Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Exploring World Cultures Through Folk Tales

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 30- to 35-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will:

  • Read cross-cultural folk tales and depict them visually

  • Briefly research world countries using the Internet

  • Present folk tales and their research to the class

  • Gain a better understanding about another country and give suggestions for or initiate more in-depth research

back to top


Session 1

1. Divide students into three small groups and pass out a different folk tale to each group. Explain to students that they will be reading folk tales from different countries around the world and sharing them with the class.

2. Discuss the origins of students' families by plotting or pointing out the countries on a map. You may want to record all the countries of student ancestry to illustrate the multicultural aspect of your classroom and our nation.

3. Ask students to read the folk tale aloud in their small groups. Students should work cooperatively as a group and decide on the major events of the story. Each student should then complete his or her own Story Sequence form.

back to top


Session 2

1. Divide students into their groups again and have them review the folk tale that they read on Session 1 using the Story Sequence form.

2. Students should begin planning for their presentation of the folk tale to the class. Since none of these folk tales include illustrations, each group will create their own visual interpretation of the story. Illustrations must be drawn on a poster board, but students can decide how the story is best represented visually (e.g., comic strip, collage). Tell students that whatever form they choose, the visual should help the class better understand the story.

3. Have students work cooperatively to complete the project. Each student should have a specific role in the group. If a student is not comfortable drawing, he or she can write captions or volunteer for another task. Allow students to choose their own roles within the group, but encourage each student to identify a specific task to complete.

4. When they are finished creating their visual interpretation, groups should practice retelling the story aloud using the visual they created.

back to top


Session 3

1. Pass out the Research form to each student and explain that they will be gathering information about the country where their folk tale originated.

2. Students should use the Internet to complete the Research form. Some helpful websites include:

back to top


Session 4

1. Allow small groups to share their graphic illustrations and research with the class. Students should be prepared to give "two stars and a wish" after each group's presentation. That is, students can volunteer to give two positive comments about the presentation and one constructive comment on how the presentation could have been improved. Also allow time for questions and answers.

2. When students are finished sharing, discuss what it was like to learn about another culture and what was the most important thing they learned. Be sure to emphasize that it takes much more research to fully understand the culture or people of another country. Have students give suggestions on ways they could learn more about the particular countries.

back to top



To extend these activities, have students look up and define the bolded words in the folk tales. Students can answer the comprehension questions and use the newly learned words in a story. Another idea is to have students write a detailed report about the country they researched, or find and share other folk tales from that country.

back to top



  • Observe students while working in their small groups to ensure that each student has identified a specific task and is working on that task.

  • Be sure the story is accurately retold and that students accurately comprehended the folk tale.

  • Assess whether the presentation was clear to the audience.

  • Check to be sure that the research and story sequence forms are completed accurately and completely.

back to top