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Strong and Resourceful
How about taking a break from helpless and beauty-centered Cinderella stories?
You'll be sure to feel refreshed with ese delightful world tales. (Grades K - 12)
Girls and Women
Study Guide & Bibliography
Depending on the grade level of the students, Megumi will tell one, two, or three of the
following stories. Optional The program may end with an interactive storytelling,
where students and Megumi create a story, on the spot!
Little Red Riding Hood (China and Europe)
Mouse Bride (Asia)
The Crane Maiden (Japan)
The Girl Who Adored Bugs (Japan)
The Mirror of Matsuyama (Japan)
The Old Woman and the Rice Balls (Japan)
To introduce stories of strong and resourceful girls and women as models.
To give students the opportunity to participate in storytelling through song, sound effects, and movement.
Please choose and modify the following suggestions to fit your studentsí needs.
SUGGESTED PRE-PERFORMANCE ACTIVITIES:
Explore with the art of storytelling with students.
1) Storytelling is interpersonal:
How is someone telling you a story different from reading a story? What difference does it make if the storytellerís hands, instead of holding a book, are free to point somewhere, or hug you? if the storytellerís eyes look into your eyes?
How is someone telling you a story different from a TV depicting the story? What difference does it make if the storytellers pauses in the scary part of the story to make sure you arenít too frightened? if the storyteller goes into more detail in describing a certain favorite scene of yours?
How is someone telling you a story different from an author whoís written a story, but is not with you physically? What difference does it make if you made an insulting remark, or were reading a book? Would the author/storyteller notice if you were interested in the story,
or his/her particular style of storytelling?
2) There are various types of Storytelling for varied purposes.
What are the different types of stories?
Old Wivesí Tales
Reports (of what happened at school, work, last time they saw Ted, when Sally pruned the bushes, etc.)
Who told you stories (without a book) when you were growing up? What kinds of stories did they tell? How often?
Who read you stories with a book? What are your favorite stories?
What are some of your favorite stories about your family? Interview older family members about places theyíve lived, games they played as children, how they celebrated holidays, and what school was like. Have students write down these stories and compile them as a class project.
Explore Women in History, Women in Mythology, Women in Politics, Women in Science, etc.
Check out: National Women's History Project
SUGGESTED FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:
Have students draw one scene from their favorite story. Write a description. Is it ok for girls and women to be strong and resourceful?
Read stories of strong and resourceful girls and women from around the world (see attached bibliography). How does the geography affect stories? For example, heroines may have to overcome difficulties posed by mountains, cold weather, and animals that the local environment supports.
For History and Political Sciences
There are many more stories of boys and men having adventures than girls and women. In general, women are depicted as more passive than men. How do those stories reflect the culture and history of the places from which the stories come?
For Elementary School and Junior High:
For younger students, read to them a biography of the strong and resourceful girls and women. Discuss who she was.
For older students, have them choose a biography from the school library. Do a creative presentation by having them each make puppet of the heroine and having the puppet speak about her life and work.
Option: Have students collaborate and create a puppet show about a strong and resourceful woman.
For Junior High School and older:
Study the history of witch hunts in Europe and the United States. A majority of those tortured and killed were women. Read Margaret Atwood, Frances Hill, Carol Karlsen, Donna Jo Napoli, and Minako Ohba. (See following bibliography.)
For Language Arts (reading & writing):
1. Perform a Readerís Theatre piece about a brave Indian princess!
RTE#3 Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India
References: Aaron Shepard, Stories on Stage, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1993.
2. Create a Readerís Theatre from a story of strong and resourceful girls and women and perform it for your class, retirement communities, or for charitable organizations.
How to write oneís own:
3. Compare and contrast different versions of the same story motif:
- Jeannette Faurot, ďThe Laughing Oni,Ē Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends,
Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.
- Arlene Mosel, The Funny Little Woman, Dutton, 1972.
- Ethel Johnston Phelps, "The Old Woman and the Rice Cakes," The Maid of the North:
Feminist Folk TalesFrom Around the World, The Talman Company, 1981.
Who is laughing? How does the story change when the person(s) laughing switches?
Is one version geared toward a more mature audience?
4. Compare and contrast different versions of the same story:
- Donald Keene, "The Lady Who Loved Insects," Anthology of Japanese Literature, Grove Press Inc., 1955.
- Jean Merrill, The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars, Philomel Books, 1992.
The oldest version is intended to be an amusing story of a rather strange woman. The re-telling emphasizes the intelligence and the independence of the young woman, and is sympathetic. How do these different views reflect the attitudes of people of different times?
Learn songs from a wonderful collection of songs about women, compiled by Hilda E. Wenner, Here's to the Women (see Bibliography). Perform them for Womenís Hisory Month.
