Unit Two Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves What are myths, fairy tales and legends? 28



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Unit Two

Myths, fairy-tales and legends:

Questioning ourselves


Unit Two
Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

What are myths, fairy tales and legends? 28

Useful information



Still images 29

Drama Activity

Small group activity

Interactive thought shower activity 31

Word association

Whole class and small group activity

Investigative envelopes and poster challenge 34

Discussion and creative activity

Small group activity

Animal representations of emotions 37

Sculpting activity

Pairs activity
Carousel activity 40

Active learning

Whole class

Agony Aunt or Uncle 42

Writing in role

Pairs or individual activity

Performance poetry 44

Responding to poetry through performance

Small group activity

Writing a myth, fairy-tale or legend 45

Focusing on story structure, characters and themes

Whole class, pairs or individual activity
Myths, fairy tales and legends:

Questioning ourselves
Ideas for exploring myths and legends are adapted from: Myths and Legends, E2BN (2006) Available from: http://myths.e2bn.org/teachers/info311-what-are-myths-legends-and-folktales.html [Accessed 15th September 2012]
What are myths?

Myths are stories that are based on a tradition or a legend and carry a symbolic meaning. Myths are used to share universal truths or ideas. Some myths may be based on real events but are changed and adapted by the traditions and cultures that re-tell them. Myths were used in Ancient Greece to explain the weather and the changing seasons. Examples of popular myths include: the Anansi stories from Ghana, the Greek myths such as; Hercules, Perseus, Medusa and The Trojan Horse and Irish myths including the birth of Cú Chulainn, Tír na nÓg and the Táin. Modern examples include Star Wars and The Matrix.


What are fairy tales?

Fairy tales are a collection of stories often shared from generation to generation to develop an understanding of the world and life. Particular values or morals are woven into the fairy tales that highlight the worries or fears of the society or culture in which they were told. The Brothers Grimm collected fairy tales in Germany in the nineteenth century which are still used today. Popular fairy tales include: Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel and Snow White. Hans Christian Anderson also wrote popular fairy tales including: The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.


What are legends?

Legends are based on true events or half-truths and passed on from person to person. Legends carry important meanings and symbolism for their country of origin. Legends can be based on historical events and usually have a hero as a central character who must follow a spiritual journey to save him or herself and others. Examples of popular legends include: The Salmon of Knowledge, the Legend of Robin Hood and King Arthur and the legend of the Knights at the Round Table.


Useful websites for teachers and students include:

Teacher’s Resources: Scholastic (2012) http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mff/myths_mymyth.htm [Accessed 15th September 2012]



Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Using still images to convey emotions

Drama activity


Whole group and small group activity

Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY



SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Self Management

Influences and Decisions

Topic: Group work

Topic: A sense of purpose

Topic: Making decisions

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myth, fairy-tales and legends – using images and words.

Drama link: Creating sculptures



Learning Objective: To physically portray emotions using still images.



Learning Outcomes:

Students will work imaginatively to create physical representations of emotions.

Students will develop an understanding of how emotions can be conveyed in different ways.




Materials: Space in the hall, or a cleared classroom. Images and word cards with emotions written out – available in the photocopiable section.




Clear the space for this activity!




  1. Explain the learning objective to the class. The class will be working in small groups to

create physical pictures or still images of emotions. Model an example of this concept with

the class. Ask volunteers to show fear using gesture and body language – it could be a

literal or abstract representation of the chosen emotion.


  1. Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a word card or an image to look at. Ask

each group to keep their image or word card to themselves as the groups will be observing

each others' still pictures and working together to consider the emotion being presented.

Give the groups a set time limit – two to five minutes - to work together to create a still

picture of their chosen emotion. Remind the class that they can use gestures, different

levels and that it does not have to be like a real photograph, it could be abstract.


  1. After a given amount of time, approximately five minutes, ask the class to come back

together. Ask a group if they would like to show their still image to the class. Encourage

the students watching the still image to think about what emotion is being shown and how

they can tell what emotion is being represented? What levels are being used? Is there eye

contact? What would the contrasting emotion be? Once the students have had the

opportunity to give feedback, give another group an opportunity to show their still image.

