The Moral of the Story: Folktales for Character Development

The Moral of the Story: Folktales for Character Development

by Bobby Norfolk, Sherry Norfolk
     
 

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Throughout history, traditional cultures have recognized the role of storytelling in teaching values to children. Yet most educators have not fully capitalized on the connection between storytelling, folktales, and character education.

Overview

Throughout history, traditional cultures have recognized the role of storytelling in teaching values to children. Yet most educators have not fully capitalized on the connection between storytelling, folktales, and character education.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This "how to" book on storytelling for character education provides teachers with sample stories for various ages and a wealth of advice. For the theory behind storytelling, Thomas Lickona, an authority on moral development and education, is quoted: "Stories teach by attraction rather than compulsion; they invite rather than impose." Using predominantly African folktales that have been modernized with current slang, the authors give suggestions for discussion starters and leading questions. Acting out the stories is encouraged as a way of engaging students. A script of a rap for teens that deals with various adolescent crises is included and may be heard on cassette or CD. The authors use a story to illustrate how the theme of respect for others should be modeled by teachers. Characteristics of children at different ages are detailed as an aid in choosing appropriate stories. There is a list of recommended stories, which teach specific character traits such as courtesy, honesty, and teamwork. Endnotes and lists for further study are included. 2006 (orig. 1999), August House Publishers, and Ages Adult.
—Carlee Hallman
Library Journal
Some dozen folktales, told in colloquial, informal, or rap style, are used as the starting point for exploring values with preschool children to high school-aged students, e.g., "Anansi and the Pot of Beans" to discuss honesty and respect; "Three Billy Goats Gruff Rap" to talk about problem solving, sharing, and cooperation; and "Kantchil Waits for the World to End" to teach the benefits of patience. Each telling is followed by authors' tips and directions for audience involvement along with a short list of other published versions of the tale. A chapter on "Storytelling as an Experiential Approach to Character Education," and another on "Making It Work" follow the stories. Of narrower scope, but livelier than William Bennett's collections, these selections and the discussion nonetheless march over the same well-trod ground.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
This second edition shows few changes from the 1999 publication, except for a brief mention of No Child Left Behind. Research cited in the introduction is from the 1990s and earlier. "Getting Ready" provides helpful tips and reassurance for those new to storytelling. The second section contains 11 stories, all of which include detailed source notes. Citations for other versions are also included for most tales, but again the references are 20 to 50 years old. Suggestions for sharing and discussing the stories feature variations such as rapping a tale or holding a mock trial for the characters. One tale is printed both in story form and as a readers' theater script. The concluding sections about implementing an experiential approach to character education are succinct and practical. A list of developmental needs for infants through teens makes a fine finishing touch. Although the stories and methodology herein may be stimulating and effective, the original volume will suffice for most libraries.-Julie R. Ranelli, Kent Island Branch Library, Stevensville, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874835953
Publisher:
August House Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Series:
World Storytelling from August House Series
Edition description:
ABRIDGED
Pages:
58
Product dimensions:
4.84(w) x 7.17(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
4 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Bobby Norfolk first told stories as a national park ranger at the St. Louis Gateway Arch. As a professional story-performer, he has keynoted and led workshops throughout the United States and internationally. He has won three Emmys and several Gold Parents' Choice Awards for his work. From the International Storytelling Center to the Hong Kong International School, Sherry Norfolk's storytelling captures the imagination of all ages. Sherry's electric stage presence and gifts as a teaching artist have been in demand for festivals, schools, and conferences nationwide. The Norfolks have worked extensively in the area of storytelling and character education by taking their expertise into workshops, residencies, and performances. They live in Atlanta and St. Louis.

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