Storytelling and Culture

Activity Three: Stories from different times and cultures

Teacher Notes

Refer periodically to the Assessment Tools to help you plan how you will assess student attainment of this Learning Center's Enduring Understandings.

There are a number of web sites that offer print, audio, and video storytelling experiences for students.


  1. Characters
  2. Problem in the story
  3. Setting
  4. Solution to the problem
  5. What the story teaches or explains
  • Download and print the chart "Comparing Stories" (Handout C). Have students begin filling it in based on the class discussion.
  • Put students into groups of four. Each group will compare the remaining stories in this Learning Center (and any others you bring in on your own). Assign a role to each student:
  1. The Discussion Director leads the discussion.
  2. The Recorder writes down the group's answers.
  3. The Summarizer reviews the discussion.
  4. The Clarifier clears up misunderstandings.
  • The Anansi story "How Stories Came to Earth" is available on-line at Download and print it for the students, noting that it was copyrighted in 1995 by Kaleki and may not be used except in a classroom setting without special permission.

  • Download and print Handout D, How Raven Brought Light to the World. The same story is told in this video by Shirley Kendall, a Kaagwaantaan Tlingit from Hoonah, Alaska.

  • After students have both read and viewed the story being told, talk about the different experiences the two media created. Which did they prefer?  Did writing the story, which was originally told orally, change it? Were there details in one version that were missing in the other?

  • Download and print the stories in Handout E and Handout F. Each group should read the story orally or watch the video of its performance.
  • As an extension or for additional stories, download and print one or more of the Aesop's Fables available on a web site (see above under "Teacher Notes").
  • After each performance or reading, students complete the required information on Handout C.
  • When the groups have completed the task, process and debrief it with them.
  • Ask students to write and reflect in their journals: What have you learned about stories from different times and cultures?