Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 3 F's

Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Fables of course! When I asked the previous librarian if there was one thing she wished she had done more of or had more time for, she indicated that she felt students didn't have a strong foundation of fairy tales and nursery rhymes - that, perhaps especially in the past few years, there had been a larger focus on fractured fairy tales or funny versions that they never really heard the original. In an effort to combat this, I have scaffolded the different oral tradition stories through the early grades. In the first part of the year, for kindergarten, each of the six tables was labelled with, first farm animals for grouping, then during a nursery rhyme unit, pictures from six different nursery rhymes, and most recently during our folk tales unit, pictures from six different folk tales. By merely grouping the students in this way and calling them by singing the corresponding nursery rhyme or talking about the characters or setting of one of the folk tales, I reinforced the student's understanding of each of these. I plan to introduce and review fairy tales in a similar manner. Examples of corresponding stories were Mary Pope Osborne's "Kate and the Beanstalk" and then we compared and contrasted this version to Jack. We are currently reading the Emberley's "Chicken Little" and "The Red Hen". We've discussed common elements of The 3 Pigs and Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. First grade has reviewed folk tales reading different versions of Goldilocks and talking about how to find "just right" books and investigating Jan Brett books - many of which are based on folktales. Second grade is reviewing folk tales and fairy tales through a Paul O. Zelinsky study, looking at Caldecott Medal winner, Rapunzel; and Caldecott Honor book, Rumpelstiltskin. Third grade reviews folk tales and fairy tales and, prior to our "Here's to our Heroes" book fair in the fall, we introduced Tall Tales, taking a look at "Davey Crocket Saves the World" and we have reviewed tall tales looking at Paul O. Zelinsky's "Swamp Angel" and "Dust Devil" as well as Brian Pinkney's "John Henry.". We did a unit on fables leading up to this year's Caldecott announcement since "The Lion and the Mouse" was last year's selection. We looked at Arnold Lobel's 1981 Caldecott Medal winning collection of fables and Jerry Pinkney's Fable collection as an ebook on Google Books. Following the announcements this past Monday, we studied Jerry Pinkney as an author and illustrator which afforded the opportunity to integrate a reading of his "Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King.", which also connected to third graders' biography/wax museum projects that they are beginning. Very timely indeed. I'm sure there will be more of the 3 F's coming soon but I'd say, modestly too, that our library earns an A for integrating a smattering of oral tradition stories into the library curriculum this year.

1 comment:

  1. I struggle with fairy tales, because I actually believe some of the original versions are not great for children. And some of the "supermarket" book versions are written around whatever illustrations have been chosen. Frankly, they are woeful to read aloud. But integrating oral tradition stories is such a great idea, and I love the way our students can absorb so much from them.