Continue until each group has displayed their still images.




Discussion and reflection on the activity:

Did the students enjoy creating the still images?

What role did they take in the group? How did you all reach a decision about how to show the emotion using a still image?

Did you enjoy giving and receiving feedback?







Follow on discussion about Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?:

Thinking about the play, how did Frank present his emotions? Did Frank really converse with the animal characters or did he imagine those conversations?


How did the characters of Nyx and Warren feel? Did they have the same emotions as their human counterparts?
Aaron South and his gang confronted Frank and Kira for being on their turf. How might Aaron’s gang have felt about his behaviour towards Kira and Frank?
How did Kira feel when Frank transformed into a wolf? How might the Souths have felt?
How did the Souths and the Kellys demonstrate their feelings for each other?
How might Frank have felt about transforming into an animal form?
What feelings would Frank have about returning to the world below?
How did the Souths and the Kellys feel about Kira’s heroic act?
How could a feeling of peace and respect be maintained in Shadow City?


Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Interactive thought shower

Word association

Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY



Whole class activity and small groups


SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Influences and Decisions

Communication skills

Topic: Group work

Topic: Making decisions

Topic: Assertive communication

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends - Responding to words, images and texts

Writing: Creating thought showers

Oral and Aural language: Speaking and listening and discussion skills




Learning Objective: To discuss myths, fairy-tales and legends we know.

To consider our memories and the themes and ideas presented in myths, fairy-

tales and legends.


Learning Outcomes:

Students will share their understanding of myths, fairy-tales and legends with each other.

Students will note their responses to myths, fairy-tales and legends to create a thought shower.

Students will experience a fun word association game that could be used across the curriculum.



Students will work in small groups to create their own miniature thought showers and present the information to the class.






Materials: Paper, pencils, a selection of myths, fairy-tales and legends, a lightweight ball or beach ball.



  1. Explain the learning objective to the group and give an outline of a thought shower; it is similar to a mind map but less structured in its presentation. A model thought shower is available in the photocopiable section.




  1. On a flipchart, an interactive whiteboard or a large piece of paper write titles of various myths, fairy-tales and legends. Alternatively, these titles could also be elicited from the class and noted down.




  1. Ask the students to read the various titles and to think about any thoughts, memories or ideas they have about the different titles shown. Using a lightweight ball or beach ball ask students to pass the ball around the room to each other. When they catch the ball they share their ideas about the emotions or themes in their chosen myths, fairy-tales or legends. If a student is unsure when they catch the ball, they can pass and have some thinking time and share their idea when they are thrown the ball the next time. Ask another student or group of students to note different responses on the large piece of paper, flipchart or whiteboard as the thought shower game is played.




  1. To develop this interactive thought shower ask students to work in small groups and to choose one title to focus on. Have a selection of myths, fairy-tales and legends available to the class, these may be in hard copy or printed out. Ask each group to create their own miniature thought shower. They might like to read through their chosen story first and then consider the various ideas, themes, emotions that are highlighted in that text. Give the class time to complete this activity. Once completed share the groups’ thought showers in mini-presentations or ask each group to choose a spokesperson to present the information. The thought showers could be displayed in the classroom or used in developing further writing. This activity could be adapted and used across the curriculum - for example in maths or science.


Follow-on discussion about features of myth, fairy-tales and legends in the play:
In relation to the play Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?, what qualities or features of myths, fairy-tales or legends would you consider the play to have?
What emotions or themes were highlighted in the play? When were these most evident?
Why might the playwright have chosen to use features of myths, fairy-tales and legends in this play?
What uses do myths, fairy-tales and legends have in today’s society?
Does this play remind you of any other myths, fairy-tales, legends or contemporary works? Why? Why not?



End the session with a Closing Round: In a circle ask the students to use a sentence or a word to describe what they learned in today’s session.




Unit 2 Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Investigative envelopes activity

Active Learning

Small groups activity




Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY


SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Self Management

Communication skills

Topic: Group work

Topic: What motivates me?

Topic: Assertive communication

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends - Responding to images and texts.

Link: Oral language, traditions, emotions, decision making.




Learning Objective: To investigate the emotions or feelings found in myths, fairy-tales and legends.

