Mexican Folktales: A Curriculum Guide for Incorporating Multicultural Competencies
by Louann Brieno and Jennifer Shank

Curriculum Outline
• Introduction
• Curriculum Rationale
• Philosophy of Education
• Goals and Objectives
• Demographics
• Map of Theme
• Multicultural Competencies
• ESL Methods and Strategies
• Lesson Plans
• Bibliography of Mexican Folktales
• Mexican Folktale Activities Website Search Results
Introduction to Mexican Folktales
• We would like our students to hear stories from different cultures through-out the year.
• We would like each month to be devoted to a different culture. Students would read books and or do projects within that month’s culture.
• Mexican Folktales are the type of stories that we will be using for our project.
• We planned the lessons with elementary school students in mind. We can adapt them to fit in any of the grade levels. We have included a list of other literature that can be used for other lessons in this month. There is a list of web sites that can also be used as a resource.
• We feel all students need to see their culture and language in books.
Curriculum Rationale
• We work with children who are from the Hispanic culture and we wanted to see what is available to meet their needs.
• The main standard we will use is the power performance standard from Gallup McKinley County Schools: Children will listen to, read, react, retell, and interpret information. This standard relates to kindergarten through fifth grade. The higher the grade level, the more that is required to complete this standard.
• To insure second language learners achieve these competencies, we will be using many ESL techniques and strategies.
• We want children of different cultures to see themselves in literature.
• We have a list of multicultural competencies that we will incorporate in each lesson.
Philosophy of Education
Education is a diverse and ever-changing institution that requires its workforce to reconsider some of the concepts and beliefs that are instilled in its organization. This paradigm shift from old to new approaches is necessary when considering multicultural education. This aspect of education is not simply the study of a particular culture or celebrating a single day of importance to one group of students, but a shift in being grounded of one’s own beliefs and mores while learning and valuing others.
Multicultural education is an increasingly significant part of the educational system that enables diverse populations’ needs to be fulfilled. It is a mind-set that requires stakeholders to modify instruction and manage the classroom in such a manner that promotes culture and diversity. It is an approach that recognizes differences as an asset and strength. It is the fulfillment of a mission to provide an education to the growing diverse student population.
Goals and Objectives
• The students will develop literacy skills through multicultural education and concepts.
• The students will feel empathy for cultures other than their own through knowledge gained in readings and activities.
• The students’ culture and heritage will be part of the curriculum, instilling pride in students and showing value for many cultures.
Demographics of McKinley County
• NW New Mexico
• 5,455 square miles
• 74,798 people residing in county
• 16.39% White, .4% African American, 74.72% Native American, .46% Pacific Islander, 12.4% Hispanic or Latino, 5.47% other races
• Household median income $25,005
• Per capita income is $9,872
• 31.9% of families are below the poverty line
– 42.3% are under the age of 18
– 31.5% are 65 and older
Description of Students
Many of our children come from loving, supportive, hard working families that are involved and want their children to succeed. The problem is sometimes they don’t know how to help them. The parents lack the skills, the time, or their feelings from their school experience block an active participation with the school. Some parents are working at minimum wage paying jobs to try to improve their family’s wellbeing or they don’t work at all. It’s very hard for most of our families.
Many of our children never go any where except to Wal-Mart. Gallup and the Navajo or Zuni reservation are their only experiences. They lack the background knowledge used for understanding. The only environment they manipulate is their neighborhood and the few blocks surrounding their home and school.
Factors Influencing Student Population
There are several factors that negatively impact learning by the students within the Gallup McKinley County School District. The largest, overriding factor is poverty. Within the characteristic of poverty there are many aspects that compound this hurdle: unfulfilled basic needs, lack of parental support, mental and physical abuse. Two other factors that disable students from gaining academic knowledge include unsuitable teacher/student involvement and necessary English language acquisition skills. Although these three factors are intertwined, characteristics of each need to be addressed when planning instruction.

