Folk Tales By: Carly, Natalie, and Lindsey

Folk Tales are stories that are passed down by word of mouth. Here are seven different titles of folk tales.

  • Goldilocks and The Three Bears retold by Marshall James (1988); would be a good mini-lesson to use for a play because of the dialogue
  • Jack and The Beanstalk retold by Nina Crews (2011); vocabulary: modernization
  • There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly retold by Lucille Colandro (2014); would be a good mini-lesson on repetition and rhyming; can make use of puppets
  • Johnny Appleseed retold by Rosemary Benet (2001)
  • John Henry retold by Jack Keats (1965); vocabulary: railroads, industrialization; would be a good mini-lesson for adjectives
  • Paul Bunyan retold by M.J. York (2013); vocabulary: logging, snowbank, cradled, Gulf of Mexico, Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, canal, Mississippi River
  • Pecos Bill retold by M.J. York (2013); vocabulary: Rio Grande, Coyote, cowboy, lasso

Below are two video versions that can be viewed


  • pick a nonfiction book and create a graphic organizer on text structure, main idea
  • compare and contrast a nonfiction and fiction
  • use a beach ball and write different questions on it like: "at the end..." "my favorite part was..." "name a key detail from the story..."


  • Narrative: write a folk tale about yourself
  • Opinion: What would you have done if you were Papa Bear or Goldilocks?
  • Expository Writing Prompt: By using the writing process and after reading either book, write an article to the local newspaper on how to properly plant an apple tree or beanstalk. Use details from the text to support your reasoning and steps.
  • Plan: After reading Johnny Appleseed and Jack and The Beanstalk, split the class into two groups and have each group do a different book. Do research on the planting process and how it relates back to the book.
  • Draft: Children will research the planting process for an apple tree or beanstalk, depending on their book. They will then take this information and develop a web or other graphic organizer of their choice. While working on the graphic organizer, students will need to add key details from the story they are assigned.
  • Revise: Hold conferences with children in small groups, and have the children peer review one another's drafts. Make suggestions on content, organization and story elements. Children then work on a revised version.
  • Edit: Once revisions have been made, children will then go through their own writing, as well as one another's pieces, to edit for spelling, sentence fluency and grammar.
  • Publish: The children will write or type their final copy and create an illustration. These can be laminated and displayed for others to read, or be made into a class book.


Visual representation:

There Was An Old Lady bubble stomach

Elements of Folktales poster

Grow a beanstalk with your class. Send a sign-up sheet home with students for parents to donate different items for growing the beanstalks in class. Some of the items needed are: soil, seeds, watering can, flower pots, etc.


When teaching Goldilocks and The Three Bears, do reader's theater for the story. This will work well with all of the dialogue and characters that can be assigned to multiple students.

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