To create a poster image to represent the feeling or emotion expressed in their

myth, fairy-tale or legend investigation.


Learning Outcomes:

Students will use the investigative materials found in their group's envelope to discover their particular myth, fairy-tale or legend.

Students will work together to create an image inspired by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ to illustrate the key emotion or emotions they believe to be in their discovered myth, fairy-tale or legend.

Students will work together discussing how and what emotions or feelings are evident in the chosen myths, fairy-tales and legends.

Students will develop an understanding of how myths, fairy-tales and legends were and still are used to convey messages and perhaps morals or an understanding of our lives.




Materials: Envelopes, paper, crepe paper, scrap paper, old magazines, newspapers, comics, posters, A3 paper, markers, pens, colouring pencils, paint, paintbrushes, water, glue, scissors, sticky tape and the image of Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’.

*This activity requires a lot of preparation before class but it could take place over two

or three sessions which would enable students to make a template of their poster first

and try out some ideas before creating a final poster. This activity follows on from the

previous activity. It may be useful to choose familiar myths, fairy-tales or legends to

enable the class to explore the possible emotions in these texts.




  1. Explain the learning objective and give an outline of the activity which includes

four group challenges. Firstly, each group will be given an investigative envelope and

art and craft materials.


The first challenge will be to work as a team to investigate the contents of their

envelopes and to use these contents to figure out the myth, fairy-tale or legend they

have been given. They class can use the images and key phrases or sentences

contained in their envelope to discover their text. Perhaps it might be useful to have

printed copies of the full text of the chosen myths, fairy-tales or legends available to the class once they have figured out what story their envelope holds. The class could also be encouraged to research their text to find information about it which may enhance their understanding of the particular text.
The second challenge will be to decide on the key emotions or feelings which can or could be explored in that particular text.
The third challenge will be to make a poster or illustration that shows the key emotion

or feelings from the myth, fairy-tale or legend.


The fourth challenge will be to choose a particular audience at which to aim the poster.
Explain that the groups can use the various materials and Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ as inspiration for their poster.


  1. Show the class a model envelope. Each group’s envelope should contain the following

materials: images of a particular and popular or well-known myth, fairy- tale or legend,

key phrases or well know sentences from the text, key questions. Each group should

also be given: plain paper, scrap paper, old magazines, newspapers, comics, markers,

colouring pencils, paint, paintbrushes, water, glue, scissors, sticky tape and a small

image of Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ and a set of the four challenges. This

activity and challenges may take place over a number of sessions.





  1. While the groups are working together the teacher can “visit” the groups and help with

any questions they may have. The teacher can write the Discussion and reflection

questions on the board or use the photocopiable question cards and hand them out to

the groups.





  1. When the groups have completed their posters explain to the students that they now

have five minutes to think about the Discussion and Reflection questions. A copy of

these questions is in the photocopiable section. The group representatives can write

down answers or take notes, which they will can discuss with the whole group

in the discussion element of the session.



Discussion and reflection on the activity:

How did we decide on what emotions or feelings were highlighted in the myth, fairy-tale or legend?


What images, texts, colours or textures did we choose to represent our chosen feeling?
What audience did we choose? How did we decide on this audience group?
Did we plan the poster layout first?
How did we approach the work?
Did we prefer using words/images or both? Why?




Follow-on discussion linking with Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?

The following questions can be discussed as a whole group or in smaller groups and then discussed as a whole class group. The groups’ ideas can be displayed using a mind map or a word wall with the key words the group highlights from the discussion.
Where in the World is Frank Sparrow? uses elements of myth and legend to tell the characters’stories. In relation to the work on exploring emotions through myth, fairy-tales and legends, what emotions are explored in the play?
How are the emotions revealed in the play? Does the playwright use particular devices to explore the emotions? What devices does she use? Are these effective?
In the play Frank claims that he feels trapped inside his body. How is this conveyed to the audience by the writer and then by the actor and the director in the production of the play?
How does the character of Frank feel during the play? Do his emotions change at particular moments? Why? How does Frank cope with his emotions? How does Kira feel? What strategies does Kira use to help herself? The play has elements of myth and has animals as characters - how do the animals in the play feel? Why?
How might the people of Shadow City feel about the rival gangs and violence?



Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Discussing and creating animal representations of emotions

Drama activity


Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY




Pairs work


SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Influences and Decisions

Topic: Group work

Topic: Making decisions

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends

Link: Discussion about animal representations

Writing: Responding to ideas.



Learning Objective: To create their own imaginative animal representation of emotions though drawing and physical sculptures.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will work in pairs to discuss animal representations of emotions in myths, fairy-tales, legends and Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?.

Students will consider why animals are used to represent certain qualities and feelings.

Students will work together to create an imaginative animal representation of emotions through drawing and physical sculptures.





Materials: A list of the animal characters in the play, pens, paper. A large space –a cleared classroom for this activity!



  1. Explain the learning objective to the group. Ask the group to work in pairs and to consider the different animals used in the play Where in the World is Frank Sparrow? and in myths, fairy-tales and legends. Give each pair sticky note paper and ask the students to write or draw their ideas. Place these ideas on a large piece of paper at the front of the classroom.



  1. Discuss the different animal characters the class has highlighted. Why are these particular animals used? Consider Irish myths and legends, what animals are used? Why? For example in ‘The Children of Lir’ the children are transformed into swans. Why was this particular bird chosen? What does a swan represent? What emotions do we associate with a swan or what emotions could we impose onto a swan? In the play Frank transforms into a number of different animals. Why did the writer chose those particular animals? What emotions do they represent?




  1. Get a large piece of paper. Draw a line down the centre. On one side of the line write a list of different animals that were used in Where in the World is Frank Sparrow? and in various myths, fairy-tales and legends. Divide the class into two groups or more depending on class size. The two groups are going to be in a writing relay race together. The class need to look at the list of animals and in their two relay lines consider the different emotions associated with those animals. Next ask students to form two lines. When the teacher says ‘Go’ the first students in the line walk up to the large piece of paper and write an emotion next to an animal. This continues until the list of animals is completed. Ensure there are enough animals written down so that each student has an opportunity to have a go. A timer could be used if desired.




  1. When the relay race has been completed discuss the various animals and their corresponding emotions. Why were those particular emotions chosen?




  1. Ask students to find a space and to work in pairs. Ensure the chairs and desks have been safely cleared away or try this activity in the hall. Each pair will choose an emotion. Then they will decide on a real or an imaginative animal to represent this emotion. Decide who is the sculptor and who will become the sculpture, A and B. A, the sculptor, ‘moulds’ B, the sculpture, into the chosen animal to represent the emotion. However, the skill in this activity is that A, the sculptor, does not make physical contact with B. A moves like a puppeteer, guiding B’s arms or legs through motioning with hand gestures. B reacts like a puppet. Model an example of this for the class. Ask two students to volunteer. Remind the students that no physical contact takes place, instead the pair work together and listen to each other and respond. Divide the group in half for this activity, one half of the group can observe and the other half can create the sculptures and then swap over.




  1. Give the pairs time to complete this activity. Perhaps have a practice run first and a gentle warm up shake out to help the group. Once the pairs have created their animal representations, ask half the group to watch and respond to the sculptures and to guess the emotions and the animals. Repeat this with the other half of the group. A and B can also swap over so that each student gets an opportunity to be a sculptor and a sculpture.



Discussion and reflection on the activity:

Did the students enjoy creating the sculptures?


What role did they take in the group? How did you decide what animal to choose to create the emotion?
Did you enjoy giving and receiving feedback?




Follow-on discussion about questioning ourselves using myth, fairy-tales and legends:
In the play Where in the World is Frank Sparrow?

Frank transforms into various animals. What emotions might these animals represent?


Why did the playwright chose those particular animals? What other animals could she have chosen to represent the emotions or feelings? Did the animals represent more than emotions?
Why might the playwright have chosen to use animals in this play?
Are animals used to represent particular feelings and emotions in stories, TV, film or advertisements today? Why?
What is the value of using animal representations in the play? How does it help us to explore the play and ourselves?



Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Carousel activity

Active Learning

Whole class

Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY




SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Influences and Decisions

Topic: Group work

Topic: Making decisions

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends

Link: Gathering evidence, responding emotionally and imaginatively to literary experiences.



Learning Objective: To discuss the value of myths, fairy-tales and legends in contemporary society.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will discuss their thoughts on the value of myths, fairy-tales and legends in contemporary society.

Students will consider how we use myths, fairy-tales and legends in our lives.

Students will work together to discuss ideas about contemporary myths, fairy-tales and legends.





Materials: Space to create two circles, an inner and an outer circle.




Clear the space for this activity!

The concept of a Carousel is adapted from: National PSHE CPD Programme, Gateshill, Paul, (2010) Principal Consultant for PSHE, Website: www.pshe-cpd.com Available from:

www.pshe-association.org.uk/file_download.aspx?id=734 [Accessed on: 6th August 2012]

* Health and safety – remove any chairs or objects that could cause injury when the group are moving in the space.




  1. Explain the learning objective and the outline of the activity to the class.




  1. Ask half the group to form a circle facing outwards and the other half of the group to form

another circle around them, facing inwards. Each student in the inner circle should be

facing someone in the outer circle.




  1. Have a quick word association game with the class about the definition of a myth, fairy-tale

and a legend. Explain that you are going to give the class some questions and they are

going to speak to the person opposite them (using these questions as a starting point) until

they hear the bell. When they hear the bell the students in the outer circle move on one

space and have a new person on front of them and the activity begins again.




  1. Give the class their key questions: what is the value of myths, fairy-tales and legends in

today’s society? Give me examples of modern day myths, fairy-tales or legends.

The teacher can ring a bell or call out a specific word and students in the outer

circle can move on and begin the conversation with a new partner. Limit the time-frame for

30 seconds to a minute for each pair. Share interesting ideas and suggestions from the

carousel as a whole class.

Whole class discussion: What were the benefits of speaking to lots of different people quite quickly on the same topic? Did it pose any difficulties? Was it informative?



Follow on discussion:
Thinking about the play, what values are highlighted to us?
How are these values illustrated to the audience? What values do different characters have?
What values does Frank have? Do these values differ from Kira’s?
Do characters' value systems change as the play progresses?

Why? Why not?


What value system is there in the world below?




Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Agony Aunt or Agony Uncle reply letter

Writing activity


Individual or pairs activity




Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY



SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Influences and Decisions

Topic: Group work

Topic: Making decisions

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy

Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends

Link: Gathering evidence, persuasive writing, composing joint narratives, letter writing skills.

Oral and aural language: Discussion about Agony Aunts and Uncles and value systems.





Learning Objective: To write a response to Frank Sparrow in role as an Agony Aunt or Agony Uncle.

To use values and ideas from myths, fairy-tales and legends as a reference

point for replying to Frank Sparrow’s imaginary letter from the world below.


Learning Outcomes:

Students will discuss the role and purpose of an Agony Aunt or Agony Uncle.

Students will write a response in role as an Agony Aunt or Agony Uncle.

Students will use their knowledge of myths, fairy-tales and legends to respond to Frank’s imaginary letter.

Students will consider how the character of Frank might feel if he were to receive the letter from the Agony Aunt or Agony Uncle.




Materials needed: Examples of age appropriate articles written by Agony Aunts or Agony Uncles, pens, paper, a copy of the imaginary letter from Frank Sparrow from the world below.

The concept of a Agony Aunt/Uncle is adapted from: National PSHE CPD Programme, Gateshill, Paul, (2010) Principal Consultant for PSHE, Website: www.pshe-cpd.com Available from:

www.pshe-association.org.uk/file_download.aspx?id=734 [Accessed on: 6th August 2012]



  1. Explain the learning objective to the group. Ask the group if they have ever heard of an

Agony Aunt or an Agony Uncle? What role do these people have? What do they do? Have they read any articles by Agony Aunts or Uncles? What type of language do they use? What is their purpose?


  1. Divide the students into pairs. Give each pair a copy of an old reply letter written from

an Agony Aunt or Uncle. Ask the students to focus on the language used. What suggestions do they give, if any? Are there particular phrases or value systems being used?


