Collecting Folk Tales



A couple of years ago, I used to teach 6th Grade Exploratory Spanish, also known as Spanish connections.  I came across two anthologies of folktales that were written in a side by side style (Spanish on one side, English on the other).  I had my students read the stories, then draw and color illustrations for a story they picked.  I had them use crayons, exclusively.

I personally love crayons.

There were a couple of drawbacks to this assignment. Since the stories had illustrations with them already, a lot of students just traced or copied the illustration that already came with book.  That was a little disappointing. I had a good time doing my own illustrations, and even went so far as to construct a mural by cutting out and gluing the pictures in collage form. I then filled in the gaps with more crayon and then used two sets of stencils I bought to add interest. I got a lot of compliments on it, but it went missing during my second to last classroom move.  Lucky for me, I had taken a photo of it.

I have also tried to do some folktale activities with my 7th and 8th graders, so at one point I bound them into little booklets to make them easier to read and collect in class. By then, I had collected more stories.  Here are some of the books I have in my classroom:

Stories from Mexico :   Historias de Mexico by Genevieve Barlow and William Stivers

Stories from Latin America :   Historias de Latinoamerica by Genevieve Barlow

Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet: Mexican Folktales selected by Neil Philip Illustrated by Jacqueline Mair  (awesome and bright color illustrations based on Mexican folk art)

Fiesta Feminina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale retold by Mary-Joan Gerson and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez

El Dia que Nevaron Tortillas / The Day it Snowed Tortillas: Folktales told in Spanish and English by Joe Hayes with Illustrations by Antonio Castro L.

Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys by Xavier Garza (I bought it because it contained a La Llorona story)

Stories from Mexico by Edward and Marguerite Dolch Illustrated by Ernest de Soto  (Written in 1960 by the Edward Dolch of Dolch Sight Words. “Told almost entirely in the “Storyteller’s Vocabulary”, which contains the 684 words most used in the telling of stories, as found by research” This was a cast-off from our school library and has a page or two missing and gang graffiti on some pages. A wonderful and useful collection of stories.)

The Bird Who Cleans the World and Other Mayan Fables by Victor Montejo

My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande by Rudolfo Anaya . Illustrated by Amy Cordova

Mayan Folktales: Folklore from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – Translated and edited by James D. Sexton

Latin American Folktales: Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditions Edited and with an Introduction by John Bierhorst.  (No illustrations, but the cover painting introduced me to Francisco (Chico) Da Silva, an awesome Brazilian folk artist)

Latino Read-Aloud Stories: Best-Loved Selections from Latino Cultures in Both English and Spanish Edited by Maite Suarez-Rivas

This is by no means the extent of the anthologies and resources available.  I still have some on my wish list.  But I am trying to learn that I don’t have to have ALL of the books on any given topic that I am interested in. I have also gleaned stories from online sources too numerous to list. Just do a Google Search, and you will find many.


One response »

  1. Pingback: All the Books… | Maison Celeste

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