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Identifying Structural Components of a Folktale

Ogechukwu Ozo-Onyali

Last Updated: 4:17PM Today

About This Lesson

For the unit, students will interact with various genres of literary texts.They will read folktales, drama and poetry. This lesson introduces
students to folktales. They will identify and explain structural components of a folktale including symbols. This lesson prepares students to
be able to examine the relationship between symbols and theme in folktales. and begins to teach students how to explain the major
differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems.

Students should know the various genres of literary text.

1.5 hours

Potential Use

Coaching, Classroom Instruction, Small Group

4 - Higher Ed
English/Language Arts
English Language Arts
Reading: Literature
Craft and Structure
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5 (grade 4): Explain
major differences between poems, drama, and
prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems
(e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts
of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage
directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

Students will identify and explain a structural component of a folktale; symbols, by identifying a character in a story and what they symbolize.

Students will identify symbols in folktales in order to explain their meaning by identifying characters in a folktale and what they

The learners in this classroom have varied levels of background knowledge and they learn through varied means. The story will be read to
the students using illustrations and background story about the setting to enhance student's understanding. The students will also be
guided through the read-to-self in order to enhance their fluency skills. They will also use drama to enhance comprehension. The students
will have the option of presenting their work in an oral or written form.


Students will choose a character, think about what quality the character symbolizes and give three evidences in the text that show what the
charcter symbolizes.


Instructional Methods


Teacher introduces the lesson by reading and explaining the days objective, breaking it down into simpler parts so the students
understand what they would be learning. They would be encouraged to ask questions if they had confusions or worries about the
objectives and/or what they would be learning.

Anticipatory Set

Teacher engages the students in a discussion about folktales guiding the discussion towards identifying folktales as based on traditions
and beliefs of a people, passed down from generation to generation, use animals to symbolize a human quality, and they often contain
lessons.Teacher introduces the word Folktale, and tells the students that symbols are used a lot in folktales to develop the theme
Teacher introduces the vocabulary words, and students take turns to say what they thought the words meant and teacher explains or expands on each word
with examples.

Class will review what traditions and beliefs are by discussing traditions and beliefs that is practiced in their own homes. Teacher will display the word 'symbol' on
the document camera and Define 'symbol' as a concrete, recognizable object that represents a bigger idea. then together with the students, generate a list of
common symbols in order to review the term. Teacher will also display some known symbols such as M for macdonald, the various types of "STOP" sign.

Introduction and Modelling of New Skill and Knowledge
Teacher Introduces the story The Fisherman and the Kaha Bird and tells students that it is an example of a folktale, a story that has been passed down orally
for many generations. Build students knowledge by explaining that the story is set in ancient Iran. A Shah ruled Iran and was the most powerful person in the
land.Then she reads the entire story as a read-aloud. Using illustrations to help students get a better understanding of the story.

Guided Practice with Leading Questions

The teacher gives each student a question strip and a section of the story to read. The questions are a guide towards finding the symbols in their reading pointing
to specific evidence in the text to support their answers. The teacher then models with the first section:
What does the Kaha Bird do? (helps the poor and sick; he says, I wish to help; he brings fish every day; he appears to someone in need)
Teacher then goes to each student and together they read through his/her section in order to practice some reading fluency.

Independent Practice
Each student then completes his section and becomes an expert on that section by reading and annotating the sentence(s) that answered their question
strip. The students are also given highlighter tapes to put on words they cannot read or understand.
The students are then split into two acting groups and given parts/scenes in the book to read and act out.

Guided Practice
Using Resource sheet 1, the teacher models how to fill in the chart by identifying one of the characters (Kaha Bird) and what it symbolizes
in the story. Together with the students they complete the chart with evidence from the story that points to the bird as generous.
Independent Practice
The students will now complete their characteristic resource sheet with any character of their choice, indicating what they symbolise and
show three evidences from the text to support their choice.

Review and Closing
The teacher reviews the students work giving feedback immediately and working the student through gray areas.
Teacher then refers to the day's objective and reminds students that symbols are recognizable objects or markings that represents a bigger idea. (Ask
them to name some symbols that were discussed today) and how they are used in folktales to represent a human character trait. She also reviews how

they were able to use details in the story to find out what a character symbolizes in the story. Teacher then asks the students to read the "secret
message" for homework and try to identify a character(s) and what they symbolize in the story.

Words in context---Visual vocabulary cards

The Fisherman and the Kaha Bird (Reading/Writing Workshop, pp. 94-97; Unit 2, Week1, T16)
The Secret Message (Literature Anthology; Unit 2, Week 1, pp. 90-103, T25A)
Resource 1: Folktales and Their Characteristics (2 copies per student)(shared and small groups)