European Folklore Project

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I recently asked you all for ideas on teaching my students about Northern European folklore. Here is what I’ve been doing. We started the discussion by defining folklore and having the students give examples. The most common example was Paul Bunyan and Babe the big blue ox. We discuss this and then I talked about how many folklore has become popular in the US from their popularity in the British Isles or Scandinavia, including the combination of folklore or mythical creatures in movies like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Students are now researching any Northern European folklore (that is approved by me) and doing one of four different things. Most students are doing a research paper or a movie. I’m really fascinated by some of the projects though and one student is making working on what now is a 20-minute movie based on Boggarts as a combination of creative writing and movie projects.

Research Paper (Minimum 2 pages typed, double-spaced, MLA works cited)

  • Description of the legendary figure/folklore (if there are multiple different types, you will have to go into detail on their differences)
  • Are there different versions of the story?
  • History/story of the legendary figure/folklore
  • Where/when it is believed that the legendary figure/folklore originates

Movie (Minimum 2 minutes, MLA works cited)

  • Description of the legendary figure/folklore (if there are multiple different types, you will have to go into detail on their differences)
  • Are there different versions of the story?
  • History/story of the legendary figure/folklore
  • Where/when it is believed that the legendary figure/folklore originates

Creative Narrative (Minimum 2 pages typed, double-spaced, MLA works cited)

  • The first-person piece as a character like a “monster/legend” hunter or one of the legendary figures
  • Description of legendary figure/folklore
  • An original, creative plot that includes the figure/folklore

Comic (12-panel comic strip, MLA works cited)

  • Create a creative story using hand-drawn pictures
  • Description of legendary figure/folklore
  • An original, creative plot that includes the figure/folklore
  • Include an explanation of where/when it is believed the figure/folklore originates

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