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Elements of Traditional Literature
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Students will be able to recognize the elements of fictional text.
- Tell students that today, they will be learning about genres of literature called fairy tales, folktales, and fables. These genres are all examples of fictional Traditional Literature.
- Discuss new vocabulary, and what each word means. Traditional Literature comes from all different countries, and is comprised of stories that were passed orally, through telling stories aloud, from generation to generation. Fables are stories that contain a lesson or moral, such as The Tortoise and the Hare.
- Explain to students that The Tortoise and the Hare is a fable because it has a strong moral. The moral of the story is that taking time to do something right, rather than rushing it, means you will do it better.
- Show the class the folktales and fairy tales you will be talking about today.
- Provide student friendly definitions of the following vocabulary words in English and L1and have students record them in their reading logs or journals prior to the lesson: characters, setting, problem, solution, plot, magic, transition words, moral, etc.
- Put students in pairs and give students a bilingual dictionary and notecards with the following vocabulary words written on them: characters, setting, problem, solution, plot, magic, transition words, and moral.
- Allow students to define and create illustrations for each word and record them in their reading logs or journals prior to the lesson.
Explicit instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Start by looking at folktales and fairy tales together.
- Tell your students that folktales and fairy tales are similar, so they have many things in common. Ask students to name a few fairy tales that they’re familiar with.
Once you have a list of fairy tales from students, write a list of common elements that are found in fairy tales and folktales, including:
- Special numbers (things usually happen in 3s or 7s)
- Use of specific language (“Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after”)
- Animals that talk, think, act, and feel like people
- Takes place in the past
- Good character and bad character (good vs. evil)
- Teach a lesson
- Tell students that not all fairy tales and folktales have all of these elements, but many do.
- Using the chart attached, revisit the story of Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola.
- Fill in a few of the elements for the class, backing up your assertions with evidence from the book.
- Have a peer or teacher read aloud a fairy tale, fable or folktale to beginner ELs prior to the lesson. During the read aloud, stop and point out the elements of fictional text and connect to the vocabulary words written in the reading logs or journals.
- Allow students to read a fairy tale, fable, or folktale with a peer prior to the lesson. Encourage them to use the following sentence frames to discuss the story they are reading and connect to the elements of fictional text:
- The characters are ____.
- The setting is ____.
- The plot is ____.
- An element that makes this story fiction is ____.
- Give students a copy of the Fairy Tale Chart to refer to as they read the story with their partner.
Guided practice/Interactive modeling(5 minutes)
- Encourage the class to help you finish filling out the elements chart for Tony’s Bread. Students should discuss how they know the story has certain elements using text evidence.
- Allow students to sit next to a sympathetic non-EL student as the whole class fills out the chart.
- Provide students with the following sentence stem to illicit in depth conversation:
- I found ____ on page ____. I know this is an element of fictional text because __.
Independent working time(30 minutes)
This independent working time will be completed in small groups.
- Divide students up into five groups, and assign each group a different fairy tale to read and analyze.
- Each group will take turns reading their fairy tale, and discussing which elements their book has from the Fairy Tale Chart.
- Once they have finished reading their fairy tale, each group should fill out the chart for their story.
- Students who finish first should read independent reading books until everyone finishes.
- As they read, ask students to look for elements in their independent reading books to see if the books are examples of Traditional Literature.
- Provide access to a simplified text, text read aloud online (that can be repeated), or allow students to read with a teacher.
- Provide students with a simplified graphic organzier to fill out that includes only the characters, setting, problem, solution, and a place to draw pictures for the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
- Allow students to read the stories with a partner. Encourage students to orally summarize the story after each paragraph and when finding elements, have students use the following sentence frame to aid in discussion:
- I found the element ____on page ____. I believe I found the element____because __.
- Enrichment: Students who need a challenge can read two fairy tale texts and compare/contrast the stories by discussing the fairy tale elements that they may or may not contain.
- Support: Students who need additional help should analyze shortened versions of the above fairy tales with easier text. As a variation, you can place these students in a group with the above level students so that they can work together to read on-level texts.
- Call students together and ask them to present their findings.
- Discuss their answers with the class, and fill in the remainder of the chart for each fairy tale together.
- Allow students to think-pair-share and answer one of the following questions in English or L1, referring to their simplified graphic organizer:
- Who was your favorite character from the story?
- Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
- Encourage students to use the following sentence frame as they share out:
- I found the element ____ on page ____. I believe I found the element____ because __.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Remind students to always think about elements a story has in order to determine if it is a fairy tale, folktale, or fable.
- Ask students to turn and talk to a neighbor partner, sharing their favorite part of the story in English or their home language (L1).
- Facilitate a whip-around-pass and ask students to name one element of fictional text in English or L1