Favorite Folktales

Purpose:  To create meaningful dialogue about culture, while allowing students an opportunity to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills; for intermediate to advanced levels, though lesson could be modified for lower level learners.

Prep time:  Approximately 15-30 minutes, depending upon resources available.

Materials:  Pencil, paper, a book of folktales or photocopies of a few folktales.  Visuals are helpful!

Preparation: Tutor chooses favorite folktale of own to share.  Make copies if planning a reading lesson.  Locate books or other examples of folktales to share.  Prior to session, ask learner to think about a story to share as well.


  1. The tutor begins by sharing one of his/her favorite folktales with the learner.
  2. Discuss folktales and what they are.  The tutor shares other folktales from a book and discusses some common themes. 
  3. The tutor asks the learner to share a folktale from his/her country. The tutor asks:
  • What are some common cultural stories in your home country?
  • Who are some popular characters in your culture (example: Lena and Ole in Minnesota culture)?
  • Do the stories have a moral or lesson?  If so, what are some common themes?
  • What is your favorite folktale (or who is your favorite character)?  Why?

Variations:  Learner writes his/her own folktale using some of the common elements found in folktales.  Learner shares his/her story with a class, puts the finished product in a portfolio, or submits it to be published.

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