As some of the foundational texts for beginning readers, fairy tales are a staple of many classrooms. This lesson allows students to engage with fairy tales from different regions around the world and compare important cultural elements of these stories.
Through studying Beatrix Potter's stories and illustrations from the early 1900s and learning about her childhood in Victorian England, students can compare/contrast these with their own world to understand why Potter wrote such simple stories and why she wrote about animals rather than people.
In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures. They will learn how both types of folktales employ various animals in different ways to portray human strengths and weaknesses and to pass down wisdom from one generation to the next.