The Old woman in a shoe

The Old woman in a shoe - student project

I struggled a bit with this assignment. I don't have any favorite fairy tales and wouldn't know how to add a modern twist. I grew up loving Mother Goose rhymes and The Old Woman Who Lived In  A Shoe is one of my favorites. I saw a lot of dark humor in it. The following is what I came up with. I would like to go in depth some time later.


Original Story Breakdown

Story Beats: Old woman lives in a shoe with her many children.

Old woman doesn't know what to do about this situation.

Old woman gives children only broth for supper

Old woman whips each child then sends them to bed

Setting: Long long ago

An enormous shoe in a quaint village

Character Profiles:

Old woman at her wit's end

Numerous children of all ages  who misbehave

Writing Style

Nursery Rhyme

Key Question: How does an old woman cope with so many children in a shoe?

Retelling Breakdown

Key Question: Can a television psychologist help a single mother and her shoe full of disobedient children?


The set of "The Dr. Phil' show. 

Modern era

Writing Style:

Light-hearted. Humor. 

Heavy on dialogue.

Character Profiles:

Old woman Murray. A single mom at her wit's end.

Dr. Phil: a television talk show host with a background in psychology.

In-laws: concerned and helpful

Oldest son: Shy and sympathetic

Story Beats:

the rhyme: 'There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...


Retelling Roadmap

Section I: Beginning

Dr. Phil introduces the old woman through a montage of video clips of her at home with children after she has been investigated by Children and Youth


Section II: Middle

On stage the old woman is interviewed by Dr. Phil. She is joined by her brother and his wife who insist she is a good woman with few choices. 


Section III: End

Dr. Phil welcomes the old woman's eldest son and through tears the family come to terms with their dysfunction. 

Dr. Phil informs old woman that she is going on a spa vacation 

Family is to undergo group therapy

In-laws will join the children for a week on the Disney Cruise Ship