Folktales and Folklore
Use these resources to teach students about folklore, have them analyze folktales that have been passed down from one generation to the next, and tell one of their own!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
This resource will help you and your class take time to think about how and why folklore is woven into our lives.
These three categories define places and groups where you can look for different types of folklore.
Students brainstorm the evolution of communication, explore folktales and their elements, and study and create cryptology (secret codes).
Students identify and practice writing in different genres as they compare traditional fairy tales and fractured fairy tales.
Second graders experience the joy and richness of literature as their teacher introduces them to The Tale of Despereaux.
Books and Book Resources
Guide students in recognizing cause and effect with Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema.
Follow a step-by-step lesson to help even shy students find their voice and make a story their own.
Students read and discuss American tall tales, including their common characteristics.
Extension activities for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema.
This content resource includes links to various children's author sites. Teachers may use this to gather information for a classroom study on folktales. Many author links and a helpful teacher's guide are included.
Students will engage with Franny Billingsley's The Folk Keeper by writing diary entries based on the book and researching mythical creatures.
Pourquoi tales are used thematically to make many subject connections through different activities. Provides a bibliography of sources and a teacher resource center links.
Requires students to choose characters and settings, and use them to create scenes for a story. Students organize events into sequence then write stories from the first-person or third-person perspective.
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light.
Children will develop cooperation, literacy, and creative-thinking skills as they work in small groups to develop a puppet show based on favorite folktales in this ready-to-use teaching idea for three- and four-year olds. Activity: Dramatic Play.
Children will discuss the concept of a folktale and create their own folktale to develop creative-thinking, language, and writing skills in this ready-to-use teaching idea for four- and five-year olds. Activity: Literacy.
Children listen to a silly poem then use their imagination and language skills to create their own.
Students feel such empathy for Trixie in Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, it's easy for them to produce writing to go along with this activity. Students are happy to see Trixie reunited with Knuffle Bunny.
Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! is a great book for a play on folk tales. It is a updated tongue-in-cheek Little Red Hen. It can be used for the play on words with all the misunderstandings of the iguana. In the side margins, a cookbook runs along with the story that is great for older students to use in following directions, measuring, fractions, and giving background food information. The students loved the antics, misunderstandings, and great enthusiasm of the iguana.
The Giant Carrot is yet another version of the classic Russian folk tale that children love. I like to read it along with other variations featuring "big" potatoes, turnips, and cabbage. Children love comparing the books and enjoy the humor. Students enjoy using realistic details when coloring in their profiles.
Children love A Little Story about a Big Turnip, by Tatiana Zunshine. I like to read it along with other variations of this classic Russian folk tale featuring "big" potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Children love comparing the books, as well as the humor. In this lesson, students will "retell or dramatize traditional literature." --Massachusetts English/Language Arts Curriculum Framework
Extension activity for The Three Billy-Goats Gruff by Ellen Appleby.
In this multicultural folktale, Flossie takes a joyful and comic journey through fox-haunted woods as she carries her basket of eggs to Viola. "Makes you purely glad all over." — New York Times
Extension activity for Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack.
Try these discussion prompts for the tale of a Pawnee boy who longs for a pony, by author Caron Lee Cohen.
Explore the suspenseful book by Philip Pullman, which takes place on a snowy winter's evening.
A servant boy who knows more than his master, a mischievous princess, and a magician who doesn't believe in magic team up to confront a mysterious ghost in Avi's most delicious tale yet!
Extension activity for The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell.
Students explore themes from the book by Tomie dePaola on a Native American legend.