Lesson Plan Draft; South Central Alaska; Legends and Fairy Tales

Draft Lesson Plan: South Central Alaska legends compared with Western fairy tales.

Objective: Students will be able to write a short, hybrid story/legend combining elements from already-familiar stories (e.g. fairy tales) and Alaska Native legend. Students should be able to identify the characters and values in their story and how they relate to other stories.

(15min) – (Background Knowledge) Talk about fairy tales/myths/legends/folklore students already know: note the characters involved, their traits, and the values that are presented in each story. Include sufficient wait time.


Story Characters Traits

Cinderella Cinderella Good, hardworking
Step Sisters Cruel, lazy
Step Mother Cruel, unfair
Values: Karma (good things to good people, bad things to bad), and trickery is unrewarded.
Hansel and Grettle Hansel and Grettle Curious, disobedient
Witch Opportunistic
Values: Listen to your parents/elders, don’t trust strangers
Boy who cried wolf Boy Mischievous
Townsfolk Trusting, sensible, betrayed
Values: People remember one’s reputation and act accordingly.

(10min) – (New Information) Read the legend: The Woman Who Became A Bear

(15min) – Note the characters, traits, and values in the story.


Characters Traits

Husband Dishonest, untrustworthy
Wife Honest, trusting, vengeful
Values: Be truthful, Reciprocity (husband gets food, wife does housework), Retribution for extreme emotions/anger, Interrelationship between nature and humans

(20min) – Students write their own story/legend incorporating elements from The Woman Who Became A Bear and another story of their choice. Incorporated elements could be characters, traits, or values.


Let me know what you think! Where is it strong? Where can I improve? What doesn’t make sense?

Photo credit.

2 thoughts on “Lesson Plan Draft; South Central Alaska; Legends and Fairy Tales”

  1. Lots of great opportunities here. Could compare similar stories or story elements across cultures. Student could create their own using set parameters – you could define theme, goals or let students first identify themes to be promoted, then create a story to match

    I especially like the idea of multicultural mashups with students combining elements from different cultures into a new hybrid story. You might also consider them illustrating their stories with image and / or creating a background soundtrack of music or ambient sounds. A chance for them to perform their stories for younger kids. Could turn that into a folktale “slam” with younger kids voting on the best story?

  2. Did you come across any stories of actual fairies up north? I have a book of stories that have been collected from around the world on the subject of little flying people. It is pretty interesting and fun to read.

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