Folktales: What Do They Teach? Day 1 of 2

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to identify key details in folktales.

Big Idea

Anansi, Coyote, Lo Po Po, what lessons do you bring to teach us?


5 minutes

Summary and Context

Today, we start by discussing the lessons the characters in Abuelo and the Three Bears learned. We will begin first with Socratic Seminar. Afterwards, the students will have an opportunity to choose a folktale, read it, identify the key details, and identify the lesson the main characters learned.

The CCSS calls on for students to not just recount the events in a story but for them to understand the lessons the characters are learning. In this way, the students can understand the important message the author is teaching us through the characters. This is one way to bring the author to the forefront with students at this stage.

I am having the students choose folktale from different countries so that they are exposed to other cultures, and how cultures/countries share wisdom through stories too. At the same time we learn about a culture through the stories that are told by that particular country.

Afterwards, students will be able to spend time writing about their folktales.

Lesson Opening:

Briefly, I introduce the objective for today: I can read a folktale and figure out what the lesson the author wants us to learn. We will read it quietly. I dismiss the students to get their anthologies and come back to the rug to begin Socratic Seminar.

Socratic Seminar

15 minutes

For Socratic Seminar today, we will discuss the following questions:

1. What does the story of Abuelo and the Three Bears teach us?

2. What lesson does Trencitas learn? How do we know?

3. What Does Abuelo Teach Us?

4. What lesson does Papa Bear learn? How do we know?

I am looking for them to answer with complete sentences. I am looking for them to refer back to the text to answer these questions with evidence. I am looking for them follow the rules of participation, that I reviewed in the beginning. I am looking for them to hand-off--that means pass on to their classmates the opportunity for them to speak--efficiently. I am looking for me to become more and more of a facilitator. I am keeping an eye out to when intervene--and maintain the conversation flowing. My students can reference the Handing-Off Chart for discussion starters to help them enter the conversation.

I have attached a document that gives more in depth details of how I implement Socratic Seminar in my classroom.

Choosing a Folktale

5 minutes

During recess, I took the opportunity to place different titles at their desks, so that the books would be ready for them.

I am looking for students to browse the texts and to make an informed decisions based on their interests and reading capacity.

I am walking around helping them make informed decisions. These boys noticed these titles are written by the same Author. Good for them.

In putting together the titles for them to choose from I thought of Gerald McDermott, I thought of Anansi the Spider series, I thought of representing the different continents so that they would be exposed to different cultures.

Today, we are supposed to have a practice fire drill and it may happen at around this time. I will have to see the impact of it on the lesson.

Reading the Folktale

15 minutes

Everyone is reading independently because everyone has a book they can read independently. I made sure of that.

I am looking for them to readg quietly and to reread if they finish earlier than the allotted time. The reason I am having them do this is because I want my students to practice reading slower and learn how to take more information in. I want to wean them off thinking this is a race and they need to finish first. I want them to become deliberate readers and I am hoping this will help them.

I seek to expose my students to different versions of the same story. In this case this student reads a Chinese version of Red Riding Hood: Lon Po Po.

As they read, I walk around and make sure they are on task. I like to ask questions to check in:

WhatFolktaleAre You Reading?

One of the skills I have taught my students is to pay attention to the details the illustrations give us about the setting, characters and events.

In this case, I am posing questions to these two students to help them figure out the setting.

Identifying the Key Details

15 minutes

Now my students work in their response journals. They are identifying the key details: setting, character, problem and solution.

I am looking for them to do this without much difficulty. Once they identify these details I ask them to identify the lessons for the characters.

Some of my students will need help identifying the lesson. To help them out, I ask them to think about what repeats in their story, what words or phrases. Those words and/or phrases gives us clues as to the lesson.

For others, I will need to make sure they are staying motivated to find the problem and the solution.

Here are some of journal responses:





Yes, theMonkeyTrickstheCrocodile

What do we notice about folktales?

7 minutes

When we read fairytales, the students were able to identify elements of fairytales. I gather my students on the rug so that we can brainstorm elements of folktales.

I create a chart about what they are noticing and discovering about folktales. We will continue to add to it as we read more folktales.

This time allows me to bring closure to the lesson too.