Learn how to start a new homeschooling tradition called Folk Tale Tuesday. Traverse the globe with captivating folk tales, while you foster meaningful discussions and create unforgettable memories with your kids.

Folk Tale Tuesday: Discover the World Through Stories

In our homeschool, we’ve embraced a magical tradition that adds a touch of cultural exploration and character building to our weekly routine: Folk Tale Tuesday. Every Tuesday, we embark on a literary journey as we listen to a global folk tale from WBUR’s Circle Round and explore valuable lessons in virtues. Coupled with some snacks and a cup of hot cocoa, tea, or warm cinnamon almond milk and a coloring sheet, Folk Tale Tuesday has truly become the heart of our homeschooling experience, a cozy, connection-building tradition that we eagerly look forward to each week.

How Folk Tale Tuesday Works

Select a Folk Tale from a Different Cultures Each Week

For the most part, we utilize WBUR’s Circle Round folk tales for Folk Tale Tuesday. Occasionally, we’ll use another folk tale, usually in the form of a picture book or a short anthology, especially if there’s not a Circle Round folk tale associated with the country we’re studying or it’s a more in-depth unit study where we’re spending multiple weeks on the same country.

If you’re not currently using the Global Explorers curriculum, simply select a folk tale from a country of your choosing. You can use each folk tale as a springboard to delve deeper into different cultural traditions from around the world.

Color a Related Coloring Page

Circle Round offers free coloring pages available to download for each of the folk tales they feature on their podcast. Simple navigate to their website, search the folk tale you’ve selected for the week, and print the corresponding coloring sheet.

I often scale the print to 40% its original size. This allows my children to cut the picture out after they’ve finished coloring it and paste it into their learning journals alongside their related written narrations, sentence strategies, and journal entries.

Discuss the Folk Tale and Identify Virtues Portrayed

Each week’s folk tale corresponds to a related virtue we’re studying using resources from The Virtues Project. Folk tales are a great way to easily implement valuable lessons in character development.

After we’ve listened to our selected folk tale every Tuesday, we discuss it. Oftentimes, our discussion starts with a narration and moves on from there.

Complete Sentence Strategies to Reinforce Language Skills

Once we have discussed each week’s folk tale, then we utilize Judith C. Hochman’s The Writing Revolution activities to practice writing skills through sentence strategies. I love the Writing Revolution because it’s a multidisciplinary approach to language arts that is easily adapted for all ages.

You’ll find a corresponding sentence strategies activity sheet for each Circle Round folk tale included in the Global Explorers curriculum.

Here’s how we adapt our sentence strategy sheets for multiple ages:

  • My fourth grader completes most of these writing activities independently. She uses the printed sheet as a rough draft, then she selects a few of her favorite written sentences or paragraphs about the folk tale to copy into her learning journal.
  • My first grader completes most of the sentence strategies orally. I transcribe her sentences onto the printed sheet. Then she selects 1-2 sentences to record in her learning journal.

Complete a Related Journal Prompt or Activity

Later in the week, usually on Thursday, we’ll complete a related journal prompt or suggested activity related to the week’s selected folk tale. This is made easy since each Circle Round folk tale often concludes with an engaging activity or discussion prompt designed to spark meaningful conversations between children and adults. This provides us another way to seamlessly incorporate practical writing into our homeschooling day.

Benefits of Incorporating Folk Tale Tuesday

  1. Cultural Awareness: Folk Tale Tuesday exposes children to diverse cultures and traditions from around the world, fostering a sense of global awareness and understanding.
  2. Language Skills Enhancement: By engaging in sentence strategies, journal activities, and discussions related to the folk tales, children naturally develop and reinforce their language skills, including reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
  3. Character Education: Discussing the virtues portrayed in each folk tale provides an opportunity for character education, promoting strong moral values in an engaging context.

How to Get Started with Folk Tale Tuesday

  • Research Ahead: Plan your Folk Tale Tuesday by researching and selecting folk tales in advance. This allows you to gather any necessary materials (coloring sheets, sentence strategies, etc.) and tailor activities to complement each story. If you’re using the Global Explorers curriculum, each folk tale and related activities has already been mapped out for you.
  • Create a Cozy Atmosphere: Set the stage for Folk Tale Tuesday by creating a cozy and inviting space. We spread some pillows out on the floor around our coffee table, plan a few special snacks, and enjoy coloring together as a family while we listen to our selected folk tale each week.
  • Involve Your Children: Encourage your children to actively participate in the process. Let them suggest snacks, pick related activities, and even take turns leading the discussion about each folk tale.
  • Document the Journey: Keep a record of the folk tales you explore, the activities you do, and the discussions you have. This creates a meaningful documentation of your homeschooling journey and serves as a cherished keepsake. My kids cut and paste their coloring sheets into their homeschooling notebooks alongside their sentence strategies and journal entries.
  • Flexibility is Key: While planning is essential, be flexible in adapting Folk Tale Tuesday to the evolving interests and needs of your children. Make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Join Us for Folk Tale Tuesday

If you’d like to explore our Folk Tale Tuesday tradition, I invite you to download the sentence strategy sheets below. You’ll receive sentence strategy activities related to two of our selected Circle Round folk tales: ‘The Perfect Partnership’ and ‘Leopard’s Rhythm’, both included in our Africa unit study for the country of Ghana.

Some tips for preparing for Folk Tale Tuesday

  1. Print out the coloring sheets for ‘The Perfect Partnership‘ and ‘Leopard’s Rhythm‘. I like to scale the sheets to 40% or 50%, so the completed coloring illustration can be pasted into my children’s notebooks.
  2. Print out the sentence strategy sheets for each folk tale below. If it’s your first time using the Writing Revolution activities, I recommend completing them orally with your children first.
  3. Gather any supplies needed, such as coloring pencils, crayons, or markers, notebooks, etc.
  4. Set aside a designated time. We like to do our Folk Tale Tuesday activity either mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
  5. Together, prepare snacks and a cozy beverage. Prepare your space.
  6. Enjoy listening to the folk tale while coloring together. I like to stream the folk tale from my phone connected to a Bluetooth speaker.
  7. Afterwards, discuss the folk tale and complete any of the suggested activities.

We’ll be discussing the virtue of cooperation for ‘The Perfect Partnership’ and the virtue of excellence for ‘Leopard’s Rhythm’.

READY TO discover africa?

Filled with captivating stories and hands-on activities, your learning journey awaits!