  1. Explain to the group that you would like them to work in their pairs and to write in role and respond to an imaginary letter written by Frank Sparrow from the world below. However, the challenge is they need to use ideas and values from myths, fairy-tales and legends as their belief system and if possible to try and reply using the organic rhyme from the play. For example, they could talk about how Red Riding Hood’s Granny felt about the Wolf? Or have a discussion about the Children of Lir’s experiences? It would be useful to try this activity after completing the earlier exploratory work on myths, fairy-tales and legends.




  1. Give the pairs time to read Frank’s imaginary letter and discuss possible responses to the letter. As a whole class write the beginning of the letter together, with the teacher eliciting ideas from the class. What examples or morals from myths, fairy-tales or legends could they use to offer advice? For example, Red Riding Hood veering from the path and talking to strangers - what were the consequences of her actions? Give the pairs time to write their own response to the letter. An example reply letter is available in the photocopiable section.




  1. Listen to the different pairs responses in role as the Agony Aunt or Uncle.



Reflection and discussion:
Ask the group if they enjoyed the activity? Why? Why not?
Did they find it easy to think of the values and emotions used in myths, fairy-tales and legends?
Did they work well in their pair?

If they tried this writing activity again would they do anything differently?


What modern myths, fairy-tales or legends did the class think of?

Follow on discussion:
Thinking about the play, what advice is given to Frank by the different characters?
How did Frank decide what to do?
Whose advice did Frank heed?
What are the qualities of myths, fairy-tales or emotions that are most evident in the play?

Dear Over world,
So this is my story, it’s unfortunately gory, but that’s how it is so let’s get down to business. Not so long ago I was above, I had felt trapped, and without knowing my life was mapped – out for me, you see. The problem is I met this beour, a stunner who was all good, and by rights should be here too. I was wondering if ye knew, or could tell me who to talk to down here to see if I could find her or find out what happened to her at the very least.
I’d be much obliged and would appreciate the effort.
Talk to ya, Frank



Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Exploring mythology through poetry

Active Learning

Small group activity




Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY



SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Self Management

Topic: Group work

Topic: What motivates me?

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends

Link: Exploring poetry, speaking verse in a small group, pairs or individually. Responding emotionally and imaginatively to literary experiences.




Learning Objective: To work together in a small group and perform the poem.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will develop an understanding of working together as a group.

Students will discuss the mythology in the poem and how this can be explored through dramatising the poem.

Students will consider how best to perform the poem to an audience.





Materials: Paper, pens, pencils, a copy of the poem “Welsh Incident” by Robert Graves, a clip of the poem being read by Richard Burton.



  1. Explain the learning objective to the group. Divide the class into small groups of four or

five depending on the class size.


  1. Play the clip of Richard Burton reading, “Welsh Incident” by Robert Graves available on

You Tube. Listen to the poem twice or three times. Ask each group to discuss what they think the poet might be talking about? What is happening in the poem? How many voices can they hear in the poem? How is the poem presented to us? If possible the class could work in small groups to do some research on the poet Robert Graves and the poem, “Welsh Incident” to inform their performances of the poem.


  1. In the same session or a follow-on session, give each group a copy of the poem. Explain that they have twenty to thirty minutes to read through the poem together. Discuss what is happening in the poem and how they would like to present the poem. Ask each group to decide on the roles they will take in the group; two actors, a director and a stage manager depending on the group size. Give the groups time to discuss and develop their performances of the poem. Suggest that the groups can use props or design a small set to perform their poem. This could be done over a number of sessions.




  1. In a following session watch each group’s performance of the poem. As a group discuss whether performing the poem changed or enhanced their understanding of the poem? Was it easy to create a performance of the poem? Is this poem similar to any other poems they have studied or learnt?


Follow on discussion:

The play is written using poetic language. What was this like to listen to? Had you experienced this type of performance before?





Unit 2: Myths, fairy-tales and legends: Questioning ourselves

Creating our own myths, fairy-tales and legends

Writing activity


Pairs or individual activity




Year groups:

2nd, 3rd, TY



SPHE: Belonging and Integrating

Self Management

Influences and Decisions

Topic: Group work

Topic: What motivates me?

