8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2016 7:43 PM by Jayanthi

    Folk Stories from around the world


      Folk story is an interesting way of knowing more about a place and its people.Most children respond well to stories.At the beginning of a story,the place can be shown on the map.A reference to the history of the place can be shown.This is to set the background for the story.The story can then be narrated.

      The follow - up questions can be :

      a)What did they enjoy the most? b)What do you think was the attire of the characters? c) Which is your favorite character?

      This activity encompasses language,geography,history and ICT skills.

      Here's one story from a collection of an ancient Indian interrelated animal fables in verse and prose called Panchatantra.

      The Little Mice and the Mighty Elephants

      Once upon a time a village was devastated by a strong earthquake. Damaged houses and roads could be seen everywhere. The village was, as a matter of fact, in a total ruin. The villagers had abandoned their houses and had settled in a nearby village. Finding the place totally devoid of residents, the mice began to live in the ruined houses. Soon their number grew into thousands and millions.

      There was also a big lake situated near the ruined village. A herd of elephants used to visit the lake for drinking water. The herd had no other way but to pass through the ruins of the village to reach the lake. While on their way, the elephants trampled hundreds of mice daily under their heavy feet. This made all the mice very sad. Many of them were killed while a large number of them were maimed.

      In order to find a solution to this problem, the mice held a meeting.In the meeting, it was decided that a request should be made to the king of elephants to this effect. The king of mice met the king of elephants and said to him, "Your Majesty, we live in the ruins of the village, but every time your herd crosses the village, thousands of my subjects get trampled under the massive feet of your herd. Kindly change your route. If you do so, we promise to help you in the hour of your need."

      Hearing this the king of elephants laughed. "You rats are so tiny to be of any help to giants like us. But in any case, we would do a favor to all of you by changing our route to reach the lake and to make you more safe." The king of mice thanked the king elephant and returned home.

      After sometime, the king of a nearby kingdom thought of increasing the number of elephants in his army. He ordered his soldiers to catch more elephants for this purpose.

      The king's soldiers saw this herd and put a strong net around the elephants. The elephants got trapped. They struggled hard to free themselves, but in vain.

      Suddenly, the king of elephants recollected the promise of the king of mice, who had earlier talked about helping the elephants when needed. So he trumpeted loudly to call the king of mice. The king of mice hearing the voice of the king of elephants immediately rushed along with his followers to rescue the herd. There he found the elephants trapped in a thick net.

      The mice set themselves on the task. They bit off the thick net at thousands of spots making it loose. The elephants broke the loose net and freed themselves.

      They thanked the mice for their great help and extended their hands of friendship to them forever.



      Share your folk story in the comment section.You can then take students on a story trip to all the places! Encourage children to maintain a story journal.Please do share your classroom experience if you implement this activity.

        • Re: Folk Stories from around the world

          Here is an interesting activity that I found that can be made around folk stories :


          Kaavad is a rich, oral tradition of storytelling in Rajasthan, believed to be 400 years old. Kaavad is also the name of the medium used for this kind of storytelling. It is a portable shrine, which has a visual narrative of mythological and folk tales. The shrine is not just a religious piece of worship, but also a wonderful collage of images that are bound together in stories by the storyteller, the 'Kaavadiya'. As each door of the Kaavad opens, a new chapter in the story unfolds.


          Source : Kaavad

          It would be nice if any one of you reading this can add a folk story from your region. We can share the stories in our classrooms - probably while studying about different countries in a geography class - adding a folk story will trigger more interest.glen_wholmesgjulesfischy - this can be incorporated in an ICT class too - probably making a blog / designing web pages would be another interesting activity.Please do share your inputs.Thanks

          • Re: Folk Stories from around the world

            Here's an interesting Japanese Folktale :

            Source : Geowonderland: Bamboo Hats and a Rice Cake, Japanese Folktale

            Bamboo Hats and a Rice Cake, Japanese Folktale

            Long time ago in the mountains buried by snow, there lived an old couple. They didn’t have much, but they always managed to get by. Unfortunately, one year the winter came early and there was not enough wood to keep them warm and not enough rice to keep them full. The New Year was just around the corner and the New Year celebration without a rice cake was almost unimaginable. The wife found her wedding kimono and handed to her husband, “We don’t have another choice as to sell it.”


