Freshman A: what is a folk tale (and how is folklore different from mythology?)

After yesterday’s class on mythology, today we looked at folk tales.

First we looked at the following two quotes and journaled to the following question:

The folktale “tends to absorb something of the place where it is narrated – a landscape, a custom, a moral outlook, or else merely a very faint accent or flavor of that locality.”
-Italo Calvino

“Folktales from the oral tradition carry with them the thumbprints of history. Each place, each culture, each teller leaves a mark.”
-Jane Yolen Favorite Folktales From Around the World

Based on these quotes, what can you infer (guess) about folktales? How do folktales (also known as “folklore”) differ from myths or mythology? Can you identify any famous American folktales or folk heroes?

In groups we read two stories (like this one) while we filled this out:

What do you notice about…
-The Characters:
-The setting (the time and place where the action happens):
-Is there a moral to the story?
-Does this story remind you of another one?
-Anything else you noticed?

This was turned in to Mr. Shulkin/Ms. Gummoe.

We finished class talking about how these folktales represented the culture they originated from and why some cultures have very similar folk tales or folk heroes.



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