|Illustration by Dick Bruna|
Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy man. He and his wife had 1 daughter. It happened that his wife became very, very sick, and soon died. A few years later, the wealthy man married again. The second wife had 2 daughters of her own, who were as ugly as her husband's child was pretty. 3 years passed, during which the stepmother came to hate Cinderella, as she now called her stepdaughter. Each day, she forced the girl to do 4 difficult tasks: fetch water from the spring, firewood from the forest, hay from the meadow, and eggs from the chickens. One day, 5 royal trumpeters announced that there would be a ball in 6 days. The prince was looking for a wife, and all of the maidens in the kingdom were invited. Cinderella's stepsisters were so excited! They spoke of nothing else for 7 days. During all that time, they hardly 8 a thing. At last, the great day, the 9th day of the 9th month, arrived. It took so long for the stepsisters to leave that it was nearly 10 o'clock by the time Cinderella sat down for a good cry. And that is when her fairy godmother appeared. The kindly old lady waved her wand, and 11 animals were transformed. There were four lizards as footmen, six mice for horses, and one jolly fat rat who became the coachman. When Cinderella got to the ball, everyone was amazed by her beauty. The prince danced with her all evening. But when the clock struck 12, the lovely girl ran away. Luckily for the prince, she lost one of her shoes. He took it with him and tried it on every girl in the kingdom. At last, he came to Cinderella's house. Her stepsisters insisted on trying it on first, but neither of them could squeeze a foot into it. And then Cinderella stepped forward, and asked for a turn to try it on. Although her sisters laughed, she slipped her foot into it, and it fitted her perfectly. Then she drew out its mate, and the prince recognized her as the lovely maiden at the ball. When the fairy godmother walked in and waved her wand again, Cinderella's rags once again transformed into rich clothing. She and the prince were married the next day, and they lived happily ever after.
Notes: Yay for more fairy tales in the schools. They are healthy brain food, the literary equivalent of the slow food movement, versus the Slim-Fast liquid dietary scholastic garbage now serving as "curriculum" in an American school near you. As John Edwards said, before he tripped and fell flat on his face, "Weighing your hogs every day isn't going to make them any fatter." Ditto for testing the children all the time: it isn't going to help feed their minds.
Montessori Connection: The Numerals from 1-10.
1. Print this story and circle each number.
2. Ask someone who can read to read you this story.
3. Lay out one numeral each time that number comes up in the story.
4. Learn more about the Montessori math materials:Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood [MONTESSORI TODAY] [Paperback]