folktales myths fairytales legends Genre Study









Where do these stories come from?

• Told by people all over world for hundreds or even thousands of years

• Oral storytelling of traditional stories

• Unique to a culture, but also lots in common with other cultures

• Written down by researchers/storytellers/authors

– Printing Press invented in 1440

Fables: Elements

• A fictional story that often involves magical creatures and places and has a moral to the story it tells.

• Include elements of the natural environment where the fable came from, along with native animals, forests, lakes, and other features of the region

• Told as a good way of educating children in proper behavior

Fables: Class Mentor Texts

• The Wind and the Sun (Aesop) endscreen&v=WdHhDp2bOAQ

• The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Aesop)

• The Ant and the Grasshopper (Aesop)

• The Tortoise and the Hare (Aesop)

Fables: Examples

• Aesop’s Fables

– Aesop (c. 620-564 BC) was a slave in ancient Greece who was a storyteller. Some think that he, “by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states.”


• “no writings by him survive…numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day

” (Wikipedia)

• The Hare and the Tortoise

• The Ant and the Grasshopper

• A Lion and A Mouse

• The Shepherd’s Boy / The Boy Who Cried Wolf

• The Dog and His Shadow

• The Goose with the Golden Eggs

• Jataka Tales

– India, 4 th Century BC

– Tell about the lives of the Buddha; shows a virtue

An ancient coin that is believed to show Aesop. (c, 540 BC)



Quick Reads with Your Book Club


• Title

• Author/Country/Year

• Summary

(in own words)

• Moral/Lesson

(in own words)

• Why have people kept retelling this story?

Folktales: Elements

• A folktale is a type of traditional story that tries to explain or understand the world.

• They are NOT considered to be true.

• Orally passed down through the generations and feature morals or lessons. Over many generations, the story may change, but its core remains the same.

• Usually take place long ago in a faraway place

• Talking animals, royalty, peasants, or mythical creatures

• Goodness is always rewarded. Heroes and heroines live happily ever after while villains are suitably punished.

• Usually have no identified author, but they mirror the values and culture of the society from which they came.

Folktales: Examples


Folktales: Class Mentor Text

• The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies

(Sorche Nic Leodhas)

• From Tiger to Anansi (Jamaica)

• Why the Sun and the Moon Live In the Sky

(Nigeria, West Africa)


Quick Reads with Your Book Club

• Title

• Author/Country

• Summary

• Moral/Lesson

Legends: Elements

• Stories that were once believed to be true, but its content has turned out to be fictional.

• Exaggerated, but within an area of possibility and are believable

• Contain a moral or meaning that is revealed within the story. (This is why these stories have been passed down over time.)

• Is focused on individual people and their accomplishments

• Fictional heroes or real people whose deeds have been exaggerated. They were either so lifelike or so admirable that people wished they were real!

Legends: Examples


Legends: Class Mentor Text

• The Origin of Stories, Seneca legend

(Native American)

• How Glooskap Found the Summer,

Algonquin legend (Native American)

• The Woman Who Outshone the Sun


• The Boy Who Lived With the Seals (Native


• Peboan and Seegwun (Native American)


Quick Reads with Your Book Club

• Title

• Author/Country

• Summary

• Moral/Lesson

Fairy Tales: Elements

• Characters: fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, gnomes

• Magic or enchantments

• Good wins over evil, the bad are punished, and the good prosper.

Fairy Tales: Examples


Fairy Tales: Class Mentor Text

Fairy Tales:

Quick Reads with Your Book Club

• Title

• Author/Country

• Summary

• Moral/Lesson