ERIC Number: ED246467
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Universality of the Folktale with Examples from Days of Old.
Mueller, Marie R. Lindsay
A folktale may be defined as a tale of the people, a short, fast-moving oral or written adventure story perhaps of a comic or romantic nature. It is a traditional story of a particular group of people and follows a basic design. Since it is told by many storytellers, it has differing versions or variations. Because it has been handed down through the ages, its origin often is lost. Folktales include epics, ballads, legends, folksongs, fairy tales, myths, and fables. They are often formulaic, for example, "Henny Penny" or "The Sky is Falling In"; the chain tale, based on numbers, objects, or events; the dialogue pattern; and the accumulative stories as in "The House That Jack Built." Folk themes may be universal in nature. Many countries have stories following similar themes: foolish people who do foolish things; virtues such as humility, kindness, honesty, and hard work; and the power of love and kindness. Perhaps the most universal of fairy tales is Cinderella, with some 1,000 versions extant. Often the variation for a country reveals the character and values of the people. To make use of the wide variety of literature offered in fairy tales, teachers can use the public library system and their local school or county film catalogues to explore the diverse material available. Activities for students can include making advertising posters for particular tales, making mobiles, writing book reviews, and writing alternative endings to tales. (CRH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Regional Reading Conference of the International Reading Association (10th, Reno, NV, March 1-3, 1984).