~ Topic Discussion ~ 210 ~ Stories Across the Ages  ~

~ TLW ~ Topics for Discussion ~ Page Two

~ Discuss with a teacher, in pairs, or in groups ~ Then share your results in a classroom discussion ~

1) To begin with, in groups or in pairs, select the questions you¡¯d like to talk about. 

2) Then, in pairs or in groups, ask questions and share ideas in your conversations .

3) Finally, share your ideas (as a whole) in a classroom discussion (with all pairs/groups).


For specifics, see TLW Classroom Lesson Procedures: Click here     Click to print QUESTIONS/QUESTIONS

Storytelling: Legends, Myths, and Folklore


Adapted from Wikipedia and other sources


A story is a series of connected events either told or written.


Storytelling walks hand-in-hand with the evolution of human culture. We would not have our present societies were it not for storytelling. Legends, myths, and folklore co-exist with the process of sociocultural evolution.




A legend is a semi-true story, which has been passed on from person-to-person and has important meaning or symbolism for the culture from which it originates. A legend is usually based on historical fact, but includes improbable qualities. In addition, legends usually involve heroic characters or fantastic places and often encompass the spiritual beliefs of the culture in which they originate. For example: Atlantis, Robin Hood, and Shangri-La.




Mythology is a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition of a group of people. It can be seen as a collection of stories people tell to explain naturehistory, customs, and spirituality.

As a collection of such stories, mythology is a vital feature of every culture. Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of nature, personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual.

A culture's collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious experience, behavioral models, and moral and practical lessons.

The study of myth dates back to antiquity. Nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (E. B. Tylor), a "disease of language" (Max Müller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (James Frazer).




Folk or traditional culture is that culture that is maintained and transmitted by word of mouth or by customary practice rather than by written or printed documents. For this reason, it is distinguishable from so-called "high culture" and "pop culture".

Folklore expresses the ideas and values of a particular group. It is characteristically passed on orally or by example. It is anonymous, traditional, and follows prescribed formulae.

In the oral tradition, information is passed on verbally from one generation to another. This may be transmitted in speech in the form of folktales, songs, or chants. Because it is conveyed orally, it may change over time in the retelling and may appear in a variety of forms. Several versions of the same story may occur in different times and locations. This is particularly noted in folktales and folksongs.

Some American folksongs can be traced back to England or Ireland which were brought by immigrants who adapted the lyrics in light of their new surroundings and experiences. This phenomenon is prevalent across the spectrum of history. This ¡°phenomenon¡± may be called ¡°universal¡± for lack of a better term.


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210Set ~ 1 ~

1) Do you think there are any differences between legends, myths, and folklore? Give your opinions.

2) Do you think the stories passed down in your culture have influenced your generation? Explain.

3) It is claimed that two popular religions (Christianity and Islam) were passed down orally. Talk about it.

4) Can legends inspire people? Explain. Are there any legends in your country who have inspired others?

5) What are some stories (legends, myths, tales) that you are familiar with (from your country or abroad)?


210Set ~ 2 ~

1) Do you think chanting has any significance on the mind? What groups use chants? Give your opinions.

2) Do you think the songs passed down in your culture have influenced your generation? Explain.

3) How does ¡°pop culture¡± in your country benefit your cultural history. Give examples. Talk about it.

4) How does ¡°high culture¡± in your country benefit your cultural history. Give examples. Talk about it.

5) Do you belong to a particular group (racial, value-based, religious, otherwise)? Tell your stories.


210Set ~ 3 ~

1) What is the role of storytelling in your family? Who are the storytellers? If there are none, why?

2) Did your grandparents ever share any of their life stories? Why or why not? If not, do you wish they had?

3) What stories from friends, relatives, or celebrities have inspired you? Give examples. Talk about it.

4) What stories from movies, books, or TV shows have inspired you? Give examples. Talk about it.

5) Tell us a legend, myth, or folklore that could describe your personality? What is it? Homework.


~ Follow up ~ Try to make some of your own questions regarding the notions above.

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