Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 1 Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales An Author Study on Jane Yolen By Luke Welling Children’s Literature LAE 4416 Summer 2010 Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 2 Introduction Before starting this author’s study, I was unfamiliar with Yolen’s work. After reading only ten children’s books that she had written, I experienced Yolen’s world of fantasy and fairy tales and was very satisfied. From The Young Merlin Trilogy book series to the world of Sleeping Ugly, each book was filled with creativity and educational lessons. Writing over 300 story books for children and adults alike, Yolen introduces different writing styles to meet the needs of each audience. Her writing in How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, Welcome to the River of Grass, and Sleep Black Bear, Sleep, is very poetic. Similarly, her writing in The Young Merlin Trilogy including Merlin and the Dragons, the book that preceded the trilogy, the style is very descriptive and paints the picture the reader is to see. I have chosen Jane Yolen for this author study because of the wide audiences that she writes to, as well as for her educational insights into life morals, language studies, and science. This unit of study would be for a 3rd grade class and would last for a week. Guided Qustions: 1. What has Jane Yolen produced and what influences have shaped her work? 2. Does the author write in one genre or in more than one category? 3. Is the setting the same in the books? 4. Are they type of characters found in more than one book? About the Author Born in New York City, New York on February 11, 1939, Jane Yolen’s destiny as a successful writer in the world of literature was set. Yolen grew up in a family that was immersed in reading and writing. In early age, she viewed her surroundings and came to believe that when people grow-up, they write. This idea was gained from her immediate family, her father being a journalist and her mother being a writer of short stories. She would discover, for the first time, her own talent as a writer in the 1st grade, writing a class musical about vegetables coming together to make a salad (janeyolen.com, n.d.). This talent would become more and more refined as her life went on. Yolen started publishing at the age of 22. Since that day, she has produced more than 300 books ranging from pre-k all the way through adulthood. Marrying her one and only husband, David W. Stemple, they moved to a farm in Massachusetts where they had three children. It is in one of the barns on their property that Yolen would produce most of her work. Throughout her work, she has shown her versatile and imaginative side displaying a fine use of language across the spectrum (Gale Group, 2009). Most of her work is rooted in fantasy, fairy tales, and folklore, the very styles that Yolen enjoyed reading as a child. When speaking of her writing, Yolen says that through the use of fairy tales and fantasy, “young readers can learn about themselves,” about the nature of love, and their place in the world (2009). It is evident what values are most important to her. In her writings, she greatly promotes self-reliance, loyalty, and friendship (EBSCO Host, 2008). These are the recurring themes found in each of the books below, and numerous other books that were produced by Yolen. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 3 During her writing career, Yolen traveled to many places to share her stories and also won many awards to go with them. A handful of the awards she has won include the Caldecott Medal, the Nebula Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Council Award & Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Award, the Christopher Medal, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Currently Yolen no longer travels to schools but does go to the occasional book signing (janeyolen.com, n.d.). An accomplished and creative writer, Yolen has contributed greatly to the world of literature, especially that of children’s literature. Through her own creativity, she teaches others to also be creative. To Yolen, a good book is on that “touches her head and her heart,” and her own books do just that. To learn more about Jane Yolen, her website is http://janeyolen.com. This is a fun site that answers questions that many other have had for the author. It also tells more about her life through her biography. Introductory Lesson To introduce this unit about Jane Yolen, I will create a Photo Story 3 that depicts Jane’s family life, pictures of her farm in Massachusetts, and various books that she has published. After the Photo Story 3 presentation, we will have a short discussion about any books the students might know that have been written by Yolen. After the discussion, I will choose one of my favorite books that I read from Yolen, do a short read aloud, then talk about the unit and how we will learn much more about how to become creative writers by using Jane as a model for our writing, keeping the guiding questions of the unit in mind. Annotated Bibliography Merlin and the Dragons, In this story, young King Arthur comes to Merlin with a bad dream Yolen, J. (1995) and worries of not being fit to be a king. Merlin tells Arthur about another boy who was an orphan who had to gain courage and tell a dooming prophecy to a king of the past, King Vortigern. He then enlightened young King Arthur of another prophecy, one of great prominence. I chose this book because it precedes the Young Merlin Trilogy and sets the scene for the three books that would be published soon after. I would read this book to the class then introduce the trilogy. It is a fine example of the descriptive fantasy writing that Yolen so brilliantly puts together, writing that spurs on the imagination. Passager, Yolen, J. (1996) This story is the first of a trilogy. It introduces a young orphan who is left to the wild. After being found by a falconer, the wild