Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Telling Tales

Brown, Marcia, and Robert L. Egolf. Stone Soup: An Old Tale. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947.

A couple of weeks ago I read and told folktales to a group of visiting kindergartners. The children really surprised me with their reactions. I started with one of my childhood favorites Stone Soup
about three hungry French soldiers who visit a town in search of a bite to eat. I asked the kids how they could tell it was an old story. I was expecting them to mention that the villagers didn't keep their food in a refrigerator, or that the streets were made of stones instead of cement, or that they cooked over a fire instead of an oven. Instead, one of the children shouted out "because there were Nazis!" Next I told the class a story from Ghana about Anansi the Spider, and they thought I had said "Nazi the Spider."

Kimmel, Eric A, and Janet Stevens. Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. New York: Holiday House, 1988.

It turned out that the children (kindergartners!) had recently learned about the Holocaust. I decided to switch my lesson plans around a bit and told the story of The Three Little Pigs. Afterward, we discussed who was meaner--Anansi the trickster or the Big Bad Wolf. (I left Hitler out of it.)

Galdone, Paul. The Three Little Pigs: A Folk Tale Classic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.