Unit V Oral Traditions: Swapping Stories
Lesson 1 Introduction

Motifs and Variations Worksheet




1. Do you know other versions of "Bouki, Rabbit, and Possum"? Did you hear them, read them, or see them in movies? Have you ever heard this version before?




2. Compare the stories "The Little Tar Man," by Wilson "Ben Guiné" Mitchell; "Bouki, Lapin, and Possum," by Enola Mathews; "Bouki and Lapin in the Garden," by Max Greig; and "Brer Rabbit and Tarbaby," by Dolores Henderson, as well as any versions told in class or read in the library. If stories share the same basic plot, they are members of the same tale type.




3. List things in this story that differ from other versions. Such differences in plot, character, or major detail make each unique story a variant. For example, "The Little Tar Man," by Wilson "Ben Guiné" Mitchell has no briar patch motif, nor does Lapin escape.




4. Now list things in this story that are the same as in other versions. These are the common motifs of the story. For example, a little man made of something sticky is a motif.





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