Cuentos folclóricos y de hadas (Folk and Fairy Tales)

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Focus on:

• Instructional Terms: Genre Study – Folktales and fairy tales

• Instructional Terms: Academic Language – personaje, ambiente, argumento, narrador

• Lesson with scripting in Spanish for El zapatero y los duendes (The Shoemaker and the Elves) and Las estatuas agradecidas (The Grateful Statues)

• List of thematically-related books in Spanishish • ¡Ojo! – Things to keep in mind when teaching Spanish • Exploring English through dialogue

• Exploring language through cognates: estatuas, protectoras, chaqueta,

entusiasmo, representar, rápidamente


Las estatuas agradecidas (The Grateful Statues)

Synopsis: A poor, old, Japanese man tires to sell his wife’s cloth at the market so

they can buy rice for a New Year’s feast. No one buys the cloth. On his way home the man drapes the cloth over five stone statues to protect them from the snow. The special stone statutes repay the man and wife for their kindness.

El zapatero y los duendes (The Shoemaker and the Elves)

Synopsis: A shoemaker and his wife are surprised when pieces of leather are made

into a pair of shoes while they sleep. After many nights and many pair of shoes, they stay awake to find out who is making the shoes. The shoemaker and the wife think of a way to repay the elves that have been making the beautiful shoes.


Genre Study: Folktales and Fairy Tales

Folktales are stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk.” These stories have been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. Folktales include fairy tales, legends, myths, fables, and tall tales. Most folktales teach a lesson about life and include an “underdog” character that usually triumphs in the end. In the folktale Las estatuas agradecidas, children can see what happens when the old man does a good deed and decides to protect the special statues instead of saving his cloth and his jacket. Fairy tales are stories that involve magical elements or creatures, such as fairies.

Scope and Sequence at a Glance

Genres • Folktale • Fairy tale Word Study

• Recognizing that the prefixes in-,

des-, re- change the meaning of

base words

• Categorizing words with the suffixes -mente, -ísimo, -dad Grammar

• Recognizing and selecting adverbs as words that describe an action

Comprehension Skills • Sequencing events from a folktale • Matching the problems to

solutions that occur in a fictional play

• Categorizing settings, characters, and plots from two similar stories


• Writing dialogue for a play

Unit Guide for

Cuentos folclóricos y de hadas

(Folk and Fairy Tales)

Destination Reading Course II – Spanish


Academic language: personaje, ambiente, argumento, narrador

Ensure children are familiar with “school” words used in this unit. Explain that plays always have three elements: people, or characters (personajes), a place, or setting (ambiente), and a story, or plot (argumento). Explain that a character who does not talk with the other characters, but instead speaks directly with the audience is called the narrator (narrador).

Give clues and ask children to identify the term. For example, say: Soy un personaje

pero nadie me habla. ¿Quién soy? (I am a character but no one talks to me. Who

am I? (the narrator)

If appropriate for your classroom, teach children the English version of the words.

• personaje character • argumento plot

• ambiente setting • narrador narrator


Vocabulary: use context sentences to pre-teach words from the play

aldeanos, alejarse, simular, umbral, maravilloso.

Read the following sentences to children twice. Then ask them for the meaning of the target word. Write the vocabulary word on the board.

1. Los aldeanos se reunieron para cuidar los cultivos.

(The villagers gathered to look after the crops.)

2. El perrito entró corriendo a la casa para tratar de alejarse del perro grande.

(The small dog tried to get away from the big dog by running in the house.)

3. Mi hermano simuló estar enfermo para evitar jugar al béisbol.

(My brother pretended to be sick to avoid playing baseball.)

4. Una vez que cruzas el umbral ya estás dentro de la casa.

(After you walk over the threshold, you are inside the house.)

5. Me encanta el nuevo juego, es maravilloso.

(I love the new game: it’s marvelous!)

If appropriate for your classroom, teach children the English versions of the words.

• aldeanos villagers • umbral threshold

• alejarse to get away from • maravilloso marvelous • simular pretend, mime

Comprehension Strategy/Skill: Comparing Two Stories Book list

This is a list of books in Spanish that are folktales and fairy tales. Children will enjoy reading or listening to these books. Las bellas hijas de Mufaro by John Steptoe

A Zimbabwean story of Nyasha and Manyara, two sisters who vie to be the most beautiful girls of the kingdom.

Domitila: Cuento de la Cenicienta basado en la tradición mexicana by Jewell Reinhart Coburn A Mexican version of Cinderella. La bella durmiente, Cenicienta, La sirenita, La cigarra y la hormiga by Combel Editorial This book contains the stories of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and the Ant and the Grasshopper.


