Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cinderella #310: Sharing Folk Literature with Elementary and Middle School Kids


Mount Olympus, backdrop for Greek Skit.
Spring, 2010
by Maile and Grace

Cinderella #310: Sharing Folk Literature with Elementary and Middle School Kids
Once upon a time, there lived an associate professor of literacy instruction, who taught at the of Washington State University. One day, he edited a book which "provides teachers with foundational understanding of the folk literature genre". It has four parts. Part 1 is the big picture of world folklore. Part 2 is breaks down and defines the sub-genres of folk tales, fairy tales, myths, tall tales, etc. Part 3 discusses the literary traditions of the "African, Asian, European, Jewish, Latino, Middle Eastern and South Asian, and Native American folklore." Part 4 is directed at teachers in the field who wish to "use folk literature in their classrooms through comparing versions of a single tale type." Here is what he has to say about Cinderella: "Cinderella is not a single text but an entire range of stories with the common element of a persecuted heroine who responds to her situation with defiance, cunning, ingenuity, self-pity, anguish, or grief." He also says that "it can be safely said that no other tale has so many early, independently created, and widely scattered versions." He concluded that "the process of listening to and reflecting on traditional stories can be an important component of literacy instruction. Teachers can use these stories as models for building literacy skills, encouraging critical thinking, and reflection as well as for presenting multi cultural and equitable perspectives."
From:Young, T.A. (2004) Happily Ever After: Sharing Folk LIterature With Elementary and Middle  School Students. International Reading Association, Inc.

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