Folktales and Archetypes English 10A: Archetypes and Folktales Due Tuesday September 22, 2009

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Folktales and Archetypes

English 10A: Archetypes and Folktales
Due Tuesday

September 22, 2009
Over the course of the past two weeks we have been studying archetypes and how they work in literature, television, and film. We are now going to take our knowledge of archetypes as they pertain to these mediums and apply it to one of the oldest forms of story-telling: folktales.
Essential Questions:

  • What are some common archetypes (patterns) found in folktales around the world?

  • How do archetypes serve as symbols for universal elements of the human experience?

  • What do a culture’s folktales reveal about the values of that culture?

To answer these questions, you will work in pairs. You will read 3 (or more) stories together, note important elements in the stories, and look for common patterns. You will interpret your reading to find information about the culture that created the folktales you read. After reading and responding to individual stories, you will work with your partner to create a final project in which you share your observations with the class.

You and your partner will have a degree of independence as you complete the work required for this unit. You will need to divide up individual responsibilities, check each other’s progress, and collaborate on a final project. Thus, it’s very important that you use your class time productively.

Part One:

Analyzing Folktales

  • Use the following website to browse through various folktales -

  • Select a category of story to read (for example, “transformation stories”, “Cinderella”)

  • Read 3 versions of this category of folktale. These versions should be from 3 different cultures.

  • As a pair complete one chart for each folktale (3 charts in total)

Part Two:

Using the information from the charts you are to prepare a final product which discusses the following information:

  • Observations about cultures (similarities and differences, inferences)

  • Common archetypes seen in the stories

  • Common moral or lesson learned.

Final product must also meet the following criteria:

  • Prominent title

  • Attractively presented

  • Use of one or more relevant images

Suggested formats include: posters, PowerPoint presentations, a small book, a dramatization, a puppet show, a film, etc.

Part Three:


Present your final project to the class using the elements of a quality oral presentation.

Note: Although the intention is to give the same grade to everyone in the group, your teacher may make adjustments as needed if equal participation is not evident.

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