Even the smallest things, when shared, can be examples of philanthropy. In the folktale, "A Drum," a poor boy gives away his meager possessions when the need arises and receives a great gift in the end. The question of one’s being naturally generous is discussed. In the Palestinian folktale, "Ma’Ruf the Shoemaker," a shoemaker is so generous that he gives away everything, including that which does not belong to him. Through that story learners will analyze the limits of generosity. Three stories, "The Brave Little Parrot," "The Luck of a Child," and "Sedge Hats for Jizo" point out the importance of those with little to give being generous. "The Silk Brocade" and "The Tatema" are folktales with very opposite main characters, both of whom are generous but in different ways. Learners will analyze how everyone can be generous, regardless of their natures.
Three Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- use the geographic themes of location, place and human-environment relations to describe settings and cultures represented in folktales.
- identify aspects of various cultures revealed in stories.
- list examples of opportunity cost in folktales.
- interpret the naturally generous nature of the main characters in the stories.
- rewrite a fable in modern times and situations.
- analyze the limits of generosity.
- describe how everyone can be generous, not just those who are hard-working.
- explain why small gifts are just as important as large gifts, especially in community fund-raising efforts.
Learners will take the lesson taught in A Drum and update the story to reflect a modern tale which gives the same lesson but represents the learner’s environment or setting. A display in the library/media center can show the original story and its updated versions so that others may learn from this folktale. An option would be to visit an elementary classroom and tell both versions of the folktale to those students. The elementary students could draw one of the segments of the story and write the lesson of the story on the bottom of the drawing.
Ask the learners if they know anyone who seems to be "naturally" generous. What characteristics about this person’s giving give that impression?
Working individually or in groups, have the learners describe the lessons that are being taught in these folktales. Update and rewrite one of the stories so that it represents a modern tale which gives the same lesson but represents the learner’s environment or setting.
Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
At home share the story "The Drum" with a family member. Discuss who in the family’s surroundings seems to have a "good heart" and is generous with others. Was this a learned trait or did it seem to come naturally?
Ebeneezer Scrooge from Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, was one character in literature who had to learn to be generous. Are there other examples in stories with which the learners are familiar?
Lesson Developed By:Evelyn Nash
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