Build Background

To build on children’s background knowledge, start a conversation with them about comparing characters. Hold up and recap two stories (preferably folktales or fairy tales) that you have read as a class and that have similar characters, settings, or plots. Say: ¿En qué se parecen los personajes de estos dos relatos? ¿los relatos

transcurrieron en diferentes lugares o ambientes? (What was alike about

the characters in these two stories? Did the stories take place in different places, or settings?) Discuss how things are the same and different in each tale.

Set Purpose for Reading

Tell children: Van a leer dos cuentos tradicionales. uno de los cuentos

tradicionales es una pieza teatral. El otro es un cuento de hadas. Al leer piensen en cómo son los personajes de cada cuento. (Now you are going to

read two folktales. One folktale is in the form of a play. The other is a fairy tale. As you read, think about what the characters are like in each tale.)


Have pairs of children read the story together. As they read, one student should pay attention to what the characters are like in Las estatuas agradecidas and the other should pay attention to what the characters are like in El zapatero y los duendes. Encourage children to make sketches or take notes to help them remember. Repeat the process as children focus on the setting and plot.

Differentiated Instruction

Extra Support: Have students draw pictures of the characters in each tale. Advanced Spanish Students: Pair an advanced student with an extra support or

special needs student. Have the advanced student pose questions, such as: ¿Qué

personajes venden las cosas que hacen? ¿Qué relato sucede en invierno?

(Which characters sell things they make? What story takes place in winter?)

Dual language: Ask dual language children to write a bilingual list that describes

the setting in each tale.


As an informal way of checking children’s understanding of comparing two stories, ask them to use their sketches and notes to fill in a Venn diagram. Divide the class into three groups and have each group complete one diagram: Personajes (Characters), Ambiente (Setting), and Argumento (plot). Allow time for groups to share their diagrams.

Unit 4: Cuentos folclóricos y de hadas

¡OJO! (Watch out for . . .) • Children will probably not be

familiar with jizo statues. Explain that in Japan, Jizo is considered the guardian of those who have died, and that he protects travelers, women, and children. • Point out that words that end

in -mente in Spanish will almost always be words that end in -ly in English. For example:

rápidamente/quickly; finalmente/ finally; cuidadosamente/carefully. Destination Reading Course II – Spanish



la misma raíz


Cognates, or words in English and Spanish that share the same origin, offer a natural scaffolding that children can use to “grow” their vocabulary in both languages. Help children see these links between the two languages by commenting on the words presented in this unit that are examples of cognates.

Display the words below and say to children: Hay palabras en esta unidad que son muy parecidas

en inglés y en español. Vamos a estudiar algunas de ellas. (There are words in this unit that are very

similar in English and in Spanish. Let’s study some of them now.) • estatuas statues • protectoras protective • chaqueta jacket • entusiasmo enthusiasm • representar represent • rápidamente rapidly Bridge to English

The reading this week is a play. You may want to ask children to act out parts of the play in English. Simplify and shorten the lines, and increase the amount of repetition. For example:

Anciano: Cloth for sale! Aldeano 1: Hmmm.

Anciano: Do you want to buy some cloth?

Aldeano 1: I am too busy. No cloth for me today. Thank you. Anciano: Cloth for sale!

Aldeano 2: The cloth is beautiful, but I want blue cloth. Anciano: Cloth for sale!

Aldeano 3: It is beautiful, but I am too busy. I need to buy cakes. GuESSInG GAmE

Play this guessing game with children:

Soy hecho de piedra y rimo con agua. ¿Quién soy? (estatua)

Vivo en el pueblo y rimo con cercano. ¿Quién soy? (aldeano)



Cooperative learning: Write Dialogue for a Play

A play, such as Las estatuas agradecidas is written to be performed by actors. The author of a play writes dialogue for each character to speak. Each actor knows what to say because her/his name always comes before her/his dialogue lines.

• Group children into small teams.

• Tell children that they will work together to come up with an idea for a play. Then they will write dialogue for the characters in their play.

• Help children think of an idea for their play by asking questions such as: ¿Qué hiciste

en el colegio hoy día que disfrutaste mucho? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? (What did

you do at school today that you really enjoyed? What do you like to do?)

• Explain that each child needs to have a part to perform in the play. Encourage children to read Las estatuas agradecidas together. Have them look closely at the dialogue as they read. Have groups choose one child to write the script as the group dictates.

• Allow time for groups to perform their plays.

Título de la obra de teatro:

Personajes Diálogo


Unit 4: Cuentos folclóricos y de hadas

Destination Reading Course II – Spanish




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