The sample lessons which follow are primarily geared toward showing a variety of approaches to developing basic skills using folklore as a medium. It is assumed that every teacher has his/her own bag of tricks and will adapt and adjust the samples to suit his/her own needs and students’. These plans have been written for ninth graders of average intelligence, whose skills range from being on par to seriously deficient. Commonly, these students are all in the same class so I have designed the exercises and questions to suit the range of needs within the group. Some exercises and especially the essay questions are more difficult than others. I have indicated degree of estimated difficulty by giving the exercises and questions one (basic), two or three (more advanced) stars. However the teacher may like the “idea” of one of the easier exercises, but may need to “beef it up” for a faster group or pare down one of the more difficult essay questions.
In the case of note-taking, for example, the speed, complexity and topics of the notes as well as
they are presented are flexible. Rather than just giving background on those who gathered the folklore, notes can be given on the origins, functions and types of folklore somewhat like what was presented in this study. I have suggested giving some background notes at the beginning of each subunit to give the students a feeling of security and “groundedness” about what they will be approaching. However, I do not want to remove all the mystery and adventure and bury the students in notes. Perhaps more weighty note-taking exercises could be done at the end of the unit for reinforcement and consolidation of ideas after the students have had time to draw some of their own conclusions through discussion and essay and after they have had time for reflection. Evaluation of the note-taking could be done by on the spot questioning, for immediate and specific feedback, or by designing a test for the notes.
It has been my experience that most students do best when presented with a model of what is to be produced or by the teacher modeling the process. I have presented a model of an entire sentence outline for “Little Red Cap” to save the teacher time and effort. This outline can be given as a whole, in part, or shown as a process on the board. While I have suggested that I want the students to have a feeling of “groundedness” I do not want to remove the possibility of flight. Therefore I trust that the teacher will choose the most inspiring and stimulating process as well as materials.