orphan Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 4 once again becomes tamed and is once again part of a family. He is young, but strong and because of this his name becomes Passager. I chose this book because it talks about the life of an orphan and how he finds his place of belonging. There will be students in my classroom that might identify with this in one way or another. Yolen’s educational teachings are evident in this book introducing new words and meaning to those words. In this book, once again, she takes the imagination on a stroll through her world of classic fantasy. Hobby, Yolen, J., (1996) This book is the second of a trilogy. Hobby resumes the tale of a young orphan again displaced, losing his new family to a fire. On his travels he meets a mage and his beautiful partner. He joins this magical duo and learns about his own new power. I chose this second part of The Young Merlin Trilogy because it continues the story about this orphan, only an orphan in a different way. This book is great for one trying to find a sense of belonging. The story theme is very imaginative, the recurring theme in Yolen’s writings. One way Yolen introduces morals into this story is by the question, “Is lying ever ok?” Through this story, a lesson is taught about lying. This would be great for children to read. Merlin, Yolen, J., (1997) This book is the final book of The Young Merlin Trilogy. In this story, Hawk-Hobby, the boy orphan, discovers a community of outcasts. Once learning about his magical power, the community goes against Hawk-Hobby and takes advantage of his talent. After much experience with his magic now, he discovers the true extent of his power with a young boy who he would come to walk with and protect the rest of his life. I chose this book to complete The Young Merlin Trilogy. Yolen gives a sensational sense of imagery to her text in this book. Every chapter is like a painted picture. This is a model that continues to be the trend of Yolen’s genius writing. Sleeping Ugly, Yolen, J. Sleeping Ugly is a story that goes off of the story of “Sleeping (1981) Beauty,” only this story is told with a twist. This story advocates that beauty does not mean much when it comes to character. A prince must choose who to kiss in this tale. This story was chosen for its fairy tale element and it’s element of Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 5 the unexpected. This is another example of Yolen’s creative writing, taking a classic fairy and adding a twist to it. Piggins and the Royal Piggins and the Royal Wedding is a story of a sleuth pig that must Wedding, Yolen, J. (1988) discover who the perpetrator of a stolen royal ring was. He must pay attention to the smallest traces, problem solving his way through an effort to crack this case. I chose this book because it would make an easy read for anyone in the classroom. It is also a great book that teaches about how one should never be quick to judge. This is a great lesson for the classroom. Yolen continues her imaginative storytelling with a moralist tone throughout this story setting up a great plot with an unexpected ending. Soft House, Yolen, J., In this book, Yolen shows her imagination through a girl character (2005) named Isabelle. On a rainy day, Isabelle and her brother are bored with nothing to do. They brainstorm through ideas and finally come to a conclusion, “Soft House!” This is a very warm story that illustrates a typical brother-sister bond. I chose this book because of a connection I made to my own childhood. Instead of “soft house”, my sister and I called it “playing tent.” Yolen writes this book for imaginative ideas children can do on rainy days. Welcome to the River of This is a poem book that tells of the many forms of life to see in the Grass, Yolen, J. (2001) Florida Everglades. Every life has a beginning and an end, each playing a role in a grander picture. Even the life of the Florida Everglades itself has a life that is slowly dwindling away. I chose this book because it explores the different animals and environments in south Florida, something that all Florida students must know. Yolen displays her creative writing through poetry, beautifully quilting together pieces of the south Florida region that makes it so radiant, yet mysterious. Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep, This book is a poetic lullaby about different animals and how they Yolen, J., (2007) sleep through the cold winter nights. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 6 I chose this educational rhyme because it teaches about hibernation and the different habitats available to these slumbering animals. Yolen brilliantly ties her words together like a song in this creatively educational lullaby. How Do Dinosaurs Say This poetry book is about how a dinosaur says good night to mama Good Night? Yolen, J., and papa. Do the dinosaurs react how we think when they hear that (2000) it is time for bed? Not as you might expect. I chose this book because of its teaching about various types of dinosaurs. Yolen always uses each book as an opportunity to teach. In a poem about how to say good night, Yolen identifies each animal with a child’s reaction to hearing the words “It’s time for bed.” The twist occurs when she turns all of the reactions around teaching children how to act when asked to go to bed. Lesson 1 1A. Sunshine State Standards: 1B. Goal 3 Standards Standard 5 - Responsible LA 184.108.40.206.: The student will use Workers information from the text to answer Florida students display questions related to explicitly stated main responsibility, self-esteem, ideas or relevant details; sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty. 2. Objectives (3) Students will: Recall prior knowledge from the Photo 3 story shown the day prior for anticipation guide. Record answers to relevant details about the life of Jane Yolen and advice she would give to young writers. Discuss interesting facts learned about Jane Yolen. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 7 3. Assessment & Evaluation Initial-What do students recall about Jane Yolen from the prior day. Also, prior knowledge is tested through the anticipation guide. Informal-Students will complete the Web Quest question sheet. Formal-Students will successfully complete an anticipation guide after going on a Web Quest about Jane Yolen. Students will score a 90% or better on the anticipation guides after the Web Quest. 4. Introduction to Lesson: 5.Materials 3 pictures of a dog I will ask the students anything they can recall from the 3 pictures of a pig Photo Story 3 that we watched the day before. I will ask for three things learned. 3 pictures of a bear 3 pictures of a frog 4 pictures of a badger 16 anticipation guides for each student 5 Web Quest question sheets, one for each group Pencils for each student Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 8 6. Technology Integration (List them) Students will complete a webquest using the following sites: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/contributor.jsp?id=2349&FullBreadCrumb=%3Ca+href%3D %22http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.scholastic.com%2Fbrowse%2Fsearch%2F%3FNtx%3Dmode%2Bm atchallpartial%26_N%3Dfff%26Ntk%3DSCHL30_SI%26query%3DJane%2520Yolen%26N%3D 0%26Ntt%3DJane%2BYolen%22+class%3D%22endecaAll%22%3EAll+Results%3C%2Fa%3E http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/y/jane-yolen/ http://janeyolen.com/awards/ http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yolen 7. List any types of strategies you will use At the start of the lesson, I will remind students that this week we will be learning about Jane Yolen and her contributions to literature. Next, I will split the students up into groups of 3-4 by using the picture game. Each student will be handed a card with a picture on it. The students must find all of the other members that have the same picture. These members will be their group members for this activity. After that, I will hand out anticipation guides to each student that contain seven statements about Jane Yolen. Before starting our activity, each student will check whether they agree or disagree with the statement. After the activity, the students will once again take out their anticipation guides and mark whether they agree or disagree with the statements. For the activity, we will do a Web Quest called “All About Jane.” In this Web Quest, groups will be given a question sheet that has questions which must be sought and found. The group will write in their answers on the Web Quest question sheet. To wrap up, we will briefly talk about the most interesting things we learned about and from Jane Yolen. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 9 Differentiated Instruction ADHD students are accommodated by movement around the room while splitting the students up into groups. ESOL students practice the English language by listening to an online interview, reading information, speaking during discussion, and writing answers about Jane Yolen. ESE students are able to work in a non-discriminating group setting. ADD students will be checked on by the teacher to make sure they are on task. Audible learners are given opportunity to learn information from an interview about Jane Yolen. Gifted/Advanced students may construct their own Web Quests about Jane Yolen to present to the teacher. Lesson 2 1A. Sunshine State Standards: 1B. Goal 3 Standards LA.220.127.116.11: The student will demonstrate Standard 4 - Creative and knowledge of the characteristics of various Critical Thinkers genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, short story, Florida students use creative dramatic literature) as forms with distinct thinking skills to generate new characteristics and purposes; ideas, make the best decision, recognize and solve problems through reasoning, interpret symbolic data, and develop efficient techniques for lifelong learning. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 10 2. Objectives (3) Students will: Identify the different genres and styles Jane Yolen uses in her books. Explain what qualifiers allow a book to fall under different genres. Apply knowledge about genres and classify Jane Yolen books under different genres. Explain why a writer might use different genres in a writer’s career. 3. Assessment & Evaluation Initial-Students will be asked what they know about classifying books and how they might be classified. Informal-That teacher observes that students are on-task finding criteria and drawing a picture for each genre. Formal-Students are given a list of books with clues about each. According to the clues, students are asked to classify each book under the correct genre. 4. Introduction to Lesson: 5. Materials “Can someone tell me what they know about -3 cards that say fiction classifying books?” After taking 3 answers, a short -3 cards that say nonfiction discussion will take about how books might be -3 cards that say folklore classified. -3 cards that say poetry -4 cards that say fairy tale -5 sheets of construction paper for criteria -5 sheets of construction paper for drawing -These books by Jane Yolen: Sleeping Ugly, Welcome to the River of Grass, How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night, Piggins and the Royal Wedding, Soft House, Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep, and Merlin and the Dragons. -16 book lists and classifying sheets -10 magnet clips for criteria sheets and drawings. 