Map of Theme

Multicultural Competencies
• All students will be treated fairly.
• All students will be accepted for who they are.
• All students are worthy.
• All students have knowledge, feelings, and an ability to learn.
• All students are unique and make contributions to the class.
• All students need love and acceptance in the classroom.
• All students will explore different cultures and discuss them.
• All students will exchange cultural ideas to see how alike we are.
• All students will be accepting of other’s uniqueness.
• All students will learn the curriculum by using ELL strategies.
• All students will be able to express their feelings and attitudes.
• All students need to have and show empathy to others.
• All cultures are respected and important.
ESL Methods and Strategies
• Scaffolding information and assignments
• Extended time
• Oral responses
• Read instructions
• Color code
• Think, Pair, Share
• Cooperative groups
• Paraphrase
• Consider second language acquisition pattern when introducing new vocabulary; listening, speaking, reading, writing
• Use contextual cues
• Build background knowledge
• Graphic Organizers
• Value cultures
• Mind map
• Word walls with visuals
• Discussion
• Model, model, model
• Check for understanding
• Focus on key concepts
• Use manipulatives
• Consider various learning styles
Lesson Plans for Mexican Folklore by Louann Brieno

Title: The Three Javelinas
Date: July 21,2004
Grade Level: First - 2nd
Timeframe: 30-45 minutes for 2-3 days

Standards: Power Performance Standard: Student will listen to, read, react to, retell, and interpret information.

Objective: The student will listen to the story and discuss the what, whom, when, where, and whys of the story. The students will retell the story. The students will compare and contrast the stories.

Multicultural Objective: All students have knowledge, feelings, and an ability to learn. All cultures are respected and important. All students will explore different cultures and discuss them.

ESL Strategies: I will use think-Pair-Share, Buddy Buzz, puppets, acting out, cooperative learning, and using graphic organizers like the Venn Diagram to do compare and contrast.

Lesson Activities:
Teacher: The teacher will have the students look at the book and ask if they know what a javelina is. She will pick out 3-4 words from the story that she thinks her class might have trouble with. They will discuss what these words mean and have pictures to help with the understanding. The teacher will read the story interactively. She will ask question as she goes using think-pair-share and buddy buzz to check for understanding. The teacher will keep a chart of new words from different cultures with their meanings and pictures.
Day Two: The teacher will provide the materials to make the puppets.
Day Three: The teacher will read the story The Three Little Pigs. The teacher will pass out a Venn diagram paper for each team. The teacher will demonstrate how to complete the diagram on the board. She will have the children tell one thing to put on the paper together.
After the students work together for 10-15 minutes. Each team gives an answer to put on the big Venn Diagram Student: The student will listen to and talk to their partners about the story. The students will think of words that are in the story from another culture. After the story is read the students will act out the story.
Day Two: The students will make puppets with sticks and then can act out the story in class and at home.
Day Three: The students will do a compare and contrast. Using The Three Little Pigs and The Three Javelinas, the students will fill out a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two stories. They will work in teams to complete this assignment. The teams will share with the other teams to complete the Large Venn Diagram on the board.

Assessment/ Evaluation: The teacher observes the students during their puppet shows. The groups turn in their Venn Diagram. The teacher reads The Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig and has each student fill out a Venn Diagram on this story and one of the others.

Reinforcement/ Enrichment:
The students write their own three little pigs story. The students will read the word chart to learn and remember what they are and mean. The students can read the stories themselves.

Materials: 1. Multiple Copies of these stories 2. Copies of the Venn Diagram 3.pencils and crayons 4.Popscicle sticks, glue, and copies of a picture of each character from the story

Reflection: I would also like to use stories that are about real people from that culture. This will help the students to realize they can become what ever they want to be.

Lesson Plans for Mexican Folktale Unit by Jennifer Shank
Borreguita and the Coyote: Understanding Prediction/Making Inferences Date: July 2004
Grade Level:
Intermediate Elementary Timeframe:
Part of month long theme on Mexican Folktales

Standards: Students will apply strategies and skills to comprehend information that is read,
heard, and viewed.

Grade 3
Interact with text before, during, and after reading, listening, or viewing by:
&Mac183; setting a purpose
&Mac183; previewing the text
&Mac183; making predictions
&Mac183; asking questions
&Mac183; locating information for a specific purpose
&Mac183; making connections
&Mac183; using story structure and text organization to comprehend

Grade 4
Respond to fiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by:
&Mac183; analyzing author’s word choice and context
&Mac183; examining reasons for characters’ actions
&Mac183; identifying and examining characters’ motives
&Mac183; considering a situation or problems from different characters’ perspectives

Grade 5
Interact with the text by:
&Mac183; making predictions
&Mac183; formulating questions
&Mac183; supporting answers from textual information, previous experience, and/or other sources
&Mac183; drawing on personal, literary, and cultural understandings
&Mac183; seeking additional information

Objective: The student will analyze information by making inferences and predictions from a culturally related folktale.

