Sorry to say, this plan fell apart at the start, because so many of the kids did not know the story! I was flabbergasted. I can understand not having an intimate acquaintance with Fenrir the Wolf or the Birbal stories, but Hansel and Gretel? If you are one of those students, grown up and with kids of your own, here it is:
or you may prefer a plot summary
There has been much fascinating (and some wacky) scholarship and analysis about this story over the years – Freudian, Jungian, Marxist, Feminist, Historical, Modernist – you name it. But I suspect most children take it at face value, as I did: two little children learn that because there is not enough food, their parents are going to abandon them, and they must summon the courage and resourcefulness to survive on their own and defeat a cannibal witch. There probably aren’t a whole lot of things more frightening to kids than being abandoned by their own parents. I even suspect that for some kids, the witch is less frightening than the initial betrayal and abandonment. By taking this story to heart, perhaps children have a chance to imagine what that might feel like, and to follow Hansel and Gretel courageously through the forest to a sweet victory.