Create an Animal Folk Tale

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers, crayons, or paints
  • Lined paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Stapler

What You Do:

  1. Look up African folk tales online with your child, and read a few aloud to familiarize them with the genre. Draw their attention to the folk tales' characters, themes, language, and conventions. 
  2. Invite your child to think of an interesting or favorite animal that they would like to write about. Suggest that they select an animal with unique physical traits or interesting behavior.
  3. Encourage your child to brainstorm out loud a story about their animal of choice. Remind them that their folk tale will explain in an imaginative, lyrical way how their chosen animal behaves the way it does, or how it got its appearance.
  4. Once your child has selected an animal and a topic, have them begin by writing their folk tale on some blank paper. If your child has trouble writing, feel free to let them dictate the story to you as you write it down.
  5. Once you or your child has written their original folk tale, help them assemble their book. Ask your child to begin by folding the pieces of construction paper in half, to create the book's pages.
  6. Children can then rewrite their story on the construction paper, or cut and paste the story from the blank paper onto the bottom half of each page.
  7. Now the story is ready to be illustrated! Encourage your child to illustrate each scene with markers, crayons, or paints, or to cut out images from magazines to create collage artwork. Alteratively, your child can illustrate the story using a medly of hand drawings and cut-out images.
  8. Once each page is fully illustrated, have your child design a front cover that includes artwork, a good title, and the author's first and last name. Bind the cover and pages together with the stapler. 

Encourage children to practice reading their completed book to themselves before they share it with family or friends. As they practice reading their folk tale out loud, they will work on their reading skills and on speaking with a strong, clear voice.

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