Topic: Making decisions

CSPE: The Individual and Citizenship

Concept: Human Dignity

English: Personal, Social and Cultural Literacy


Unit theme: Myths, fairy-tales and legends

Link: Creating myths and legends using a writing frame.

Writing: Developing ideas and creative writing.




Learning Objective: To create our own myth, fairy-tale or legend using a writing frame.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will create their own myth, fairy-tale or legend using a defined pattern of narrative from the book The Morphology of the Folk Tale by Vladimer Propp.

Students will discuss the type of myth, fairy-tale or legend they would like to write.

Students will consider the values or emotions they would like to highlight in their myth, fairy-tale or legend.





Materials: Paper, pens, pencils, a copy of the extract from the pattern of narrative.

The defined pattern of narrative from the book The Morphology of the Folk Tale by Vladimer Propp was adapted from a hand-out by Emelie FitzGibbon.




  1. Explain that the students are going to create their own myth, fairy-tale or legend using the defined pattern of narrative from the book The Morphology of the Folk Tale by Vladimer Propp. This breaks down the pattern of a fable or tale into bite-size parts.




  1. Show students an example of the adapted narrative pattern on the flipchart, blackboard or whiteboard. Go through the thirteen steps for creating a myth or tale. Use Where in the World is Frank Sparrow? or another myth, fairy-tale or legend as a model for explaining the writing frame. It would also be useful to give students time to explore the http://myths.e2bn.org/ which has myths and legends from around the world. When reading a myth or legend students could refer to the thirteen steps and find each step in the particular story.




  1. Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to consider the different values or ideas they would like to explore in their story. Who will their central character or hero be? What interdiction/banning will happen to the hero? How will the hero avoid this? Who will the villain be? What will the villain do? What does the villain want? What happens between the villain and the hero? What difficult task is proposed to the hero? What magical instrument will the hero attain? What will happen between the hero and the villain. How will the villain be defeated? How will the task be resolved? Where will the hero live happily ever after? This questions can be explored with the class in a shared writing activity before beginning pair or individual work. Give students a copy of the writing framework with the questions to help in developing their writing.




  1. Give students an opportunity to mind map or use a thought shower to develop their initial ideas. A mood board of images and key words or phrases could also be created before beginning to write the story.




  1. The writing process could take place over a number of sessions. Students could write in pairs or individually and edit their work by reviewing other myths, fairy-tales and legends for ideas and useful phrases to use. It could also be useful to research the website http://myths.e2bn.org/ where you can write your own myth and read myths that other students have written.




  1. Students can share their myths, fairy-tales and legends with the class when they are completed if they wish. Alternatively, the stories could be collected together to make a class book which could be placed in the school library for other students to access.

Fables and Tales

The traditional fable follows a very clearly defined pattern of narrative. In his book The Morphology of the Folk Tale Vladimer Propp defines 36 patterns which occur in a specific order. In any one folk-tale or fable not all of these are present but each element occurs in its particular order.


The order you choose might be:


  1. The hero goes out of his environment.




  1. An interdiction is addressed to the hero.




  1. The interdiction is violated

  • This always allows the villain to act.




  1. The villain begins to act.




  1. The villain attempts to deceive his victim in order to take possession of him or of his belongings.




  1. The victim submits to deception and thereby unwittingly helps his energy.




  1. A difficult task is proposed to the hero.




  1. The hero withstands a test.




  1. The hero acquires the use of a magical agent.




  1. The hero and villain join in direct combat.




  1. The villain is defeated.




  1. The task is resolved.




  1. The hero lives happily ever after.


Reflection and discussion:
Ask the group if they enjoyed this activity? Why? Why not?
Did they find it easy to think of the values and emotions to use in their own myths, fairy-tales and legends?

If they tried this writing activity again would they do anything differently?


Could this writing frame be adapted or used again to develop other writing activities in the future or to explore other plays?
Did this approach to writing help students? Was it useful to have a writing frame?




Follow on discussion:
How do the students think the writer of this play, Angela Betzien, began her writing process?
Does this play have features of the pattern of narrative writing frame?
What elements of the play stand out to you? Why?









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