An Introduction to Folktales

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SWBAT analyze a folktale in order to determine the moral by completing a graphic organizer.

Big Idea

Students read traditional folktales with a new eye. They look for lessons that can be applied to real life.

Modeling and Guided Practice

20 minutes

I told students we were going learn about a type of story that was passed along by mouth from generation to generation called folktales. I explained the characteristics of folktales, which I had written on a poster and posted in front of the class. The poster served as a visual reference for students. I told students these types of stories can have a moral, or lesson.  A moral is a lesson learned from a story. I told students we were also going to learn how to identify the moral.

I displayed the folktale, Three Billy Goats Gruff, on the document camera and read it aloud. Students followed along with their copy. After I read it, we identified the characteristics of the story as a folktale. It was long ago, there were three goats, there was a repeating phrase, good characters versus an evil character, and a happy ending.

Next, I modeled completing the graphic organizer, which included the title, moral, and text evidence. I displayed it on the document camera so that all students could see. I identified the moral of the story by asking, “What can human beings learn from this story?” Finally, I wrote the moral and highlighted evidence from the text to support my answer.

After I modeled for students, I guided them through reading another folktale, identifying its characteristics and the moral, and completing the graphic organizer. 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

For independent practice, students read a different folktale. They worked with a partner to identify the moral and complete the graphic organizer. Allowing students to work cooperatively gives them the opportunity to share ideas and engage in academic conversations surrounding the text. I walked around the room as students worked, providing assistance as needed.


10 minutes

I informally assessed students using a checklist. I reviewed answers on their graphic organizers as they worked. I assessed whether or not they were able to identify a moral based on the text. 


5 minutes

To close the lesson, students shared the moral of their folktale. This allowed students to hear the ideas of their peers. It also gave them practice speaking in front of others.