May 26, 2014

Folktales, Tall Tales, and Fables {Oh My!}

It's the last Monday of the month, and that means it's time for another Poppins Book Nook theme post! Last month we had the super fun theme of "Planes Trains and Automobiles" and explored the world of transportation! Did you get to see my Stoplight Craft? We sure did a lot of very fun books. This month's theme is Folktales! I have always loved folktales and it was fun picking the books I wanted to share with my boys in this subject. I chose some that were traditional folktales, some that were tall tales and some classified as fables. All of them were very enjoyable and we had fun learning about oral story telling. We did a few activities too, which helped us understand more about our theme. So let's get started!

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We enjoyed a fun old book Tall Tales From the High Hills by Ellis Credle. We enjoyed the different short tales in this book because they all had a setting of an area similar to the Appalachian Mountain region which is very close to us. We could easily imagine these stories happening which makes them even more relevant and enjoyable. The book then comprises oral stories he told them about the area, events and people--and in true folktale fashion (for they were more folktales than tall tales), they are a bit too crazy to be true--even though the story teller SWEARS they are. It was fun to read these stories because they were set in an area very similar to our small town.

I enjoyed reading Two Greedy Bears to my two boys. We laughed at their silliness and the slyness of the fox. My boys also sheepishly admitted that they saw themselves in the story. Baby Britches enjoys retelling the story which is super cute.

The favorite folktale though...that was The Bremen Town Musicians. Oh how the boys hooted and howled at the antics of the animals. They had me read this story again and again. I did change a certain animal's name to donkey to make it easier for me to read. LOL!

We did a coloring page for it when we were done. I think we will be coming back to this book at another time because it was just so much fun.

Seeking some additional folktales? Here are some I recommend!

Tall Tales

Learning about Tall Tales was very fun. the boys first came in contact with a tall tale through a song. One of their favorite songs on their Wee Sing Kids' Songs CD is "John Henry".

"When John Henry was a little baby
Sittin' on his daddy's knee
He picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel
Said "this Hammer's gonna be the death of me, Lawd lawd. 
This hammer's gonna be the death of me."

I thought this would be a great introduction to tall tales since they already know the basic story from the song.
John Henry: An America Legend by Ezra Jack Keats
This book is an old but really great picture book about the story of John Henry. The illustrations have a great rustic feel and the story has a certain rhythm about it. We especially liked the extensive use of otomotopea when the story is talking about John Henry's race with the steam drill:

"Whoop! Clang! Whoop! Bang! John Henry's hammer whistled as he swung it. Chug, chug! Clatter! rattled the machine..." [pg. 18]

We read the story of John Henry from this great collection of tall tales. This story was written more like "fact" so we enjoyed finding the exaggerations in it. We also compared this version of the story to the other one.

Finally, we went through the lyrics of the song John Henry to see pieces of the story that we read. We had fun singing it together.

As part of our Tall Tales exploration we filled out a worksheet that examines the characteristics of tall tales. This helped us remember what makes a tall tale fit the genre.

I found some other great books of tall tales that I plan on reading at a later time: has a section with unit studies on some Tall Tales you might want to check out!


We didn't really get to the fables, but here are some great picks for teaching fables:

And if you like lapbooks, has a lapbook for Aesop's fables!

We REALLY enjoyed this month's theme. I especially enjoyed sharing these fun stories with the boys. They are an important part of literature and now that I've found them I'm going to make sure I incorporate them more often in our studies. I also plan on letting them watch  (on the old animated Disney tall tales. I watched them when I was little and enjoyed them immensely. I know they will too!

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway!

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the E.H.M. curriculum Journey into the World of Folktales (PDF) and one copy of the book that is required to teach it called Around the World in 80 Tales by Saviour Pirotta to further their learning all about folktales.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms and conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopterbelow to win:

Are you ready to see what kind of tales were explored by my fellow co-hosts?
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Do YOU have a post about folktales that you'd like to share with us? Add your OWN link so we can check it out!

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