Who were the women scientists and mathematicians? What did they invent, discover, and explore? National Women's History Project has a variety of resources and ideas. See Resources below.
Margaret Atwood, edited by Melissa Mia Hall, "Half-Hanged Mary," Wild Women,
Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1997.
Naomi Baltuck, "The Woodcutter's Daughter," Apples from Heaven: Multicultural
Folk Tales About Stories and Storytellers, Linnet Books, 1995.
Eleanor Coerr, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,
Dell Publishing Yearling Book, 1977.
Tomie dePaola, The Legend of the Bluebonnet, G.P. Pubnam's Sons, 1983.
Pleasant DeSpain, "The Bosung Pohoo," Thirty-Three Multicultural Tales to Tell,
August House Publishers, 1993.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, "The Crescent Moon Bear (Tsuki no Waguma)," Women Who Run
With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, Ballantine Books, 1992. (for high school and up)
Jeannette Faurot, "Crane Wife," Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.
Jeannette Faurot, "The Laughing Oni," Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.
Jeannette Faurot, "Kaguya Hime," Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.
Selina Hastings, illustrated by Juan Wijngaard, Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1985.
Frances Hill, A Delusion of Satan, Doubleday, 1995.
Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchraft in Colonial New England,
W. W. Norton & Company, 1987.
Donald Keene, "The Lady Who Loved Insects," Anthology of Japanese Literature,
Grove Press Inc., 1955.
Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking, Puffin Books, 1957. (videorecording also available)
Bonnie Lockhart, "The Witch Song," Rise Up Singing, Sing Out! Publications, 1992.
Betty MacDonald, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, various publishers, 1957-1997.
Emily Arnold McCully, Mirette on the Highwire, Putnam, 1992.
Jean Merrill, The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars, Philomel Books, 1992.
Edited by Rosemary Minard, "The Chinese Red Riding Hoods," Womenfolk and Fairy Tales, Houghton Mifflin, 1975.
Arlene Mosel, The Funny Little Woman, Dutton, 1972.
Robert Munsch, The Paper Bag Princess, Annick Press, Ltd., 1994.
Donna Jo Napoli, The Magic Circle, Dutton Children's Books, 1993.
Kancho Oda and Ralph McCarthy, The Moon Princess, Kodansha Ltd., 1993. (Beautiful illustrations.)
Kathleen Odean, Great Books for Girls: More than 600 Books to Inspire Today's
Girls and Tomorrow's Womens, Ballantine Books, 1997.
Minako Ohba, "The Smile of the Mountain Witch," Wild Women: Contemporary Short
Stories by Women Celebrating Women, compiled by Sue Thomas, Overlook Press, 1994.
Jan Ormerod and David Lloyd, The Frog Prince, Lothrop, 1990.
Edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, Tatterhood and Other Tales, The Talman Company, 1978. (Recommended. A good multicultural collection.)
Edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World, Henry Holt and Company, 1981. (Recommended. A good multicultural collection.)
Edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, "The Old Woman and the Rice Cakes," The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales From Around the World, Henry Holt and Company, 1981.
Edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, "Sheherazade Retold," The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World, Henry Holt and Company, 1981.
Patricia Polacco, Babshka Baba Yaga, Philomel, 1993.
Kathleen Ragan, Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters, W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1998. (Recommended. A good multicultural collection.)
James Riordan, "Aina-kizz and the Black-Bearded Bai," The Woman in the Moon and Other Tales of Forgotten Heroines, Dial Books, 1984. (Recommended. A good multicultural collection.)
Kimiko Sakai, Sachiko Means Happiness, Children's Book Press, 1990. (A tender story of a girl appreciating her grandmotherís Alzheimerís Disease.)
Robert D. San Souci, Cut From the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale, Philomel Books, 1993. (Recommended. A good multicultural collection.)
Aaron Shepard, Stories on Stage, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1993.
Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, The Maiden of Northland; A Hero Tale of Finland, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1996.
Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Gennady Spirin, The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1997.
Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Vera Rosenberry, Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India, A Whitman, 1992.
Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Cornerstone Books, 1989.
Claus Stamm, Three Strong Women, Viking, 1990.
Hilda E. Wenner, Here's to the Women: 100 Songs for and About American Women, Syracuse University Press, 1987.
(Terrific collection. This book is out of print, but can be found through:
Jane Yolen, The Emperor and the Kite, Philomel Books, 1967.
Ed Young, Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, Philomel Books, 1989.
Rosalma Zubizarreta, illustrated by Fernando Olivera, The Woman Who Outshone the Sun: The Legend of Lucia Zenteno
(La mujer que brillaba aun mas que elsol), Children's Book Press, 1991. (A marvelously illustrated bilingual book addressing twin issues: diversity and water as a valuable resource)
National Women's History Project (707) 838-6000 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA 95492-8518,
History of the Women's Rights Movement in the United States