Author: Rasheeda Sadiq | Published on 1 February 2024


Read what Rasheedat says about this activity:

This activity focuses on learners exchanging folktales from their cultures to promote intercultural understanding and practice listening and speaking skills.


Stage 1: Warm Up (Pre-teach)

Informs learners that they will be listening to and retelling a story. Before listening to the story, pre-teach any vocabulary by creating a bank of key or new words that are essential for comprehension.

Stage 2: Listening

Tell a popular folk tale from your culture. While listening to the story, learners take down notes on the key parts of the story. Alternative: while you tell the story ask learners questions to check understanding.

Stage 3: Retelling

In pairs or groups, learners retell or reconstruct the story. When they finish elicit the features of folktales from the learners. Some of these include; normally passed orally from generation to generation; has a simple plot; highlights moral values; may or may not include magic and mythical creatures etc.

Stage 4: Exploring story structure

Give a brief overview of a story structure (Exposition/Beginning, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution). Learners identify the structure in a written version of the folktale.

Stage 5: Grammar in context (Language features)

Ask the learners to identify what tense is used in the story. Learners, in their groups, are then given a written text of the folktale to find and underline examples of words/verbs in the past tense.

Stage 6: Listening/Speaking Activity

Learners take notes on a fairy tale from their culture and share it with a partner. The partner listens and then retells the folktale told by their partners. Students are paired and exchange folktales from their cultures.

NB Listeners first take notes while listening to their partner using the structure outlined in stage 4. Then, while retelling the story, they take notes on each other’s using the same structure.

Stage 7: Retelling Exercise (optional)

Each pair retells the story told by their partner to the whole class. Alternative: retell to another pair to reduce performance anxiety

Stage 8: Discussion

Learners identify, and mention lessons learned from the various folktales.

Stage 9: Writing

Classes write out three cultures and new information learned about the cultures from listening to the folktales. Alternative: write their favourite story for homework.

Notes: In larger classes, the retelling of the partners’ tales can be done in groups to give everyone the opportunity to participate.