6. Technology Integration (List them) Smart Board for Semantic Feature Analysis Chart Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 11 7. List any types of strategies you will use Students will be given different cards that say fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, folklore, poetry, and fairy tale. Students will find other students who have their same genre. There should be five groups of 3, and one group of 4. In their groups, the students must find five criteria that make a book fall under their genre and one drawing that describes the genre. We will post all of the criteria and pictures on the board for everyone to see. Next, each group will be given a book written by Jane Yolen. The students must decide which genre the book falls under, also realizing it might fall under more than one genre. The books that will be categorized will be the following: Sleeping Ugly, Welcome to the River of Grass, How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night, Piggins and the Royal Wedding, Soft House, Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep, and Merlin and the Dragons. For the next part of the lesson, students will be asked to discuss in small groups what made their book unique. Examples might be the setting, character names, or even if the character was an animal or human. After that, we will do a semantic feature analysis together. On the vertical left side of the chart will be the name of each title. On the horizontal top part of the chart will be the categories. The categories will be the following: fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, folklore, poetry, fairy tale, setting nature, setting home, character animal, character human. Next, students are given a list of books written by Jane Yolen with clues that allude to the genre to which it belongs. Students must classify each book according to its clues. Finally, we will have a class discussion about why it is so important to use different genres as a writer. The goal would be to get to the point that not everyone has the same interests. Each audience requires a different writing style. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 12 Differentiated Instruction ADHD are given the opportunity to move around the room during the group activity. ADD students are checked on by the teacher to make sure they are on task. ESOL students are able to interpret meaning through pictures. ESE learners are integrated into group activity in a safe cooperative environment Gifted/Advanced students will be challenged to classify other books in the room according to their separate context clues. Visual learners see how the books are related and different by means of the semantic feature chart Lesson 3 1A. Sunshine State Standards: 1B. Goal 3 Standards LA.18.104.22.168: The student will write a variety Standard 2 - Effective of expressive forms (e.g., fiction, short Communicators story, autobiography, science fiction, Florida students communicate in haiku) that employ figurative language English and other languages using (e.g., simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, information, concepts, personification, hyperbole), rhythm, prose, symbols, reports, audio and dialogue, characterization, plot, and/or video recordings, speeches, appropriate format. graphic displays, and computer-based programs. 2. Objectives (3) Students will: Explain influences that might affect a writing work. Interpret a Jane Yolen character with a writing style that ties in a part of their own lives. Compose and present a written work that is classified under the correct genre. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 13 3. Assessment & Evaluation Initial-Prior knowledge about genres and classifying criteria are tested from the day prior. Informal-The teacher observes students as they write in their double-entry journals, making sure they understand the meaning and interpretation of characters in context. Formal-Students make a Jane Yolen character their own by interpreting the character in a story, poem, or song that tie-in experiences or backgrounds of their own lives. The writing style is then classified under the correct genre. 4. Introduction to Lesson: 5. Materials “Who can tell me a genre and a criteria that Books from the Jane Yolen collection classifies a book under that genre?” Paper and pencil for each student Colored pencils for picture stories 6. Technology Integration (List them) Students may use Power Point or Photo Story 3 in an oral presentation to the class. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 14 7. List any types of strategies you will use Students will choose a story from the Jane Yolen book collection, or will find a different Jane Yolen book in the school library. The student will read that book in class. While reading the stories, the student will use a double-entry chart to write about a character. On the left side of the chart, the student will write a quote from the story that describes that character. On the left side of the chart, the student will reflect on how the author meant to perceive that character in the story. Next, the student will be asked to identify the genre or writing style Yolen wrote in. After that, the student will use the character that he/she reflected on and will use that character in his/her own story. The story with this character can fall under any genre or writing style. This is where the student makes the character their own, interpreting the character with a different perception. For this story, students will also be reminded to take into account different environments they might know, different cultural backgrounds, and personal experiences they have that might make their story unique. A picture story will also be accepted. Students may also use a Power Point or Photo Story 3 if they choose. Finally, the students will present their stories in front of the class, first stating the genre or style of writing used. (Picture stories will be told orally). Differentiated Instruction Students connect their own diverse backgrounds to a Jane Yolen character. Students choose a book that best fits their interests. ESOL practice writing the English language by telling a story. The story may also be interpreted by pictures. Audio-stories will be available for audible learners and those with dyslexia. ESE students use pictures or other writing style to interpret meaning. ADD/ADHD students are observed by the teacher to make sure they are on task. