ERIC Number: EJ713645
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 32
Discovering the United States through Children's Folk Literature
Social Studies, v96 n2 p86 Mar-Apr 2005
A nation's folk literature offers a window into its people and their beliefs across time and geographic locations. Whether the stories are tall tales, creation stories, or fairy tales, they reveal insights into the make-up of the populace--what they believe, what motivates them, what their attitudes are, how they behave, and how time and place shape the stories. An amazingly rich body of folk literature is available for children, and in this article, the author focuses on picture-book-format folk stories set in the United States--all of which have the potential to enrich social studies concepts and to teach young children about different U.S. geographic areas. She has divided the United States into five regions--Northeast and New England, South, Midwest and Plains States, Southwest, and West and Pacific States. The author focused on books published since 1994, thus making them easier for teachers to find and share with children. She examined close to ninety books for this article, certain themes emerged in the literature. The themes include simple, well-told folk tales set in various time periods and different regions of the country and tall tales full of heroes with superhuman strength.
Descriptors: Fairy Tales, Folk Culture, Childrens Literature, Picture Books, Geographic Regions, Tales, Geography Instruction, Young Children, Reading Materials
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A