Unit – Folktales K1

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Unit – Folktales K1 Powered By Docstoc
					                     Unit Plan – Folktales From Around the World – Grade 1


I planned this unit last year to coincide with the Montessori curriculum unit on continents and map
skills. It also serves to reinforce the 1st grade’s language arts curriculum which covers story
elements (plot, characters, setting). Finally, I use it to reinforce information literacy skills (author,
illustrator, parts of the book, etc.). We spent one marking period (the third) on this unit.

I used more than 20 folktales (listed below), some days reading just one and doing an exercise or
activity, other days reading, listening or watching more than one story.

I posted a world map on the board and made small copies of the books’ covers. At the beginning of
each class (after the initial introduction), the class began with a review of the folktales we had read.
Students who correctly identified the country of origin when I asked the class taped the copy of the
book cover on the correct part of the map, thus reinforcing their knowledge of continents and

There’s plenty of flexibility here. These are just some ideas for using folktales. My students
thoroughly enjoyed this unit, and didn’t realize how much was being packed into each lesson.

Unit Objectives

Students will be able to define “folktales” as stories handed down from generation to generation,
often with no known author. They will be able to identify several folktales from different countries
as well as the country/culture of origin. Students will be able to identify story elements such as
characters, setting and plot (story sequence). They will also know how to use a Venn diagram to
compare and contrast story elements, and they will be able to identify the characteristics of a tall

This unit addresses the following AASL Standards: I 1, I 2, I 3, II 4, II 5, II 6, and III 8

Big Idea

Students have an understanding of the traditions of storytelling and an appreciation for folktales
from different cultures.

Story elements and information literacy skills are reinforced through folktales.


    World map
    Laminated copies of book covers (color printed from, thus the perfect, reduced
    Strega Nona worksheet (Beginning, Middle, End graphic organizer/Favorite Part of the
    Venn diagram graphic organizer
    Same/Different – Lon Po Po, Little Red Riding Hood worksheet
    The Mitten animals (mitten envelope, smaller animals to fit inside) – five complete sets
    Stuffed animals and audio tape with orchestration (Peter and the Wolf)
    Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, A Story, A Story, The Village of Round and Square
     Houses dvd (available from CLP)
    John Henry video cassette (available from CLP)
    Audio cassette of Love and Roast Chicken (available from CLP)
    Hand puppets (Little Red Riding Hood, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks)

    Texts - folktales representing different countries/continents and cultures:

                  1.  Aardema, Verna: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (Africa)
                  2.  Ben-Ezer, Ehud: Hosni the Dreamer (Arabia)
                  3.  Brett, Jan: The Mitten (The Ukraine)
                  4.  Brett, Jan: The Three Snow Bears (Arctic/Inuit)
                  5.  Czernecki, Stefan: The Singing Snake (Australia)
                  6.  Demi: One Grain of Rice (India)
                  7.  dePaola, Tomie: Strega Nona (Italy)
                  8.  Marshall, James: Goldilocks and the Three Bears (North America) – and a
                      second version, if available
                  9. Galdone, Paul: The Three Billy Goats Gruff (North America)
                  10. Gerson, Mary-Joan: Why the Sky is Far Away (Nigeria)
                  11. Grifalconi, Ann: The Village of Round and Square Houses (Africa)
                  12. Haley, Gail E: A Story, A Story
                  13. Hastings, Selina: Peter and the Wolf (Russia)
                  14. Kellogg, Steven: The Three Little Pigs
                  15. Knutson, Barbara: Love and Roast Chicken (Andes/South America)
                  16. Lester, Julius: John Henry (Southern U.S.)
                  17. Pinkney, Jerry: Little Red Riding Hood (America)
                  18. Marshall, James: The Three Little Pigs (America)
                  19. Perrault, Charles: Puss in Boots (France)
                  20. San Souci, Robert D.: The Talking Eggs (Creole)
                  21. Taylor, Harriet Peck: Brother Wolf (Native American)
                  22. Young, Ed: Lon Po Po (China)

                                        Sequence of Lessons

While some logical sequence is necessary to introduce the unit and scaffold several lessons, the
remaining lessons have no particular sequence.

    I. Unit Introduction – The Three Little Pigs and, if time allows, Goldilocks and the Three Bears

       Show two versions of The Three Little Pigs. Ask class if anyone knows the story of the three
       little pigs. When they say they do, ask class to tell the story, taking turns, one student
    continuing from where the last student left off. Congratulate the class on telling a folktale in
    the tradition of folktales from around the world. Most folktales do not have authors but re-
    tellers – just as they retold the story of the pigs. Folktales have been passed down from
    parents to children for generations in all parts of the world. Expand on oral tradition passing
    from generation to generation.

    Read both versions, noting the different illustrators and illustrations, telling the same basic
    story. Explain that we are going to spend the next few weeks looking at folktales from
    around the world.

