Anansi the Spider - a tale from the Ashanti
Adapted and Illustrated by Gerald McDermott
Anansi the Spider is the trickster character in folk tales from Africa and
Jamaica. In this story, Anansi falls into trouble and is rescued by his sons,
each one using his own special skills. In the end, Anansi wants to reward the
son who helped him the most by giving him a special glowing ball. Because the
sons could not agree on who had helped the most, Nyame, the God of All Things,
takes the ball into the sky where it is now the moon.
Here is a site to help children and teachers become better web crawlers:
Click here to visit
Here is a site where children have written Anansi poetry. Click
here to visit this
Here is a site with a lesson plan for this story: Click
visit this site.
Copyright 1972 by Landmark Productions
Published by Henry Holt and Company
ISBN # 0-8050-0311-8
Why do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?
Retold by Verna Aardema
Pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon
This folk tale from West Africa is told in the "House that Jack
Built" style. Mosquito says something silly to iguana. Iguana puts sticks
in his ears to avoid hearing such nonsense. Because he can't hear, a chain of
events occurs which King Lion must untangle. This story is particularly good
for teaching onomonopea, as each animals makes a peculiar and particular sound.
This web site has a good
biography. Here is a site with good art ideas for extension of this story.
The lesson plans are extensive, with particular emphasis on making masks. Visit
Education to read these lesson plans.
Visit Scholastic for more
information on ordering this book.
Copyright 1975 by
Verna Aardema and Leo and Diane Dillon
Published by Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN # 0-590-10294-X
The Egyptian Cinderella
Retold by Shirley Climo
Illustrated by Ruth Heller
Every folk tale has a root in fact. Rhodopis, a slave in Greece, is believed to
have been born in northern Greece, kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery.
She was later taken to Greece and bought by a man named Charaxos. She later
married the Pharaoh Amasis (570 - 526 BC) and became his queen. This story,
originally written by the Roman historian Strabo in the first century B.C.
gives the legendary explanation of her rise to riches.
Here is a web site kids can use before and during their reading of this book.
It includes questions to help assess prior knowledge. Visit
Visit this site
Thinkquest A great source of information on Egypt, written in "Kid
Copyright 1989 by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller
Published by HarperTrophy
ISBN # 0-06-443279-3
Jirimpimbira - An African Folktale
Kathleen Arnot's Tale of Temba inspires this 25 minute animated
videotape tells the story of a young boy, Temba, who fights off danger to find
food and water for his village. He is given a set of magic bones by a wise old
man. As repayment for the magic bones, he must remember that friendship is the
best gift of all. In the end he saves his village from starvation.
This story has surprising twists and holds children's attention. It is an easy
lead in to using folk tales to teach social conventions such as friendship.
Since this isn't available at a retail store, here is a site where you can
order the video.
Here is a site with information about the continent of Africa, including the
names of the countries, the languages spoken there, and pictures of the food.
Visit ImagesAfrica for more
Copyright 1995 Greengrass Productions, Inc.
Produced and Distributed by ABC Video Publishing,Inc.
ISBN # 1-56949-311-1
This site was created by Diane Brown and Michelle
Madden to fulfill requirements for an Oklahoma State University graduate class.
This site is not considered to be child-safe because some of the sites
referenced within this site link to the world wide web.
This page last updated April 24,