Storytelling is a part of every culture. Before the printing press, before films and videos, stories were shared orally. People gathered around an outdoor firepit or inside by the hearth to hear tales and myths told by the storyteller. As a result, these stories passed along the traditions and values of a culture from one generation to another. Consider the following fables. The Ant and the Grasshopper, teaches the listener to be responsible while The Boy Who Cried Wolf warns that telling lies can lead to danger. Also, ancient folklore attempted to explain the mysteries of nature. Why does the moon change shape? Why does the mountain spew fire? Why do mosquitoes buzz in people's ears?
One of my favorite language arts units to teach is folktales. At the end of our study, each student selects a folktale, fable, legend, or myth, to tell to their classmates. They are encouraged to wear costumes and use one or two props that help bring their story to life. These presentations are spread throughout the week. Before the story time, we push desks and chairs up against the walls in order to sit on the floor in a circle. We make a fake fire using construction paper and place a flashlight in the center of the paper flames. When the classroom lights are turned off , the stories begin. At the end of each storytelling, we take a few minutes to talk about the moral of the story or what the story is teaching us or what the story is explaining. What fun we have!
Below are vocabulary resources I have created for the folktales that are part of the anthology used in my classroom. Students must interact with words in a variety of ways numerous times in order to understand their meanings. However, I find that most basal programs do not provide enough interaction and practice of vocabulary words. As a result, I have designed these products to introduce words and their definitions with an interactive slideshow which can be used repeatedly for review as well. In addition, there are word and definition cards to be used as a game and review. There are three challenging practice worksheets that require students to process word meanings in a variety of ways. Finally, an assessment is provided in which students must use the meaning of the words to understand the context in which they are used.
Also included are:
• Student Objectives
• Common Core Connections
• Suggestions for reinforcing vocabulary meaning throughout the year
• Word list and definitions that can be copied for students to keep in vocabulary notebooks
• Answer keys
Here are a few websites about Oral Storytelling and Folktales that you may find useful.
Thanks for docking your ship for a while to read my blog! If you have any questions or would like to share some ideas, please leave your comments below.