Multicultural Objective:
• The students will develop literacy skills through multicultural education and concepts.
• The students will feel empathy for cultures other than their own through knowledge gained in readings and activities.
• The students’ culture and heritage will be part of the curriculum, instilling pride in students and showing value for many cultures.
ESL Strategies:
• Think, Pair, Share
• Cooperative groups
• Paraphrase
• Consider second language acquisition pattern when introducing new vocabulary; listening, speaking, reading, writing
• Build background knowledge
• Graphic Organizers
• Value cultures

Lesson Activities:
Motivate students by telling them that they are all going to become detectives of literature
Introduce vocabulary to students
Create a “What we know” chart to stimulate background knowledge
Define Inference and Prediction
Introduce T chart, on one side will be the “What we think will happen” list and on the other “Why we think it will happen” list
Read parts of story with students, model strategy, stop at appropriate points in the text to fill in chart Student:
Create picture and sentences reinforcing vocabulary.
Participate in cooperative groups in creation of “What we know” chart
Create own definition of Inference and Prediction
Create group T chart as reading the text
Students will present and display their group chart

Assessment/ Evaluation:
The student will be evaluated using a couple of assessment tools; which ever best meets the needs of the students. First, a conferencing tool will be established for students who have difficulty conveying their thoughts through written expression. This tool will consist of prediction and inference questions to be answered from a separate text after the teacher reads aloud part of the text to the student. Students will be able to draw their answer or orally describe to the teacher. In addition, a reading/writing format will be available to students who are proficient in writing. The same resource for text will be used.

Reinforcement/ Enrichment:
The students will play board and card games specifically designed to reinforce prediction and inference. These games are available through many educational resource stores. These same skills will also be reinforced with other reading materials.
Inference and Predication can also be applied to mathematics through the study of probability and science using the scientific method.

Multiple copies of text
Separate text for assessment
Board games
T Chart organizer for classroom/students
Pencils, markers, crayons

I would definitely take notes on what worked in this lesson and what needs to be improved upon. I would also show a lot of enthusiasm as we are working on this reading comprehension strategy.

