Lesson Title: Comparative Analysis of the Interpretations of a Folk Tale Canvas in Two Different cultures
Lesson Topic and Main Idea: The main idea of the given lesson is to locate the fairytales of the same Aarne-Thompson index belonging to different cultures in the Gutenberg Project by using an iPad, compare and contrast them after revising the class notes with the help of an iPad application known as IA Writer and offer the suppositions and/or explanations regarding the similarities/differences found. The main idea of the given class is to teach the students 10 searches for the required information; b) be able to use iPad applications for study purposes; c) critically analyze (compare and contrast) specific literature pieces.
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Target Audience: Presumably, the students of Key Stage 3 (12–14 years old) are going to make the target audience. However, it is important to note that, with a few modifications, this lesson plan will be also applicable to the younger audience.
Grade Level: 10 (Key stage 3–3)
Area of Study: Comparative Literature
The goal of the Lesson: The goal of the lesson is to teach the students 1) the fact that, despite the cultural diversity, there is a lot in common between the representatives of different nationalities, which can be traced in the numerous details in which the fairytale canvas cross; 2) the fact that the differences between the two interpretations of the same story define the cultural specifics of the nation I question; 3) efficient use of the iPad software application, which will help them in their further individual research projects, class activities or home assignments.
Lesson Objectives: Apart from the goal specified above, the given lesson has several objectives to be met in the course of the class. To start with, the students are going to be encouraged to conduct independent research by using the latest technological advances i.e., conduct a comparative analysis with the help of the sources that they will access via their iPads.
Specific Learning Objectives: Help the students access the necessary sources by using their iPads.
Prerequisites: It is rather desirable, although not obligatory, that the students should know at least the most popular canvas of the traditional European fairytales, such as Cinderella, The Snow White, and the Seven Dwarves, Puss in Boots, The Ugly Duckling, etc., to be able to draw parallels between the given stories, their plots, and characters. There is no doubt that the students who know the most common fairytales will doubtlessly succeed in defining the similarities and the differences between different interpretations of the story, while the students who are unaware of the given plots will surely need more time to analyze the two pieces.
Options for Learners with No Prerequisites: As has been mentioned above, the background knowledge of traditional fairytales is desirable. However, given that among the students in the class, there might be ethnic minorities, e.g., Turkish students, Japanese students, etc.., it is reasonable to provide each of them with equal opportunities. Therefore, it will be necessary to modify the task so that the knowledge of the original story should not be necessary. The given objective can be achieved by demanding that the students should compare a fairytale that is well known to the Europeans with the one that represents the cultural heritage of an Eastern or African culture. Thus, each of the students will have to deal with a story that (s)he has never heard before.
Standards Used: The students are going to be evaluated by the UK standards of evaluation for Grade 10, key stage 3-3.
Materials: For the given lessons, such materials as iPads, pencils, and notebooks will be required.
Activity: The lesson is going to be split into several activities. The table provided below describes the activities, the timeline, and the significance of the given activities:
|1||Warm-up||5 min||The teacher asks the students how literature and technology can be related||Moderate|
|2||Revision||10 min||The teacher asks the students to define the basic concepts studied so far, allowing them to revise the concepts with the help of the IA Writer on their iPads||High|
|3||Matching||5 min||The teacher asks the students to match the concepts with their definitions||Moderate|
|4||Analysis||35 min||The teacher provides the students with a foreign (e.g., African/Asian/etc.) version of a fairy-tale (e.g., Cinderella) and asks the students to find the correlating one via Project Gutenberg on their iPhones (available on iTunes).||High|
|5||Home assignment||5 min||The teacher assigns students a related task (e. g, essay writing).||Moderate|
Sample Assessment Plan:
|Poor (0–29)||Satisfactory (30–50)||Good (51–84)||Excellent (85–100)|
|Research||The student finds the wrong tale and does not provide any justifications for his choice||The student finds the wrong tale, yet provides strong justifications for his/her choice||The student finds the right tale yet does not provide justifications for his/her choice||The student finds the right tale and provides extensive justifications for his/her choice|
|Content||The student fails to organize his/her paper; the work is a mess||The student organizes the paper neatly yet the organization lacks logics||The student organizes the paper neatly||The student organizes the paper logically, with each paragraph flowing into the next one|
|Research||Either the thesis statement or the conclusion or both are missing from the paper.||The student provides a moderate thesis statement and a cohesive conclusion||The student provides a strong thesis statement and comes to a specific conclusion||The student provides a strong thesis statement, comes to a specific conclusion, and goes beyond the boundaries of the research|
|Use of technology||The student fails to understand the way iPad applications work||The student uses an iPad actively yet fails to find the required material||The student uses the iPad actively and manages to find the required material||The student uses the iPad actively and finds the required material quickly|
|Style||The student uses a completely inappropriate writing style||The student does not pick a particular writing style||The student chooses a writing style consciously and uses it appropriately||The student has a defined, artistic and expressive style|
Homework: Choose a fairytale that fits the following Aarne-Thompson type: 410, define the tropes typical for the specified type, and comment on what you liked/disliked about the story.
Note: For understandable reasons, it is assumed that not all the students will be able to use an iPad during the lesson. Therefore, in case some of the students will not have an iPad to use, the students will be split into several groups (presumably, into groups of two or three students) and encouraged to share a single iPad. The teacher, thus, must give account for the time spent on the individual research of each student and cut some of the activities so that each of the students had the chance to carry out personal research by using an iPad on his/her own.
Example of Student Work
Cinderella: In Search of the Lost Glass Slipper
Thesis statement: Despite the differences in the two versions of the tale, which are, doubtlessly predetermined by the specifics of the national culture, the two versions of Cinderella, the African and the traditional one (by Charles Perrault) share several similarities.
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Argument: Even though the tale provided originally told the story of an African girl and her sudden luck instead of the traditional tale about a poor victim of her abusive step-relatives, the two stories look much alike. For example, in The Maiden, the Frog, and the Chief’s Son, the same priorities (marrying the handsome prince) and villain are provided.
Counterargument and its refutation: It is worth noting, however, that the two short novels differ from each other considerably. It can be assumed that the given differences should be attributed to the specifics of the two cultures, i.e., the European and the African one. It is important to note that the differences occur on the level of setting (Europe – Africa) and the introduction of the enchanted prince (the frog).
Therefore, it can be considered that, despite considerable differences in the character development and the setting, the two stories convey the same morals and offer a similar fight between the good and the evil. Being the interpretation of the same idea, the two tales offer a closer look at the specifics of their countries of origin.