Activity Description
Students learn about a genre through participation in a variety of online activities. By interviewing accomplished genre writers and storytellers, taking part in online writing activities, and using interactive technology tools, students delve into the history, meaning, and cultural importance of each distinct genre.

NOTE: Please be aware that there may be potentially objectionable material in some traditional myths. In order for ancient cultures to make sense of their worlds, which were often hostile, they sometimes incorporated violent elements in their stories. You may wish to preview the myths before assigning them to students.

The "Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales" project is designed so that you may choose any one or all of the three sections to explore depending on available class time and desired teaching focus. Since each of the sections is aimed at a different grade level, modifications of the activities are advised.

Myths From Around the World (Grades 6–10)
Students explore myths from 15 different countries in this online feature, based on the work of Sheila Keenan, author of Gods, Goddesses, and Monsters. Each myth is accompanied by a brief factual paragraph that situates the story within its cultural context.

Writing with Writers: Myth Writing With Jane Yolen (Grades 4–12)
Acclaimed author and storyteller Jane Yolen provides students with warm-up activities, writing tips, and a sample myth to help them learn and practice the art of myth writing. She also challenges students to write myths of their own, which will then be published on! Upon students' successful completion of the workshop, you can print out a personalized certificate of achievement signed by Jane to distribute to all participating members of your class. This component of Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales is also part of the Writing with Writers online activity which has it's own teacher's guide.

Myths Brainstorming Machine (Grades 4–9)
Do your students need help generating their own myths? Tap into their creative side with our fun, interactive Myths Brainstorming Machine! Students can choose characters for their myths, and place them into a graphical setting. A text-based scenario generator will then help them to outline their stories. The final product, a combination of graphics and text, can then be printed out and shared.

Writing with Writers: Folktale Writing With Alma Flor Ada and Rafe Martin (Grades 1–8)
In this five-step workshop, students learn to write their own folktales with help from well-known children's book authors. Acclaimed bilingual writer Alma Flor Ada and folktale writer Rafe Martin provide students with sample folktales, plus writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help them create their own folktales. The authors also give students guidelines on revising their writing, and provide general comments, suggestions, and ideas about writing folktales. When your students have successfully completed the workshop, print out certificates of achievement signed by Alma Flor Ada and Rafe Martin and distribute them to all participating members of your class. This component of Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales is also part of the Writing with Writers online activity which has it's own teacher's guide.

Exploring Everyday Folklore With Nina Jaffe (Grades 1–8)
In this online workshop, Nina Jaffe, author of Tales of the Seventh Day and many other folktale books, introduces students to many different kinds of folklore, and shares tips for researching, recording, and creating folklore from our own lives. Students explore many different elements of folklore — including games, recipes, proverbs, and songs or stories from friends, family, or community — and share them online.

Storytelling Workshop (Grades 1–8)
Students are guided by Gerald Fierst, a professional storyteller, as they learn about the art of storytelling and create their own story. Our storyteller provides students with a sample folktale they can listen to and read, plus writing tips, imagination exercises, and interactive lessons to help them create their own story.

Discovering Fairy Tales (Grades K–3)
Explore the history of fairy tales, the different cultures that have created them, and the magical elements that make them what they are in this basic introduction to the fairy tale genre.

John Scieszka: Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables (Grades K–3)
In these guided online activities, students meet Jon Scieszka, author of modern-day fairy tales and fables that poke fun at the more traditional tales. Through a variety of classroom activities, students have fun while learning about how fairy tales are created.

Lesson Goals:

Scholastic's Online Activities are designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. While participating in the Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales project, students become proficient with several of these skills.

  • Appreciate diverse cultures and traditions through folklore and folktales.
  • Compare historic world cultures with contemporary ones.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the genres by responding to questions.
  • Follow the writing process to create writing in different genres.
  • Identify unique characteristics of the genre: myth, folktale, folklore, and fairy tales.
  • Produce written work to show evidence of knowledge of the different genres.
  • Read and listen to genre examples to increase knowledge of genre characteristics.
  • Read myths and folktales to increase knowledge of world cultures and traditions.
  • Respond to questions about the folktale genre to demonstrate understanding.
  • Tell an original folktale to class members using appropriate fluency skills.
  • Use Web tools to access information about different cultures.
  • Use Web tools to write and publish original myths, folktales, and fairy tales.

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