Folktales, myths, and legends - Crestwood Middle School
FOLKTALES, MYTHS, AND LEGENDS Folklore and Traditional Literature Folklore consists of a people group (or folk) and all of its accumulated facts (lore) including: traditional customs, beliefs, knowledge, values, and attitudes of the ordinary people.
Folk + Lore = Folklore A folk's lore is communicated by word of mouth until it is transcribed (written down); this is called oral tradition. Before people groups had written languages, oral tradition was the only means of preserving the history of a people and its culture.
TRADITIONAL LITERATURE Folktales, myths, and legends are only one part (the literary part) of a folk's lore. Folktales are a society's narratives, stories, and literature. They are the stories that have been handed down from generation to generation.
values legends Beliefs Facts myths Folklor
e Customs Folktales The science of folklore was born when collectors ("folklorists") began collecting items to preserve the lore and history of various people groups. The birth of this science began in the early 19th century and is most often attributed to the Brothers Grimm, known best for their
collection of what are now well-known fairy tales: Red Riding Hood, SnowWhite, Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, etc. E XA M P L E S O F F O L K L O R E How do you cure the hiccups? What do you do at a birthday party? What is done with the brides bouquet at a wedding? How can you magically predict the gender of an unborn baby?
E XA M P L E S O F F O L K L O R E How do you make smores (somemores)? How do you build a snowman? What do you say when you smile for a picture? WHAT IS A FOLK
TALE? A folk tale is a story with no known author that usually teaches a lesson. Examples of American folktales include: Brer Rabbit, Paul Bunyan, Three Billy Goats Gruff, etc.
WH AT A myth is a story that usually explains something about the world and involves gods and other superhuman beings. Examples include: Medusas Head,
Prometheus Bringer of Fire, Iliad & IS A MYTH? WHAT IS A LEGEND?
A legend is a story often believed to be true and in which the characters are usually considered historical by some. Examples include Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Pecos Bill. MOTIFS IN TRADITIONAL
LITERATURE A motif is a recurring thematic element. lt is the smallest element in a tale having the power to persist in tradition. ln order to have this power, it must have something unusual or striking or universal about it. SOME COMMON MOTIFS:
Magical powers Transformation Making a deal with the devil Wishes Trickery T H R E E WA Y S M O T I F S A P P E A R I N L I T E R AT U R E : Characters
Example: The "underdog" brother (or sister), Prince Charming, the damsel in distress, etc. T H R E E WA Y S M O T I F S A P P E A R I N L I T E R AT U R E : Plot lncident Examples: The magic kiss, the long sleep, the journey, the difficult task, etc.
T H R E E WA Y S M O T I F S A P P E A R I N L I T E R AT U R E : Objects Examples: Hair, ring, water, magic cooking pot, flying carpets, etc. VoiceThread Questions Do todays
young people tell stories? Do you think these people are telling
stories or just goofing around & partying? Do children still enjoy
hearing stories? Is this story telling? Why or why not? How does it differ from face
to face story telling? What about myths folktaleslegends As a culture, do we still believe them? Tell them? Pass them on to other generations? Should we? Why do we or dont we?
What about? DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? WHY?... Myths are stories, and we find meaning in our lives through the stories we tell. Myths are not true or untrue they're living or dead.
--Phil Cousineau Once & Future Myths WE TELL STORIES WE FIND MEANING Myths are stories and we find meaning in our lives through the stories we tell.
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