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"Traditional literature reflects the long folk memory stretching from ancient times to the present. Over time and through many tellers, these stories altered, drawing upon each new generation's truth to become the stories we are familiar with today. Rich in tradition and richer in language, traditional literature connects the future to the past.

Traditional Literature

Religious/Cultural Literature Myths Creation stories Legends Tall tales Epics

Folklore Folktales Nursery rhymes Riddles Jokes Superstitions Proverbs Fables Home remedies

Folktales Fairy tales Noodlehead stories Animal stories Trickster tales Cumulative tales Pourquoi tales


Characters that are illustrated in the traditional literature such as Cinderella describe about a virtuous, hard-working young girl who is mistreated by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters and forced to sit among the ashes and do all the housework. With the help of a fairy godmother, Cinderella is able to go to the ball in style. She dances with the prince and makes a stir, but she has to leave by midnight, when all her finery will turn back into the rags and pumpkins and mice and such that it was magically made from. Cinderella hears the clock strike and runs down the steps of the palace, leaving behind one glass slipper. The prince, smitten with Cinderella, searches everywhere for the girl whose foot fits the slipper. After various machinations on the parts of the stepsisters, the prince finds and marries Cinderella, and they live happily ever after.


Cinderella have been tailored, rewritten, and parodied. Most important of all many authors have written Cinderella in cultures around the world. Reading fairy tales from different cultures around the world can be a creative way to develop childrens vocabulary. It is interesting for children to see how the same story theme can vary from one country to another. Good grace is worth more than mere beauty

Fairy tale Cinderella This is the best known type of folktale, and one of the most popular. Fairy tales, sometimes called "magic stories," are filled with dreamlike possibility. Fairy tales feature transformations, magical interventions, enchanted forces, and, of course, magic. Fairy tales always have a "happily ever after" ending, where good is rewarded and evil is punished.

Tale of some length, with a succession of episodes and motifs Setting does not have a definite location or time Includes magic and/or magical characters and marvelous adventures

Elements in Traditional literature

Theme A. Often universal in quality (That means all people are capable of relating to it, such as unfair treatment by a sibling.) B. Generally obvious and straightforward C. Usually deals with conflict or contrast, for example good vs. evil rich vs. poor young vs. old beauty vs. ugliness weak vs. strong innocence vs. wise.

II. Plot (the storyline or events) A. Quick, concise introduction B. Logical, fast-paced development of events C. Logical, abrupt ending after the climax or resolution of the problem D. Satisfying, definite conclusion (universal happy ending)

Elements in Traditional literature

III. Characters A. Stereotyped, onedimensional B. Can be animals or humans C. Represent types; they are not developed as flesh-and-blood people.

IV. Setting: "anytime, anyplace" stories

V. Style (word usage and structure of story) A. Limited description and detail B. Frequent use of rhyme and repetition C. Events occur in patterns of 3, 7, 12, and 40 (This pattern also appears in Biblical stories and in Shakespeare.). The number 4 occurs in Asian Literature. D. Reflects culture in which the story is found.

Elements in Fairy Tales

Setting: Time is vague and in the past. Example: Once upon a time; Long ago Place is very general and vague. Example: a forest; a castle, a hut

Character: Characters are simple. They have one really strong trait. Example: Sweet princess, loyal servant, brave prince, There usually are opposing characters. Example: Evil queen vs. brave knight; wicked step mother vs. virtuous child There are often magical creatures such as witches, fairies, fairy godmothers, etc.

Elements in Fairy Tales

Plot: Fairy tales feature transformations, magical interventions, enchanted forces, and, of course, magic. Stories can be rather lengthy and usually have several episodes. The story always ends happily. Good is rewarded and evil is punished

Style: Rich language is used, which sometimes sounds like the language spoken where the story came from. There is a lot of talking between the characters. Stories usually have common motifs such as a long journey, a palace ball, a magic slipper, a rose, a wicked step mother, a dark forest, a death-like sleep, a transforming kiss. There is a lot of imagery in the story, but not long and detailed descriptions.

Reason for using Traditional Literature for use in Malaysian Primary Classroom

Reasons for using traditional literature: 1) Provide a knowledge on diverse cultures Children will learn different lifestyles (attire, race, custom) in our country and other countries through reading short stories like Cinderella, Puteri Santubong,etc.

2) Provides moral models for children as the struggle between good and evil is applied to incidents in their own lives. Children can relate the moral values that contain in the stories into their daily life such as be patience, polite and hardworking. eg: Snow white, Bawang Merah and bawang Putih

3) Provides entertainment Most of the traditional literature has good storyline/plot because it has happy ending. It has lots of conflict and suspense. The story makes sense if there are magic

4) Opportunities to experience fantasy worlds Traditional literature can enhance childrens imagination through fantasy world which is not exist in the real world. eg: Cinderella-its pumpkin becomes transport, Snow White-mirror can talk to human,etc.

5) Carries on the strong oral tradition of storytelling

Teachers can use Big Book approach to tell the traditional stories to the children It is more meaningful and attractive because children like to see colourful illustration Children also can actively involve during the storytelling session-enhance oral development of children