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 15 Culminating Activity After learning about the many different styles of writing and how personal influences can affect the writing in a story, we will come up with 10-15 good questions about personal influences that shaped so many of Jane Yolen’s stories. We will then talk to Jane Yolen via Skype, interviewing her with these questions. Works Cited Yolen, J. (n.d.), “Biography”. Jane Yolen Journal Archive. Retrieved from: http://janeyolen.com/biography/ Yolen, J. (n.d.), “Awards”. Jane Yolen Journal Archive. Retrieved from: http://janeyolen.com/awards/ Jones, L.E. (2007). “Jane Yolen”. Novelist Author Biography. Retrieved from: http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.leegov.com/novelistk8/detail?vid=4&hid=107&sid=f2 4bcde8-c643-4f73-a93d- 62450a0a5839%40sessionmgr111&bdata=JnNpdGU9bm92ZWxpc3RrOC1saXZl Yolen, J. (2009). “Jane (Hyatt) Yolen”. Biography Resource Center. Gale Group. Retrieved from: http://galenet.galegroup.com.ezproxy.leegov.com/servlet/BioRC?vrsn=149&OP=contain s&locID=23069_lcls&srchtp=name&ca=1&c=7&AI=U13016118&NA=Jane+Yolen&ste =12&tbst=prp&tab=1&docNum=K1663000475&bConts=59 Scholastic Inc. (n.d.), “Jane Yolen Biography”. The Beta Stacks. Scholastic Incorporated. Retrieved from: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/contributor.jsp?id=2349&FullBreadCrumb=%3Ca+h ref%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.scholastic.com%2Fbrowse%2Fsearch%2F%3FNtx %3Dmode%2Bmatchallpartial%26_N%3Dfff%26Ntk%3DSCHL30_SI%26query%3DJa ne%2520Yolen%26N%3D0%26Ntt%3DJane%2BYolen%22+class%3D%22endecaAll% 22%3EAll+Results%3C%2Fa%3E Wands, D.C., Dickinson, L.E. (2010). “Jane Hyatt Yolen Stemple”. Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved from: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/y/jane-yolen/ Reading Rockets. (2010). “A Video Interview With Jane Yolen”. WETA Website. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yolen Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 16 FEAP Reflection After completing this project, I was able to complete the following FEAPs: planning, diversity, and critical thinking. Here is how I was able to meet the practice of planning. In this project, I was able to [plan] and [implement] lessons connecting goals, learning activities, outcomes, and evaluation by putting together a unit that takes the learner on a journey in finding out who Jane Yolen is, which writing styles and different genres she uses, and what personal experiences might have impacted her writing. In the unit plan was a collection of activities that highlighted each of these ideas. By constructing this unit, I was also able to [assist] students in developing skills in accessing and interpreting information through a Web Quest activity I did in day one. Students accessed a collection of websites with the goal of finding and interpreting answers to questions given on a question sheet. Planning this unit was a new experience for me. Throughout this degree program, I have gained experience in teaching content-area material, but the focus was never so specific as an author. This is what made this planning process difficult for me, but was beneficial none the less. Along with planning, I was also able to find different ways to meet diverse needs in the classroom. Not every learner is the same. This is something we are drilled on in the education program. By means of this unit I was able to address diversity according to the following indicators: conducts lessons that honor the various learning styles and cultural and linguistic backgrounds of students and accepts and values students from diverse cultures and linguistic backgrounds and treats all students equitably. An example of how I conducted a lesson that honored the various learning styles was in my first lesson. This indicator was evident when I installed in a Web Quest both reading material and an online interview. Had I not installed the online interview, I might have been ignoring my audible learners. What would they have gained from just reading text? These students must hear both directions and learning material in order to successfully thrive in the classroom. Another way that I touched on diversity was when I had students share their stories, poems, or songs, each tying-in their own personal experiences and backgrounds, and having them share these stories in front of the classroom in lesson three. I did this because I would want my students to value each other in an understanding and respectful way. Finally, I was also to install the practice of critical thinking in this unit according to the following two indicators, plans lesson activities that require students to gather information and solve problems and conducts lessons that include open-ended projects and other activities that are creative and innovative. In lesson two, students were broken up into groups to find five criteria and draw one picture of a genre. The students had to work together to gather this information. The problem was solved when we placed books written by Jane Yolen under each genre according to the criteria for each genre that we found. Another way we met this practice is when we adapted characters of Yolen into our daily lives. Students were allowed to use whatever writing style and genre they wanted to communicate to us some kind of story, whether by song, plot, or rhyme, that included the character. Author Study on Jane Yolen Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales 17 These are the practices that were met by doing this unit plan. It was a great experience for me to put this unit together. It stretched my mind to boundaries it hadn’t yet been stretched to. I feel it greatly benefited me in my journey of becoming an elementary school teacher. I would use these books that were included in my annotated bibliography in the classroom and would tinker with each lesson plan in order to make the perfect learning experience for each book while also doing an in-depth study of its author.
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