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Urban Legends

A lesson plan in which we use urban legend to enhance communicative skills

SP Mullen

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Urban Legends

Did You Hear?
General Objectives:
Identify the Urban Legend Genre, as well as its structural elements.
Be able to produce your own Urban Legends.
Identify and express your opinions on the cultural and social purposes of Urban Legend Genre.
Urban Legends!
is an apocryphal, secondhand story, alleged to be true and just plausible enough to be believed, about some horrific, embarrassing, ironic, or exasperating series of events that supposedly happened to a real person. As in the "classic" examples coming, it's likely to be framed as a cautionary tale.
Fear Fact
Key Elements:
FEAR: The logic behind each story is our fear of the unknown and
Story Telling: How the story is conveyed from person to person.
• It's a narrative (a story).
• It's alleged to be true.
• It's just plausible (sometimes just barely plausible) enough to be believed.
• It’s veracity (truthfulness) is unproven.
• It's of spontaneous (or uncertain) origin.
• It's likely to take the form of a cautionary tale.
• It varies in the telling.
• It circulates by being passed from individual to individual, either orally or in written form (e.g., via text, photocopy or email).
• It's attributed to putatively trustworthy secondhand sources (e.g., "a friend of a friend," "my sister's friend etc.).
Classic Urban Legends:
• The Microwaved Pet
• The Call is Coming From Inside the House!
• Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light!?
• The Hook-Man
• Ants in the Brain
• The Killer in the Backseat
Legends spread from person to person
Urban legends are a type of folklore, defined as the handed-down beliefs, stories, songs, and customs of ordinary people ("the folk"). One way to differentiate urban legends from other narrative forms (for example, popular fiction, TV dramas, and even news stories) is to compare where they come from and how they're propagated. Unlike novels and short stories, which are produced by individual authors and formally published, for example, urban legends emerge spontaneously, spread "virally" from person to person, and are rarely traceable to a single point of origin. Urban legends tend to change over time with repetition and embellishment. There can be as many variants as there are tellers of the tale..
25 Most Popular
Urban Legends Still Being Told
Urban Legend characteristics
Real or Fake?
Deciding what is an Urband Legend.

Urban Legends
The phrase "urban legend" entered the popular lexicon in the early 1980s with the publication of folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand's first book on the subject, The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings (W.W. Norton, 1981).
"Urban" means relating to a city, but urban legends do not have to take place in a city. They can happen anywhere. The word "urban" is used because it suggests they are tales that could happend today. "Urban" in this case means modern.
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