers that trust in herself and love for those around her are critical to finding this happiness. By being brave, sacrificing specific things that were important to her, and having a genuine passion for others, she can face any challenges that come her way.

Her beloved grandmother gives her two blankets as a gift that help guide her journey and provides comfort.

The kingdom’s citizens also help the Princess realise true happiness by assisting when needed and teaching her about the importance of giving back.

Symbolism In The Princess’s Blankets

The Princess’ Blankets is full of symbolism. One example is the two blankets the Princess receives from her beloved grandmother. These blankets bring comfort and remind her that she has someone in her corner who loves her, even when she goes on an adventure far away from home.

They also provide guidance and help the Princess find true happiness by teaching her to trust in herself and to have a genuinely loving heart for others. Additionally, the colours of the blankets change throughout the story, symbolising her journey towards self-discovery and true happiness.

Decisions In The Story

In “The Princess’ Blankets,” certain decisions were made by characters that changed the story’s plot development. For example, when the Princess gives away her blankets to a beggar on a stormy night, this decision changes the course of events and leads to an unexpected adventure.

This decision also catalyses other choices made by other characters. Each character has contributed to a new understanding of how friendship, loyalty, and empathy can influence plot development.

Friendship

Friendship plays a vital role in the plot development of “The Princess’ Blankets.” For example, when the Princess shows kindness to the beggar and gives away her blankets, this selfless act paves the way for a friendship between her and the prince. This friendship becomes an unexpected adventure as they travel together, searching for shelter from the stormy night.

The trust and understanding that forms between them are heartwarming and move the story forward by creating a bond between characters and allowing for emotional growth. Ultimately, this friendship leads to a happy ending in which both characters are rewarded with their own happily ever after.

Lesson Plan

Objectives:

  • Understand the main plot of the story.
  • Develop critical thinking skills and analyse characters
  • Gain a better understanding of friendship, empathy, and loyalty concepts.

Materials:

  • Copies of the text for each student
  • Poster paper or whiteboard with markers for brainstorming
  • Supplemental resources on themes in the text (optional)

Main Teaching Input:

Pre-Reading Activity: Discuss what a princess is and what qualities she may possess. Create a list of adjectives that describe her on the board or poster paper.

Please read the story aloud and encourage students to recognise its relationships and recurring motifs. Ask questions as you go along to ensure they understand what is happening in the text.

After Reading Activity: Ask students to discuss how they felt about each character during the story’s climax. Please encourage them to defend their positions using evidence from the deck while being open to other views expressed by their classmates.

Assessment: Have students write an essay reflecting on one theme from “The “PrinPrincess’nkets” (e” g., friendship, loyalty). Ask them to use examples from the text to support their points throughout their essays and pull different plot elements into their reflections meaningfully.

Reflection: After discussing any questions during reading aloud or post-reading activity, ask students how their concept of princesses has changed after reading this narrative, especially regarding what qualities are valued as necessary for princesses today (as opposed to traditional princesses).

Website Resources

The first page, from TES, offers planning advice and resources for teaching this story. The second page, from Vocabulary Ninja, provides information on the book and activities designed to help readers better understand the characters and story. The third page from Literary Curriculum gives step-by-step guidance on planning and implementing lessons using this story.

TES – Teaching Resource

Vocabulary Ninja

Literary Curriculum

FAQ

Q: What is the story about?

A: The Princess’ Blankets is a heartwarming story of friends, trust, and loyalty. When the Princess gives away her blankets on a stormy night, she meets a prince and embarks on an unexpected adventure that ultimately leads to them getting their happily ever after.

Q: What kind of lessons does this story provide?

A: This story teaches about friendship, kindness and selflessness. It illustrates how actions can have far-reaching consequences and how empathy can lead to positive outcomes. It also shows how trusting someone can lead to unique experiences.

Q: Are any resources available to help parents and teachers with this book?

A: Yes! The TES website offers planning advice and resources for teaching this story, while Vocabulary Ninja provides activities to help readers better understand the characters and plot. For step-by-step guidance on planning lessons using the book, visit Literary Curriculum’s website.

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