A look at the benefits of introducing Folk Tales to your young students.
More information on the power of drama in developing SEL strategies!
More Classic Folktale Recommendations for Your Class to Explore:
The Magic Horse of Han Gan by Chen Jianghong
This story, written by Chen Jianghong, is based on both a man named Han Gan, an actual painter from the Tang Dynasty c. 760, famous for painting majestic horses, and the Chinese legend that follows a magical horse. In this tale, a young boy, Han Gan, paints a beautiful horse that comes to life and assists a great warrior. The warrior and the horse are unbeatable. Soon though, the horse becomes distressed as he does not enjoy seeing so much destruction, but the greedy warrior wants to continue the battle. Eventually the horse finds compassion in his soul and returns to the painting of Han Gan.
The Boy and the Violin
Once upon a time there was a man with only one son. When the man dies the boy is left completely alone. He decides to sell all of his belonging so that he may invest in a beautiful violin. His music is sad yet beautiful. When he goes out in search of a job as a shepherd for the king, he is turned away. He plays his music in a nearby forest and all of the animals, including the sheep flock to him because his music is so beautiful. The boy enjoys meeting all of his new animal friends, so he begins to play happier music. Eventually the other shepherds bring him to the king who asks the boy to play his music for his daughter who never laughs. Seeing the boy playing his music alongside all of the animals, the king’s daughter laughed hysterically. With this wonderful reaction, the king makes the boy the prince of the kingdom.
How the Rabbit Lost his Tail
There once was a rabbit who had a beautiful long tail. He boasted about it to everyone he knew. The fox grew jealous and frustrated so he tricked the rabbit into fishing in a cold river using only his tail. The fox explains that after a week of fishing he will trade his fish for a beautiful tail comb at Cherokee Village. The rabbit thinks that if he simply fishes all night, he will have enough fish to trade at Cherokee Village without waiting a full week. Overnight, however, the water freezes and when the fox helps the rabbit out of the water the next day, his tail pops off. That is why the rabbit has such a short tail.
Just Out of Reach
A thief had broken into the synagogue and stolen the poor box. The Council of Seven convened to discuss the issue and decided that the poor box would be moved up high so that thieves could no longer reach it. When the Shammes (synagogue caretaker) heard this news, however, he pointed out that now the box was out of reach of the charitable as well. Thus, it was decided that they would build a staircase to the box so that the charitable could easily reach it.
Masha and the Bear
A young girl named Masha goes to pick berries with her friends in the forest but somehow, she loses sight of her friends and becomes lost. She finds a small hut. Upon entering she realizes that a bear lives there. He takes her in and says she cannot leave, or he will eat her up. So, one day, Masha devises a plan. She bakes many pies and asks to take them to her grandparents’ house. The bear says that she cannot go but that he will take them instead. She agrees but secretly hides beneath the pies in the basket. The bear arrives at Masha’s grandparents’ house and places the basket on the front step before being chased away by dogs. Her grandparents open the basket to find Masha safe and well.