            “But this kimono was passed from one generation to another, we can’t sell it,” protested the husband.


            “We don’t have kids, so we don’t have anybody to pass it on,” insisted the wife. The husband was hesitant, but he knew that there was nothing else he could trade for food. So he packed the kimono and headed to the market in the nearby village.

            Between the two villages, there was a shrine with six statues standing outside and covered in snow. The old man bowed and was very apologetic, “Forgive me, I have nothing to offer, but to pay my respect.” He went on.


            On the small bridge, he met his neighbor, who was already coming back from the market. “Did you sell any fans today?” asked the old man.


            “No” said the neighbor “It’s hard to sell fans during the winter. But I was hoping to sell few in order to buy a kimono.”


            The old man thought for a moment and said, “I was planning on selling a kimono. We could as well trade.” The young woman was mesmerized by the red kimono, “It would make me very happy.” The old man traded the kimono for fans and continued to the market.

            By the time he reached the market, it was busy with people; some selling the goods, others buying them. The old man tried his best to sell the colorful fans, but nobody was paying any attention to him. He was so upset that another seller took pity of him and traded a gold bell for the fans. “I should have no problem selling a gold bell,” thought the old man. “It’s just in time for the New Year.” It was already late afternoon and a lot of people already left. The discouraged man decided to return home.

            Right when he was exiting the market, a young man approached him to buy some bamboo hats. “I don’t have any money, but I can trade my gold bell for some bamboo hats,” said the old man.


            “I can give you five bamboo hats in exchange for this bell,” said the young man. They both agreed and the old man continued his journey back home. He again stopped by the statues. He was sad that he didn’t have anything to offer them, but then he remembered, “I have the bamboo hats, which at least will cover your heads and protect you from snow.” One by one he put the hats on. When he got to the last one, he realized that he needed one more. So he took off his hat and put it on the statue.

            By the time he got home, he was covered in snow himself. He was sad that he took his wife’s kimono and didn’t bring any rice cake back. “You didn’t bring the rice cake, but you achieved much more by showing kindness to the statues,” said the wife.


            “You think so,” said the husband.


            “I know so,” answered his wife.

            During the night, when the couple was deep in sleep, a loud thump awakened them. They peeked out and couldn’t believe their own eyes. Right in front of their door, there was a gigantic rice cake on a straw mat. They looked around and saw the statues in a distance. The statues stopped and bowed to the couple from the distance.

            The couple had a wonderful New Year’s celebration and with the amount of rice they received, they were well fed to the rest of their years.


            Stories like these can be extended to learn more about a place.You can have activities around this :

            1.Where is Japan?Fact file : This island nation of East Asia located in the Pacific Ocean is officially called the Nippon Koku, which means State of Japan. The neighboring countries of North Korea, South Korea, Russia and China are located west of Japan. Source :Where is Japan? Location of Japan

            2.Show a kimono or ask one child to dress up in a kimono.Are there different kimonos for boys  and girls?

            3.Bamboo hats,straw mats imply that earth-friendly materials are used to make stuff- can you think of some more similar materials that can be used to make stuff that you use?

            4.Make rice cakes and share the recipe with the class

            5.Learn 2-3 words in Japanese

            Try this out!And share your stories

            • Re: Folk Stories from around the world

              Here's an interesting resource that you can use in your classroom :  Geography

              • Re: Folk Stories from around the world

                Just stumbled upon this site on how to use storytelling in your classroom : Story Arts | Finding Folktales to Tell

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