“Tales of the Americas” a storytelling program and occasionally workshops featuring stories from Mexico, Canada, the U.S.A., plus the Andes. Please use this guide to enhance your students experience and meet core standards.
Preparations- Discuss what a storyteller does, and how storytelling is at the heart of art forms like literature, theater, film and more. Describe how storytelling could be used to teach. Share stories of who tells stories today. Visit my website with students to see and listen to me.
Performance Stories with Activities
Mahicanituck - Handed down in the 1970’s to anthropologists from the Delaware Indian Resource Center, this Hudson River creation myth has an inspirational touch from Pete Seeger. Long ago a giant slept, creating a huge lake. The water drew animals, hunter-gatherers, thanks from “The People”. Alas, they stopped showing respect and the giant stood up. The river that flows both ways, formed., now known as the Hudson. Listeners link arms and “make” the river too!
Listen: Once Upon the Hudson by The Hudson River Ramblers
Activities - Students will begin to write a first hand account describing the “standing of the giant.”
The Rainbow Pony - Is an adventure fairy tale from Mexico via Spain. A corn farmer enlists his sons to stop the destruction of his fields. One son tries muscle, the other smarts. The youngest acts simply and heroically. Read- The Little Seven Colored Horse - Robert D. San Souci, Chronicle Books 1995 Activity - Discuss and analyze why the youngest brother succeeds. Retell the tale in a “story go round”. Each child in the class tells two or three sentences of the tale. The next child adds in sequence what follows. Analyze the story structure of “magic of three.” Ask students to make up and write a new way for the three brother to stop the pony in the corn field.
Davy Crockett and the Frozen Sun - American Tall Tale. Davy must free the frozen sun and move old man winter on. He takes three exaggerated steps to accomplish his quest. He swims through snow, mixes bear-moose juice and much more! Verbal leaps, exaggerations, major metaphors and energy. Read - Davy Crockett tales in Walter Blair’s “Tall Tale America” Activities - Analyze want makes for a successful exaggeration in a tall tale. The key is using sensory words that give an example rather than exaggerating by number. List favorites. Ask students to make up three new exaggerations for Davy when the Sun was frozen. The Gentle People - Andes Mountains . Peaceful people are happened upon, and their paradise is ruined. They must escape and disappear. But they are still around and may be inside us all. Watch for llamas and the “Dog-Toothed” tribe!
Read- “Tales of the Silver Lands” by Charles Finger
Activities - Discuss and analyze why the King turned the people into Llamas. Talk and write about what would need to happen today to convince the “gentle people” to return. Retell the story as a class.
The Fiddler of the Northern Lights - Canada - A mysterious man appears with a midnight violin. His playing moves more than those on the dance floor! Activity - Write a tall tale story explaining the Aurora Borealis.