Lesson 2: Creating Change in Folktales

In order for folktales to maintain meaning, storytellers adapt them to their own particular time and place. This is especially true as stories go from one culture to another where the context can be dramatically different. This lesson invites storytellers to adapt the Wolf tale to their own contexts.

Many stories in cultures from all around the world are told to teach children about dangers in their own communities. The stories often have endings that include an individual or community-based way that controls the danger. The Lang Village baker and his wife solved the problem by making buns laced with poison. When the wolf ate the poisoned bun, it died and the children were safe to play outside. The Florida story about how to tame a rattlesnake makes it clear that only certain people should handle dangerous snakes. Write down a story you have heard in your community that solves a problem related to danger or create a story of your own. It can involve crossing the street, not talking to strangers, driving safely, not taking drugs, or other warnings that you hear from adults. Make your ending inventive. Post your story.

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