This is my FAVORITE. STORY. EVER.
Value: Creating Real Love
Time: 20 minutes
Appropriate Ages: 14+ (for anyone beginning to contemplate, actively search for, or foster true, real romantic love in their life)
Book: Fanny's Dream, by Caralyn Buehner, with pictures by Mark Buehner
Available on Amazon HERE
Read story. At the following points in the story, consider prompting with the following discussion questions:
Why did Fanny almost start crying?
In what ways would the mayor's son have been a dream come true? Why is she giving up on her original dream? Do you think she'll be happy?
How does Heber's kindness make Fanny feel? Do you think she would have felt this way with the mayor's son?
What are some of the difficult aspects of Fanny's life?
What are some of the gratifying aspects of her life?
Why didn't she want her old dream?
Why did she refuse the fairy?
Has Fanny found happiness?
Has Fanny found love?
What did she mean by "close enough?"
What is the lesson of this story?
Remember, the purpose of
discussion questions is to discuss,
not to arrive at a certain answer.
The older the children are,
the more developmentally able they are to sit satisfied with unanswered questions and lingering thoughts. Don't force one right answer.
Just enjoy the connection.
2. After the story, ask the following discussion questions:
Before Fanny got married, she didn't want to "do a stitch of work". This didn't end up working out for her. Do you think she is better off or worse off for giving up this dream?
What do you think about Fanny giving up her first dream? Should she have done that? Do you think her life is better or worse for that decision?
When should dreams be given up because they seem too unrealistic? When should we create our own happiness? When should we stick with our dreams in case we can achieve them?
Is it okay to change our dreams and find new dreams? Does this mean we have given up on our dream?
What would a happy, real, dream-come-true life look like for you?
Activity Option 1: Make a graphic organizer about finding the good when our dreams change
1. Fold a blank sheet of paper in half the long way (hot dog).
2. Position the paper so it looks like a long skinny book you can open, with the front cover closed in front of you. Cut the front cover into several sections, creating flaps. Each flap can be opened so you can see what is under the next flap.
3. On the front of each flap, use words or pictures to describe something in your life that you dreamed about or expected (that didn't end up turning out how you thought it would). For example, did you expect chocolate cake on your birthday? Did you expect to not get sick so you could play in your final soccer game? Did you expect for the schools to stay open?
4. Under each flap, use words or pictures to describe what ended up actually happening in your life. Ex: You may have expected chocolate cake for your birthday, but your mom made you vanilla instead. Or maybe you thought you were going to go on a trip, but it was cancelled.
5. On the backside of the top flap (the left side of the open spread when the top flap is open, opposite the description of what may have happened unexpectedly in their lives), write or draw why what actually ended up happening in life may have been better than expected. What good came of the situation?
Activity Option 2: Draw your dream
Let them write or draw on a piece of paper for their journal what their dream looks like to them. Or to get a cute printable worksheet, click on the link to my etsy shop below. One $1 purchase allows you to print unlimited copies!