Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trickster Tale from Clues to a Culture literacy unit

Another of the components in my Clues to a Culture unit was to learn how cultures use storytelling to provide insight into their culture.  The Native Americans wrote and told trickster tales to explain nature.  After reading aloud some trickster tales, students were asked to write their own tales.  They were asked to use literary devices that we had been exploring such as sensory imagery, personification, and similes and metaphors.

We began by reading aloud the following mentor texts.

Students then chose a topic in nature to explain through a trickster tale.  They wrote their tales then spaced them appropriately for a picture-book format before printing them.  Once printed, students illustrated their stories.  I scanned the pages, and students created a video of their story with voice-over of the student reading his or her story.  Here is one example.


  1. You have a lot of great stuff happening here. Using sensory imagery, personification, similes and metaphor would certainly make me turn on my brain into high gear. Apart from the thinking strategies, your use of technology is great. These kind of lessons motivate me to try using technology in different ways.

  2. Love this Barb! And love the video of John Lamb's book! What a great way for the kids to display their learning and understanding of Trickster Tales and the purpose they served in the Native American culture! They are one of my favorite genre of books, too! I was lucky enough to get a peek into your room and see the kids on their computers writing their tales- totally engaged! What a great way to show synthesis and understanding!

  3. I love it when there are opportunities for students to show their understanding a specific literary genre by creating their own example of that genre. The video idea is really cool too.

  4. Barb, you have done some amazing things this year. The trickster tales are just one more of these amazing things. The kids loved this unit and spoke about it often. You have given them such passion for literacy this year!