    If time allows, demonstrate the same concept with two versions of Goldilocks and the Three

II. Map Introduction and Plot – Strega Nona

    With world map posted on board, ask students if they know where the U.S. is. When a
    student successfully identifies the U.S. have him/her tape the laminated book cover of The
    Three Little Pigs on the U.S.

    Introduce Strega Nona as a folktale from Italy. Identify Italy on the map and have a student
    tape the book cover there.

    Before reading Strega Nona, ask students to define “folktale” – Do we know the author of a
    folktale? Why not? How do people learn about a folktale? etc.

    (Use this time to reinforce author and illustrator terms; also, reinforce the parts of a book –
    cover, title page.)

    Read Strega Nona, repeating that the story is a folktale being retold and illustrated by Tomie

    After reading the story, ask students to retell it, again taking turns. Congratulations, again!

    Activity: I use a generic “Plot/Story Sequence” graphic organizer on which the students
    must draw the beginning, middle and end of the plot in sequence. On the back, I ask them to
    illustrate their favorite part of the story.

III. Plot – continued – The Mitten

    This class, and every subsequent class, begins with a review of the folktales read so far. I ask
    the class to tell me where a story we’ve already read comes from, and the student who
    correctly identifies the country or continent gets to tape the book on the world map. I then
    introduce the next folktale and have a student put that one on the map.

    Before reading The Mitten I tell the class they have to listen very closely because they’re
    going to have to retell the story in the proper order.
    After reading the book, I model the activity, frequently referring back to the text. Then,
    working in groups of 4-5 students at their tables, they do the activity while I observe, ask
    questions, and have them demonstrate to me that they can retell the story in the proper

    Activity: Outline drawings of all the characters, animals and the mitten in the story are
    available on Jan Brett’s website. Using these illustrations, I created five sets of mitten and
    animals. Working in small groups, students must, in the proper sequence, tell the story while
    stuffing the laminated animal pictures into the large mitten “envelope.” Students are
    encouraged to refer to the text.

    Note: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears is another good folktale for practicing
    plot/story sequence. For a change of pace, I use the dvd version and ask the students to retell
    the story after they’ve watched it. It’s definitely a favorite with them.

    Another good folktale for story sequence is The Singing Snake.

IV. Compare/Contrast – Introduce Venn Diagram – Little Red Riding Hood and Lon Po Po

    Although students are familiar with Little Red Riding Hood, I re-read it before reading Lon
    Po Po.

    Class Activity: Before introducing the Venn diagram, I list on the board, as the class
    identifies to me, the elements of both stories that are the same and those that are different in
    two separate columns.

    I then draw a large Venn diagram and explain how the intersecting circles will help us see
    what is the same and what is different about the two stories. We complete the Venn diagram
    together. (I explain the terms same, different, compare and contrast.)

    Individual Activity: I use a worksheet that asks students to draw two pictures on each side.
    On the front they draw one picture from each story to show things that are the SAME in the
    two stories. On the back they draw one picture from each story to show things that are
    DIFFERENT about the two stories.

V. Characters – Peter and the Wolf

    After reading the story, I ask students to act out the folktale. I explain the term “character”
    and we list the characters in the story before assigning parts. The class repeats the process so
    everyone has a chance to be a character. I use a cd of the Prokofiev orchestration which
    narrates the story.

    Notes: Since I have hand puppets for additional folktales, students also act out Goldilocks,
    Three Billy Goats Gruff and Little Red Riding Hood when time permits – again emphasizing
       I also use Brother Wolf to identify characters, and students color pictures of the birds in that

       We also discuss the abundance of wolves in folktales, identifying the bad wolves in Peter and
       the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, and the contrasting good wolf in
       Brother Wolf.

  VI. Setting – The Three Snow Bears and Goldilocks and the Three Bears

       These stories are ideal to demonstrate the concept of Setting, but any folktale will work.

 VII. Tall Tales – John Henry

       Before I show the video of Julius Lester/Jerry Pinckney’s John Henry, I ask the students to
       see if they can tell what a tall tale is by paying attention to the video. When it’s over, we talk
       about the concept of exaggeration and define tall tales. Also, bring in tall tales from current

Additional ideas:

   1. I explain what Creole means when discussing The Talking Eggs.
   2. We discuss the vastly different styles of illustration using The Singing Snake and Puss in
      Boots. Students make their own Aboriginal-style artwork.
   3. We focus on Jan Brett’s detailed illustrations.
   4. I use a cd of Love and Roast Chicken so I don’t botch the Spanish pronunciations. Find the
      Andes mountains on a map.

Final note: If you’re interested in using the worksheets and/or props I have, please let me know and
I will send you copies.

Annette Sirio
Pittsburgh Montessori, PPS

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