Third grade just launched into a study of folktales. As a kickoff, each class came to the library for an introduction to folktales. We used a slideshare that listed many elements of folktales as well as kinds of folktales.
Then, I showed students a Google form with 3 questions. This form was displayed while I read a folktale aloud. Question 1 was the title of the book. Question 2 was a list of checkboxes that listed out all of the elements from the slideshare. Question 3 was about what kind of folktale.
At the end of the story, students paired and discussed each of the checkboxes to decide if those elements were present in the story that we read. Finally, we came back together and checked off the elements that were present in the story. Students raised their hands as I called out the elements. If we had a majority of hands, we automatically checked the box. If it was less than half the class, we stopped and discussed and voted again. If few people raised their hands, we left the box blank.
For the first class, this was the end of the lesson, but for the other two classes we looked at the summary of responses in Google forms to see what folktale elements were the most common in the stories we read. I sent the form to the 3rd grade teachers and they are going to share it with their students. A next step will be for students to read folktales on their own and fill out the form. Then, we’ll really be able to notice the trends of which folktale elements are most common in our library folktales.
One piece I didn’t incorporate into this, which would be really cool, is to insert a question about where the various folktales are from. Then, I could have embedded a gadget to put a pin on a world map (like I did in this lesson) to track where our folktales were from. This might be an addition for next year.