• Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year

    Created September 28, 2010
    Lions, Dragons, and Nian: Animals of the Chinese New Year: Dragon02

    In this lesson, the students study the differences between eastern and western dragons and discover why the eastern dragons are associated with the Chinese New Year. They learn about the dragon dancers and lion dancers in the New Years parade and discover that firecrackers are set off to drive off evil spirits, particularly one called Nian.

  • Stories in Quilts

    Created September 27, 2010
    Stories in Quilts: Story Quilt

    Quilts can be works of art as well as stories through pictures. They also tell a story about their creators and about the historical and cultural context of their creation through the choices made in design, material, and content.

  • Davy Crockett, Tall Tales, and History

    Created September 25, 2010
    Davy Crockett: Portrait

    Using the life of Davy Crockett as a model, students learn the characteristics of tall tales and how these stories reflect their historical moment. The lesson culminates with students writing a tall tale of their own.

  • Not "Indians," Many Tribes: Native American Diversity

    Created September 24, 2010
    Not Indians: wigwam

    Students study the interaction between environment and culture as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity that uses vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes.

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Created September 17, 2010
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Students explore the artistry that helped make Washington Irving our nation's first literary master and ponder the mystery that now haunts every Halloween--What happened to Ichabod Crane?

  • Folktales and Ecology: Animals and Humans in Cooperation and Conflict

    Created September 17, 2010
    Folktales and Ecology

    The study of humans and animals in cooperation and conflict within folktales from different cultures lends itself to a simple lesson on ecology and endangered species to help students can make connections between the relationships between human beings and animals in folklore and the relationship between people and the environment in our world.

  • Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore

    Created September 17, 2010
    Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore

    Through examining several examples of tales from around the world that focus on the relationship between people and animals, students will learn about humans living in cooperation with the land and sea and with the beasts that inhabit them. This lesson plan addresses various helpful animal tale types, such as animal nurses who rear great heroes after they have been abandoned as infants, and beasts that lend supernatural aid to humans.

  • Fairy Tales Around the World

    Created September 17, 2010
    Fairy Tales Around the World

    In this lesson plan, students read and learn to understand fairy tales in order to recognize their universal literary structures and themes. They compare similar fairy tales from different cultural and geographic regions of the world to see over-arching plots featuring conflicts between good and evil and imagery and motifs that are repeated across many cultures and time periods.

  • The Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Poetry: A Prelude to Beowulf

    Created September 7, 2010
    The Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Poetry: A Prelude to Beowulf

    After encountering visually stunning examples of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and engaging with the literary conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry, students will be prepared to study Beowulf. Dispelling stereotypes about the so-called “dark ages,” this lesson helps students learn about the production of early manuscripts and the conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry, solve online riddles, and write riddles of their own.