Folktales and Stories

Students use the text and illustrations of fables and folktales to analyze setting, characters, and key details, allowing them to connect traditional stories to their own lives.

Unit Summary

This unit continues the yearlong theme of what it means to be a good person in a community by pushing students to think about how the lessons and morals from traditional stories and folktales connect to their own lives and communities. The unit launches by listening to the book A Story, A Story, in which students see the power of storytelling not only for entertainment, but also for learning valuable life lessons. Over the course of the unit, students will explore lessons and morals about hard work, happiness, friendship, honesty, and humility. Through discussion and writing, students will be challenged to connect their own lives with the sometimes-abstract lessons and stories in order to build character and a strong community. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with other units in the sequence, will help students internalize the idea that we not only learn from our own experiences, but we also learn and grow by hearing the experiences of others.

In reading, this unit builds on the foundation set in Unit 1. Students will continue to practice asking and answering questions about key details in partners, individually, and in discussion, although questions will require a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the text than in Unit 1. Students will learn to use the text and illustrations to both identify the setting of a story and think about why the setting is important to the story. Students will also be pushed to deeply analyze characters' traits, actions, and feelings and how those change and evolve over the course of the story. Once students have a deep understanding of the setting and character motivation, students will grapple with figuring out the lessons the characters learn and how they learn them. Finally in this unit, students will begin to notice the nuanced vocabulary authors use to help a reader visualize how a character is feeling or acting.

In writing, students will continue to write daily in response to the text. The focus of this unit is on ensuring that students are answering the question correctly and using correct details from the illustrations and text to support their answer.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What lessons can we learn from reading folktales and classic stories?
  • How can we use the lessons we learn from folktales and stories in our lives?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Orally produce complete sentences.
  • Write complete simple sentences.

Vocabulary

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Text-based

advice aghast amazement ashamed courage demand dishonest folktales fool gentle generous gullible impatient insult intend justice lazy livid mischievous misfortune misunderstood patience peaceful respect satisfied selfish stretch thoughtful unusual unfortunate valuable wasteful wise

Root/Affix

-ful re- un-

Related Teacher Tools:

Content Knowledge and Connections

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Lessons learned in the unit:

  • It is important to get to know people. You should not judge someone by what they look like.
  • You should think carefully before you act.
  • Do not be greedy. Be thankful for what you have.
  • Be careful what advice you listen to. You need to think for yourself.
  • Be kind to everyone. Show kindness and share with others.
  • There are many ways to solve a problem.
  • You should keep trying, even if you do not get what you want right away.
  • Be honest. Always tell the truth, even if it is hard.
  • Only take what you need.
  • Women are powerful and important.

Lesson Map

1

  • A Story, a Story

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

Explain how you can tell that Ananse thought stories were valuable.

2

  • Anansi (Melon)

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

Describe Anansi by asking and answering questions about character actions and traits.

3

  • Anansi (Rock)

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

Describe Anansi by asking and answering questions about character actions and traits.

4

  • Anansi (Magic Stick)

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

Describe Anansi by asking and answering questions about character actions and traits.

5

  • Anansi (Fishing)

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

Describe Anansi and what lesson he learned by asking and answering questions about character actions and traits.

6

    RL.1.3

    SL.1.1

    L.1.1.f

Defend if Anansi is a good friend.

7

Writing

    W.1.3

    L.1.1

    L.1.2

Write a narrative about another trick Anansi plays on his friends.

8

Writing

    L.1.1.j

Produce complete simple sentences orally and in writing.

9

Writing

    W.1.3

    L.1.1

    L.1.2

Write a narrative about another trick Anansi plays on his friends.

10

  • The Lion and the Mouse

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain why the lion changes his mind and what lesson the author is trying to teach us by using key details about the character to show understanding of the lesson.

11

  • Borreguita and the Coyote

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what lesson Coyote learns and how he learned it.

12

  • The Paper Crane

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Describe how the stranger’s gift changed the man’s life and what lesson the author is trying to teach.

13

  • Mama Panya's Pancakes

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what Mama learns at the end of the story.

14

  • It Could Always Be Worse

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what lesson the man learns and how the rabbi helps.

15

  • Ming Lo Moves the Mountain

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Describe the wise man’s final piece of advice and if was meant to trick or help Ming Lo.

16

Writing

    SL.1.5

    L.1.1.f

Decide if a sentence is incomplete or complete.

17

  • The Empty Pot

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what the king means when he says, “I admire Ping’s courage to appear before me with the empty truth.”

18

  • Why the Sky is Far Away

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what the sky means when it says, “perhaps through your own labor you will learn to not waste the gifts of nature” and what we can learn from this statement.

19

  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain how the Coffee Test helped Martina learn a person’s character and what we can learn from this.

20

  • Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folk Tale

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain what Juan Bobo is like and what we can learn from him.

21

  • Doña Flor

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Describe Doña Flor using specific details from the text.

22

  • Doña Flor

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Describe what lesson the author is trying to teach.

23

Opinion Writing

    RL.1.2

    W.1.1

    SL.1.1

    L.1.6

Defend if folktales are or are not silly stories that connect to our lives by stating an opinion and using facts and examples from the unit to support the opinion.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.1.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.1.1.f — Use frequently occurring adjectives.

  • L.1.1.j — Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

  • L.1.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.1.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.1.2 — Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

  • RL.1.3 — Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

  • RL.1.7 — Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.1.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups

  • SL.1.1.a — Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

  • SL.1.2 — Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.1.4 — Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

  • SL.1.5 — Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • SL.1.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.

Writing Standards
  • W.1.1 — Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

  • W.1.3 — Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

  • W.1.5 — With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Spiral Standards

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L.1.4

L.1.6

RL.1.1

RL.1.4

SL.1.1