Storytelling: Oral Traditions Learning Center

Part II: Stories in the Oral Tradition

3. Explain that students will now watch a story called "How Raven Gave Light to the World," one of many stories that have been told and passed down by the people who live on the Northern coast of Alaska. Show The Raven Story video. Then, create groups (of varying student ability and disposition) and ask students to consider and discuss the following questions:

   a. Who is Raven?
   b. What does he do?
   c. How would you describe Raven? (What words would you use?)
   d. Raven is sometimes described as a "trickster." What might this mean?

4. Introduce the Maui and the Creation of the Islands video by explaining that this story comes from Hawaii and is about how the islands came to be. After the students have watched the video, ask them to consider and discuss these questions as a whole class:

   a. Who is Maui?
   b. What does he do?
   c. Raven brings stars, moon, and sun to the world; Maui pulls the islands out of the ocean. Stories about creation, or how things came to be, are among the oldest stories people tell. Why are stories of this kind important? Why do people like to tell them over and over?