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My goal is to provide for teachers and students a similar path of discovery. This unit gives order to that process. The first section discusses and defines the function of folktales, emphasizing how they reflect the collective nature of our human psyche and consciousness. Next, I give strategies for preparing and acclimating your class to storytelling and folktales. I have included ideas of how you, as a teacher and beginning storyteller, might approach storytelling yourself. The unit schedule suggests a time table you may want to follow as you explore the folktales in the next section. Here, I discuss the function of tales within the West African, Haitian, and African American traditions. From each of these cultures I have selected at least two stories to explore in detail.
Throughout the unit you will find an array of activities and exercises that relate to the stories and goals presented. It is my hope that, upon completing this unit, both teacher and student will have rediscovered the value of the oral tradition and that all will have had ample opportunity to participate by collecting and telling their own folktales!
(Recommended for Drama/Theater, Language Arts, Social Studies, and English; Grades 4-8)
Drama Folktales Literature Oral Tradition