Folktale Exploration


Part I – Library Search

1. Go to a library and find two picture book versions of one of the fairy tales listed here, preferably not a Disney version, and not a “fractured tale,” but a conventional telling.  Choose one of the following tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Jack and the Beanstalk, or Snow White.


 Part 2- Read and Reflect on two books


2. Read both of your picture book versions, taking note of differences and similarities in the tellings and the illustrations.  Are there notes in the book about the history of the tale and the source of the telling?


3. Record the complete bibliographic information for both of your picture books.


(4) Create a list or write a paragraph outlining the similarities and differences you find between the two tales, including differences in the illustrations.


(5) In a concluding paragraph discuss your interpretation of the differences between the two tales.  Do changes in the tales reveal changes in political and cultural values, changes in attitudes toward children and what is considered suitable for them?  Would you use either of these tales with children?  Why or why not?


Part 3 – Internet Search

(6) Once you have read these tales and formed your own opinion, search for them on the internet by typing in the name of the tale.  You will have to use your judgment about which sites to pursue – there are several worthwhile sites devoted to each of these fairy tales, but many red herrings as well.  Try to keep a record of your searches.


(7) Print some copies of pages, or write down the links, and bring to share with the class information and examples of sites that you found most useful and illuminating.  How might you use these sites in creating assignments for students in a library or classroom?

Has what you found on the web changed your opinions about your tale?  Why do you think these old tales continue to have such a strong appeal and create so much interest?

Reflect on your experience.


Part 4 – Exploring tales from other cultures


Note: When we complete our final project on multicultural celebrations, you will be exploring folktales from that culture.  You might want to look for tales from other cultures to add to your reading log while you are in the 399.2 section of the library.

Consult the book lists in Appendix C in  Gangi for some excellent suggestions.