Oral Tradition
Fairy Tales, Fables, Legends, and
Oral Traditions
 Oral
traditions is a term that includes fairy
tales, fables, legends and tall tales, and
 Oral traditions were composed long ago, in
many cases before books were available to
the general public
 Although each type has its distinctions, all
oral traditions have a shared purpose of
teaching the reader a lesson about life.
A fairy tale is a story
composed orally and
then passed along by
word of mouth
Intended to teach a
moral lesson
Usually include
magical elements
A fable is a brief story or poem, usually with
animal characters that talk, that teaches a
lesson about life called a “moral.”
Legends and Tall Tales
 Legends
and tall tales are stories handed
down over generations that are generally
believed to be historical
 They usually contain fantastic elements,
such as people with extraordinary abilities
or characteristics.
 Legends and Tall Tales are sometimes used
to explain origins or natural occurrences
Many legends and fables are influenced by
cultural context - the background, customs,
and beliefs of the people who originally
told the story.
Myths are stories usually containing
super-human beings that explain natural
occurrences and express beliefs about
right and wrong.
Myths are used to explain:
• Natural phenomena
• Origins of animals, landmarks, and
natural entities
• Lessons about right and wrong

Oral Tradition - rauschreading09