I’m teaching two classes of United States History this year — one to Intermediate English Language Learners and the other to Beginning ELL’s. The first week of the school year is going to be a bit hectic as I try to figure out if any of the Beginners should be placed with the Intermediates. Between new students coming and and my doing assessments, it may take me two or three days to figure that out. I’d rather not move into my full curriculum with the Intermediates until we’re all clear about whose going to be in the class, so I needed to develop a plan for what I would do in that class for the first three days of school (since I taught the entire class English for two periods a day last year, they all know each other and me, so the value of lengthy introductions is pretty limited).
So I’m going to spend the first few days having students read Native American folktales in small groups, make presentations about them, and then explore folktales from their native cultures that they think might have similar themes. I’ll show some short animations, too. It will be a good “lead-in” to our early Native Americans unit.
In the course of searching for accessible resources, I also found other folklore sites related to other cultures. So, I’m including some of them here, but I’m going to continue to add to them. Please share your suggestions in the comments section.
Here are my choices for A Beginning List Of The Best Folklore Sites:
I’ll start off with Native American resources:
Navajo Creation Myth (animation)
Coyote and the Money Tree (animation) — I’m a little mixed about this one. Let me know if you think I should delete it from this list.
Starfall Folktales (animation)
Gullah Tales (animation)
Storycove YouTube Channel (animation)
The Myths (animation)
BBC World Stories (animation)
Bunyips — go to “Aboriginal Stories” (animation)
Dust Echoes (animation)
The English Language Centre at the University of Victoria has some nice Nasreddin folktales designed for ELL’s.
The English Club has a series of excellent podcasts, with supporting materials. of folktales.
The World Stories Project is “a growing collection of traditional and new stories representing the 21 most commonly spoken languages by children across the UK. These stories can be read, listened to and downloaded in English and their original language.” It also has an extensive collection of teacher resources, including lesson plans. And it’s all free!
Raven Tales was a Canadian television series featuring animated Native American folktales. It’s no longer on TV, but there are plenty of them available on YouTube, and the Smithsonian Channel has an episode guide.
Here’s a sample:
Viking Sagas is from The BBC, and features short videos with closed captioning.
You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Using Aesop’s Fables In The Classroom.
Additional suggestions are encouraged, please.
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