Think Global! Retelling Stories and Folktales From Around the World

There are so many simple ways to get students to think globally. Last week I had my students practice retelling a folktale when it came to me.

Duh, if I am going to have students practice sequencing a folktale through retelling, why not add a simple question asking students to tell me where in the world the folktale originated? It was a simple one question addition to a graphic organizer that I could easily make myself.

That thought was all I needed, I was off and running with more ideas.

Instead of just including the question of where the folktale came from on the graphic organizer, I should include a map page to have students practice identifying that continent on a world map. It seemed a simple enough connection, and a great way for my students to show their understanding of where the seven continents are located on a map, something we have been working on in social studies.

Moments like this, a realization of a connection between subjects (especially anything connecting to social studies) make my teacher life so much better. Merging two subjects in a meaningful way is a win for students and myself. I love when this happens!

The resulting activity was a success. Once I had the graphic organizer put together and a map page laid out, students were ready to test out my design.

Reading Continents Map

First, students listened to a folktale from Africa, Anansí and the Pot of Beans . After listening to the story, they took out the graphic organizer and got to work. I told them ahead of time that the folktale came from Africa, so they knew what to fill in for that section. Then they got to the business of practicing retelling the story using the graphic organizer.

Sequence of a Story Preview

After the organizer was filled out they used the second page (which looking back I would have liked to make double sided to save some trees!) and identified the continent Africa by coloring it in on the map.

This simple second step of having them identify a continent on a map was a quick way for me to informally assess who remembered what we have learned about where continents are located on a map. It was also a great link to the story to make students aware that the story they listened to was from another place.

I am looking forward to using these graphic organizers with stories we read throughout the rest of the year. By using them again and again, students will have multiple chances to practice a great reading skill as well as identifying different places on a world map.

If you think you would be interested in making this global link with stories or folktales you read to your students you can grab a copy of my graphic organizer with map by clicking here.



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