Mexican Folktale Bibliography
• A Spoon for Every Bite by Joe Hayes
• American Folklore compiled by John O. West. Little Rock: August House, 1988.
• Ashes for gold: a tale from Mexico. Maitland, Katherine. - Mondo, Greenvale, N.Y. : 1994.
• Beneath the stone : a Mexican Zapotec tale. Wolf, Bernard, 1930- - Orchard Books, New York : c1994.
• Borderland jaguars = Tigres de la frontera. Brown, David E. (David Earl), 1938- - University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City : c2001.
• Borreguita and the coyote : a tale from Ayutla, Mexico retold by Verna Aardema
• Chicana traditions :--continuity and change - University of Illinois -, c2002.
• Chicano Folklore : A Guide to the Folktales, Traditions, Rituals and Religious Practices of Mexican Americans -- by Rafaela G. Castro;
• Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert
• Doctor Coyote. John Bierhorst. It's fables, but some are from Mexico.
• Domitila : a Cinderella tale from the Mexican tradition Coburn, Jewell Reinhart. - Shen's Books, Auburn, Calif. : c2000.
• Dragonfly's tale Rodanas, Kristina. - Clarion Books, New York : c1991. (
• Everyone knows Gato Pinto : more tales from Spanish New Mexico Hayes, Joe. - Mariposa Pub., Santa Fe, N.M. : 1992.
• Fair is fair : world folktales of justice Creeden, Sharon, 1938- - August House Publishers, Little Rock, AR :c1994.
• Fiesta femenina : celebrating women in Mexican folktale. Gerson, Mary-Joan. - Barefoot Books, New York : c2001.
• Heroines : great women through the ages Hazell, Rebecca. - Abbeville Press, New York : 1996.
• Hill of Fire (Lewis) (Reading Rainbow video)
• How music came to the world : an ancient Mexican myth Ober, Hal. - Houghton Mifflin, Boston : 1994.
• How we came to the fifth world (Rohmer) (Eng./Span.),
• Josefina. Winter, Jeanette. - Harcourt Brace, San Diego : c1996.
• Joy to the world : Christmas stories from around the globe Pirotta, Saviour. - HarperCollins, New York : 1998.
• La hormiguita from Multicultural Folktales: Stories to Tell Young Children by Judy Sierra
• La Llorona (The Wailing Woman) is about a woman who murdered her children for the love of a man and now her spirit wonders, crying for her lost children. It is often used to scare little kids (if you don't go to sleep La Llorona will come get you).
• Land of the five suns. McManus, Kay. - NTC Pub. Group, Lincolnwood, Ill.: c1996.
• Latin American folktales : stories from Hispanic and Indian traditions. Pantheon Books, New York : c2002. (
• Lazy Stories (Wolkstein),
• Legends of the plumed serpent : biography of a Mexican god. Baldwin, Neil, 1947- - PublicAffairs, New York : c1998.
• Little Cockroach Martina in The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra
• Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb by Shirley Climo
• Mediopollito/the Half-Chicken or Lizard and the Sun, both by Alma Flor Ada.
• Musicians of the Sun / McDermott (a bit hard for kids to get, I think)
• Opossum and the great firemaker : a Mexican legend. Mike, Jan M., 1955- - Troll Associates, Mahwah, N.J. : c1993.
• Pancho's Pinata by Czernecki, Stefan
• People of Corn: A Mayan Story by Mary-Joan Gerson
• Popocatepetl and Ixtacihuatl (two volcanoes near Mexico City) is an Aztec Romeo and Juliet story.
• Rain Player (Wisniewski)?
• Senor Coyote, the Judge in Twenty Two Splendid Tales to tell from around the world. Volume two
• Song of Chirimia (Volkmer) (Eng./Span.),
• Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnson.
• Tales the people tell in Mexico by Grant Lyons. New York: Julian Messner, 1972
• The Barking Mouse from Read-To-Tell-Tales From Around the World
• The Bear and His Sons : Masculinity in Spanish and Mexican Folktales by James M. Taggart, Beatrice Taggart (Illustrator)
• The Bossy Gallito by Lucia M. Gonzalez
• The Boy Who Could Do Anything & Other Mexican Folktales by Anita Brenner, Jean Charlot (Illustrator)
• The boy who wouldn't obey : a Mayan legend Rockwell, Anne F. - Greenwillow Books, New York : c2000.
• The day it snowed tortillas : tales from Spanish New Mexico Hayes, Joe. - Mariposa Pub., Santa Fe, N.M. : 1995, c1982.
• The eagle and the rainbow : timeless tales from Mexico Madrigal, Antonio Hernandez. - Fulcrum Kids, Golden, Colo. : c1997.
• The holes of Lagos
• The Iguana Brothers by Tony Johnston
• The legend of Lord Eight Deer : an epic of ancient Mexico. Pohl, John M. D. - Oxford University Press, Oxford U.K. ; New York :c2002.
• The legend of Mexicatl. Harper, Jo. - Turtle Books , Distributed by Publishers Group West, New York : Berkeley, CA : 2000.
• The legend of the poinsettia. De Paola, Tomie. - Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, New York : 1997, c1994.
• The Little Seven Colored Horse. There's an edition by Robert San Souci illustrated by Jan Thompson Dicks
• The Moon Was at a Fiesta by Matthew Gollub
• The Mouse Bride: A Mayan folktale by Judith Dupre
• The riddle of the drum (Aardema),
• The Road to Aztlan by Victor Zamudio-Taylor, Virginia M. Fields
• The Runaway Tortilla by Eric Kimmel is a Mexican version of The Gingerbread Man.
• The Sun and the Fire and others in The Mythology of Mexico and Central America by John Bierhorst
• The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnston
• The two mountains: an Aztec legend by Eric A. Kimmel
• The witch's face : a Mexican tale. Kimmel, Eric A. - Holiday House, New York : 1993.
Websites for Mexican Folktale Activities
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