Characters in Folktales The main characters in folktales are often ordinary common folk, such as Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk” animals that talk and act like ordinary people, such as the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse tricksters who rely on cleverness to outwit or trick more powerful opponents, such as Briar Rabbit
Themes in Folktales Folktales often show good triumphing over evil teach simple truths about ourselves give explanations for how something came to be
Why were these folktales, fables, myths, and legends told? These stories began as an attempt to explain and understand the natural and spiritual world, teach people cultural lessons, and entertain the people of that culture.
Reading a myth, legend, and folktale is much like reading a newspaper article. You have certain questions you need to ask yourself while reading: Who was important? What did they do? Why did it matter? Where and when did the events happen? What may happen next? How to read a folktale, myth and legend…
In order to answer those questions, we may need a refresher on some Literary Elements… What is a theme? A central message, concern, or purpose in a story. What is an example of a theme? Good prospers over evil. What is the plot of a story? What are the parts? The sequence of events in a story. The parts of the plot are the setting, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Summary A summary is a retelling in your own words the main events or ideas of what you read. What NOT to do with a summary… write down everything write down next to nothing give me incomplete sentences write way too much/don't write enough copy word for word A good summary should: pull out main ideas Focus on key events/details Use key words and phrases Be short, and to-the-point Be written in your own words
Plot Plot is the series of events in a story: Exposition (setting) Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution
Common themes in Folktales Folktales often show good winning over evil teach simple morals about life give explanations for how things came to be
Type of StoryDefinitionCharacteristics Myths Legends Folktales Fairytales. Fables Anonymous stories about gods and goddesses Explain things in nature, was passed down orally, and entertains Stories about the past that are based on real- life, historical events Based on truth, feature larger-than-life people, use exaggeration Short stories whose main purpose is to teach a moral or lesson. Short, teaches a moral or lesson, usually animals are the main characters Stories about ordinary people Reveal the values and traditions of its culture
Folk Tales vs. Myths FolktalesMyths have main characters that are ordinary people were created to entertain, teach, and explain traveled to different cultures have main characters that are supernatural gods were linked to traditions and religious beliefs tended to stay in culture of origin
What Have You Learned? _____________— Folk tales are always written down. _____________— Main characters in folk tales are gods with supernatural powers. _____________— Similar folk tales are found in different cultures. False True