Black Cats weren’t always considered bad luck. In early Egyptian times, dating back as far as 3000 BC, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise and was praised for its ability to kill cobras and other vermin.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar. It is celebrated for eight days and nights. In Hebrew, the word “hanukkah” means “dedication.” The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.
December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For more than two thousand years, people have been observing Christmas Day with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, sharing meals with family and friends and waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
December 6 is the Feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a bishop from the fourth century. He is the model for our modern-day Santa Claus, because Saint Nicholas’s generosity was legendary. The night before Saint Nicholas Day, children place their shoes in a prominent location– by a fireplace, or outside their bedroom door. The next morning–usually very early–the children find their shoes filled with little presents from the great saint.
In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The thanksgiving observance at Plymouth was prompted by a good harvest. Initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed the colonists, but the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the settlers by providing seeds and teaching them to fish.
Winter plays a major part in these ghost stories from the United States and Canada.
The cold of winter creeps into these folktales from the United States and Canada.
Read folktales about strong women, witches, legendary heroines, female ghosts and spooks, and some curious girls who get themselves in trouble! These are the women of American Folklore.
Oh a chipmunk, chipmunk sitting on a limb/And he winked at me and I at him/So I picked up a chip and I hit him on the chin/And he said: “Young man, don’t you try that again!”
Here is a list of folklore books recommended for teachers. These collections contain a variety of folktales, from Native American Myths and Legends to Ghost stories. There are also Urban Legends and some really funny Tall Tales.
So, what is folklore, anyway? What exactly is the difference between a myth and a legend? A folktale and a tall tale? Where do you draw the line between a fable and a fairytale? What is the difference between a normal legend and an urban one? For those of you who have spent many a sleepless night pondering such mysteries, I have written up a quick folklore vocabulary list to help solve the murky intricacies of folklore and allow you to sleep at night.
The term folklore is generally used to refer to the traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people which have beem disseminated in an informal manner…
A lesson plan on writing for grades 3-5 which introduces different types of story beginnings to students, allows students to write different beginnings, and engages students in the process of revision.
Here is a list of folklore resources available to teachers on a variety of topics, from folktales to life histories, and from folklife to legends.
A lesson plan for grades 4 and 5 which engages children in the art of storytelling and develops public speaking skills.
Here is a list of lesson plans that have been created using stories from the American Folklore site or appropriate for use with the Spooky Series by .