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Folk Literature

Unit 1.17 in SpringBoard Level 2: Introduction to Folk Literature.
by

Jen Simpson

on 26 April 2013

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Transcript of Folk Literature

Folklore The traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through generations by word of mouth. Legend A traditional story believed to be based on actual people and/or events. These stories tend to express the values of a culture. Example: The Lost City of Atlantis Over 11,000 years ago, there was an island in the Atlantic that was home to a very powerful people, thanks in part to the island's wealth of natural resources. This island was a center for trade and commerce for Europe and Africa.

Atlantis was said to be the domain of Poseidon, the god of the sea. He fell in love with a mortal woman and built for her a home atop the highest hill. She gave birth to five sets of twin boys, and they became the first rulers of Atlantis; the island was divided equally amongst the brothers, with the eldest having control over the central hill to protect their mother.

For generations, the Atlanteans lived virtuous and simple lives. However, once Zeus saw the immortality of the Atlanteans, he gathered the other gods and goddesses together to determine a suitable punishment for mortals living an immortal life. In a violent surge, the sea swallowed the entire island, along with all of its people. Summary of a story told by the philospher, Plato. Folk Tale An anonymous traditional story passed down from one generation to another. Think-Pair-Share: Work with your partner to list examples of legends you've heard of and what values they may exhibit about a culture. Example: Little Red Riding Hood Hint: usually revolve around animals, and goodness is ALWAYS rewarded. Summary: Little Red Riding Hood's mother asks her to take some baked goodies to her sick grandma who lives in the woods. She warns her to stay on the path and not to talk to strangers.

Little Red strays from the path to pick wildflowers and meets the Big Bad Wolf; she tells him where she is going. The wolf runs ahead of her and eats granny, dresses in her nightgown, and waits in her bed for Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Red notices the differences in granny's features, including her eyes, ears, and teeth. The wolf pounces on her and eats her. Her screams alert a woodsman who is working nearby. He comes and kills the wolf, allowing Little Red Riding Hood and granny to escape. Think-Pair-Share With your partner, identify 2 folk tales you are familiar with. How does "good win" in these folk tales? Directions:



As we explore the vocabulary for Unit 1.17, fill in the appropriate blanks in your Spring Board Book on page 43. Myth These stories typically explain natural phenomenon, beliefs or customs, or socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Hint: These stories usually involve gods or goddesses Example: Narcissus Echo was a wonderful storyteller, and Zeus would take advantage of her voice, using her to distract Hera so he could be with other women. When Hera discovered this, she took away Echo's voice except in repitition.

Narcissus was a very handsome hunter who rejected the love of everyone, saying romance was a waste of time and love a falacy. Echo chanced upon him and fell instantly in love. He refused her, so she retreated into the shadows to pine for her love until nothing but her voice remained. Narcissus, meanwhile, attracted the love of another youth, Ameinius, who begged him to reconsider love. Narcissus sent Ameinius a sword and asked for proof of his love. Ameinius plunged the sword into his heart, but not before he begged the gods to punish the vain Narcissus. Athena accepted the pleas, and cast a love spell on Narcissus, that he would fall in love with the next person he saw, but that the love would never be reciprocated. Narcissus soon came upon a spring in the woods in which he saw his own reflection for the first time. He instantly fell in love, and in desperation with the realization that he could never have the image in the water, he died.

The water nymphs, saddened by the loss of such beauty, tore his body to pieces and scattered them on the banks of the river. Thus grows the Narcissus flower. Think-Pair-Share What purpose does the myth of Narcissus serve? Fable A brief story that gives a moral and is usually told through animals. Example: Little Red Hen The Little Red Hen finds a grain of wheat, and decides to ask the other animals in the barnyard to help her plant it, tend it, and grow it. Subsequently, none of the animals will help her, so she decides to do the work by herself.

Through each stage (planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting) she asks for help from the other animals; everytime she asks, she receives no help.

Finally, after she has harvested the wheat and baked the bread, she asks who will help her eat it. All of the animals volunteer, but she refuses to allow them any bread because they weren't willing to work for it. "He who doesn't contribute, let him not eat." Think-Pair-Share With your partner, list at least 2 fables you are familiar with and explain what the moral of those fables. Tall Tale A story, often humorous, that is a greatly exaggerated recount of a local hero and his/her deeds. Example: Paul Bunyan The story goes that Paul Bunyan was born in Bangor, Maine. It took five giant storks to deliver Paul to his parents. His first bed was a lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. His father had to drive the wagon up to the northernmost tip of Maine and back again whenever he wanted to rock the baby to sleep.

As a newborn, Paul could hollar so loud he scared all of the fish out of the rivers and ponds. His parents had to milk two dozen cows to get enough milk for his breakfast bottle, and his mom had to feed him ten barrels of porridge every two hours to keep his tummy from grumbling and knocking the house down.

Within a week of his birth, Paul Bunyan could fit into his father's clothes. After three weeks, Paul rolled around so much during his nap that he destroyed four square miles of prime timberland. His parents were at their wits' end! They decided to build him a raft and floated it off the coast of Maine. When Paul turned over, it caused a 75 foot tidal wave in the Bay of Fundy. They had to send the British Navy over to Maine to wake him up. The sailors fired every canon they had in the fleet for seven hours straight before Paul Bunyan woke from his nap! When he stepped off the raft, Paul accidentally sank four war ships and he had to scramble around scooping sailors out of the water before they drowned.

After that incident, Paul's family decided the east was too small for him, so they moved to Minnesota. Think-Pair-Share Why does every region have its own Tall Tales? Fairy Tale A story that involves fantasy elements and are generally told for the entertainment of children. Example: The Princess and the Pea Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess.

One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it. It was a princess standing out there in front of the gate. But, good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. The water ran down from her hair and clothes; it ran down into the toes of her shoes and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.

"Well, we'll soon find that out," thought the old queen. She went into the bedroom, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty blankets on top of the mattresses.On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept.

"Oh, very badly!" said she. "I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It's horrible!" Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty blankets. On page 43 of your SpringBoard book, #2

As a pair, you will be assigned one of the above types of literature.

• Make a list of all the stories that you know that fit the definition.
• Choose one story that your pair knows well.
• Deliver a brief presentation to the rest of the class in which you tell the story and accompany the story with two or three drawings that illustrate key points of the story.
• Be sure to explain how your selected story fits the criteria of your specific type of folk literature. Assignment: Folk Literature Refer to your handout: As we explore the different categories of Folk Literature, fill in your chart with the appropriate attributes. I will model the first concept with you as we complete the presentation. Refer to your graphic organizer: Remember: A Legend is a category of Folklore, but each category of Folklore has its own attributes. What attributes within your graphic organizer do Legends have? Don't rule anything out yet--we may learn more as we explore other concepts. Keep up with your chart--we're on to the next concept! Don't forget to fill in your graphic organizer! Pssst... Share your graphic organizer with your partner. Have you selected the same attributes for each concept? Now, let's review what we've seen: 6 types of Folk Literature and their definitions.
An example of each type of Folk Literature. Ask yourself:
Can each of these stories be considered "brief"?
Should we define "brief" as anything less than 10 pages? 5 pages? Convince me. Can we consider each story was or has been told orally? Now that we've cleared that up... 10 minute extended paragraph response

On the back of your graphic organizer, write a paragraph responding to the following prompt:

How might each of these concepts help shape or define the historical perception of a culture or society? Make sure your name is on your graphic organizer and turn it into the bin, please. What else should we consider in this classification?
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