Common Elements of Fairy Tales


1. A fairy tale usually begins with "Once upon a time...”

2. Fairy tales are set in the past- usually a long time ago.  

3. Fairy Tales have fantasy, supernatural, or make-believe aspects.

4. They usually have clearly defined good characters vs. evil characters.

5. Royalty is usually present in a fairy tale, such as a beautiful princess/handsome prince, castle, etc..

6. Involves magic elements, which may be magical people, animals, or objects. Magic may be positive or negative. (examples: giants, elves, talking animals, witches, or fairies)

7.  Focus the plot on a problem or conflict that needs to be solved.


8. May include objects, people, or events in threes.  For example, it may take three tries to solve the problem.

9. Fairy tales usually have happy endings – “they all lived happily ever after,” which is usually based on the resolution of the conflict or problem.

10. Fairy tales usually teach a lesson, have an underlying theme or demonstrate values important to a culture.