Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide  
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Study Guide Summary  
Outline of the Study Guide  
Study Unit I Defining Terms  
Study Unit II Fieldwork Basics  
Study Unit III Discovering the Obvious: Our Lives as "The Folk"  
Study Unit IV The State of Our Lives: Being a Louisiana Neighbor  
Study Unit V Oral Traditions--Swapping Stories  
Study Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape  
Study Unit VII Material Culture-The Stuff of Life  
Study Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play  
Study Unit IX The Seasonal Round and Life Cycles  
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Unit V Outline:


Lesson 1: Introduction to Traditional Oral Narratives

Lesson 2: Language and Dialect

Lesson 3: Folk and Family Heroes and Heroines

Lesson 4: Tall Tales and Urban Legends

Lesson 5: First Meeting of the Indians and the Europeans

Lesson 6: Historical Legends

Lesson 7: Personal Experience Narratives






  Unit V
Oral Traditions: Swapping Stories



Find resources helpful for Unit V lessons below. More resources may be found online in Louisiana Folklife Bibliography.

Abrahams, Roger D. Deep Down in the Jungle, Aldine Publishing, 1970. A good teacher source for studying the folk hero Shine and other vernacular African American oral traditions.
Alvarez, Louis and Andrew Kolker. Yeah, You Rite! Center for New American Media, 1984. Video. Presents a linguistic tour of New Orleans dialects in various parts of the city and discusses the social function of language and the cultural ramifications of the differences.
Ancelet, Barry Jean. Cajun and Creole Folktales: The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana. Garland Publishing, 1994. The largest, most diverse collection of Louisiana folktales ever published, this book includes the original tale in Cajun French or Creole and an English translation.
Ancelet, Barry Jean. "Talking Pascal in Mamou: A Study in Folkloric Competence." Journal of the Folklore Institute. Vol. 17, 1980, pp. 1-24.
Armistead, Samuel G. Spanish Décimas from St. Bernard Parish, LFC C-088, recording of Irvan Perez singing décimas and notes available from the Louisiana Folklife Center.
Aarne, Antti and Stith Thompson. The Types of the Folktale. 2nd ed., Indiana University Press, 1995. A follow-up to Thompson's encyclopedic Motif Index of Folk Literature, which classifies the world's traditional oral and written stories into an easily understood system of narrative elements or motifs.
Blatt, Gloria T., ed. Once Upon a Folktale: Capturing the Folklore Process with Children. Teachers College Press, 1993. Twelve authors share their use of folklore in elementary and middle school classrooms. Includes suggestions for drawing on students' family and community folklore and explores the darker side of some folklore such as inherent racism and nationalism.
Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature. ABC-CLIO, 1998. This is a compendium of authors, concepts, motifs, characters, themes, works, and movements associated with folklore and literature from around the world.
Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meaning. Norton, 1981. This, the first of several popular collections by Brunvand, explores how the bizarre and fantastic elements that once entered our lives through tales and ballads live on in urban legends.
Brunvand, Jan Harold, ed. The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good Story. University of Illinois Press, 1999.
Burrison, John. Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South. University of Georgia Press, 1991. Like Swapping Stories, this book offers a broad array of contemporary folktale genres, mostly from Georgia.
Cantú, Norma. Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera. UNM Press, 1995. A folklorist and English professor, the author uses family photos as starting points for writing family stories and personal experience narratives.
Clayton, Lawrence A., et al. De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543, 2 Vols., University of Alabama Press, 1993. Resource for European and American perspectives on encounters with Louisiana Indians.
Cooper, Patsy. When Stories Come to School: Telling, Writing and Performing Stories in the Early Childhood Classroom. Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 1993. Early childhood teacher resource for encouraging children to tell and perform their own stories.
de Caro, Frank. Folklife in Louisiana Photography: Images of Tradition. LSU Press, 1991. Survey of the relationship between documentary photography and folklife in Louisiana from the last half of the 19th century to the present.
Dickinson, Samuel Dorris, New Travels in North America by Jean-Bernard Bossu, 1770- 1771. Northwestern State University Press, 1982.

Dobie, J. Frank. The Ben Lilly Legend, Little Brown, 1950.

Doucet, Sharon Arms. Why Lapin's Ears Are Long and Other Tales from the Louisiana Bayou. Orchard Books, 1997. David Catrow illustrated this lively adaptation of Compère Lapin tales. The Cajun and Creole variant on the trickster Brer Rabbit
Duggleby, John. Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence. Illustrated with the paintings of Jacob Lawrence. Chronicle, 1998, grades 4-8. Stories of 20th century African American experiences, from the Harlem Renaissance to civil rights rallies, are presented through Lawrence's paintings.
Flores, Dan L., ed. Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration: The Freeman & Custis Accounts of the Red River Expedition of 1806. University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.
American Folklore, Legends, and Tall Tales for Readers Theatre. ABC-CLIO, 2008, grades 4-8.
Hamilton, Virginia. A Ring of Tricksters: Animal Tales from North America, the West Indies, and Africa. Blue Sky, grades K-4. Eleven trickster tales eloquently retold and garnished with luminous and humorous watercolors.
Hamilton, Virginia. Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales. Scholastic, 1995. A wide array of heroines illustrate family heroes, historical legends, tall tales, fairy tales, why stories.
Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. Random, 1987. Retellings include Brer Rabbit and John the slave trickster.
Holloway, Joseph E., ed. Africanisms in American Culture. Indiana University Press, 1990. "Introduction: The Origins of African American Culture," by Holloway, pp. ix-18; "African Elements in African American English," by Molefi Kete Asante, pp. 19-33; and "Africanisms and the Study of Folklore," by Beverly Robinson, pp. 211-224.
Hunter, Clementine and Mary Lyons. Talking With Tebe: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist. Houghton Mifflin, 1998, grades 4-8. As much about folklife of a Creole community in northwest Louisiana as about painting, Lyons acts as editor, quoting extensively from taped interviews and articles so that the artist speaks in her own voice.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Mules and Men. Harper Collins, 1990. This collection is from the African American folklorist's 1929 fieldwork in Florida and Louisiana, $13.50.
Jones, Bessie and Bess Lomax Hawes. Step It Down. Harper & Row, 1972. Collection of African American children's folklore for teachers and K-8.
Klipple, May A. African Folk-Tales with Foreign Analogues. Garland Publishing, 1991.
Kolker, Andy and Louis Alverez. El Mosco y el Agua Alta (Mosquitos and High Water). Center for New Media, 1983. This video looks at the history and culture of the Canary Islands descendants of St. Bernard Parish, particularly on the role of Isleño décimas in the community. Spanish with subtitles. Available from Center for New American Media, PO Box 53163, New Orleans, LA 70153.
Lester, Julius. John Henry. Dial Books, 1994. Jerry Pinkney illustrated this retelling of the African American folk hero's life.
Levine, Lawrence. Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom. Oxford University Press, 1977. A historian employs folklore to analyze African American history and thought in this vital, highly readable teacher resource, which analyzes many types of oral narrative.
Lindahl, Carl, Maida Owens, and C. Renée Harvison, eds. Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana. University Press of Mississippi in association with Louisiana Division of the Arts, 1997. A video (see Owens, Maida, below) and website are also available. Some stories are online.
Moore, Elizabeth. Louisiana Indian Tales, 1990. Collection of old and new legends about the Louisiana Indians, including "The City of the Sun" and "The Waters of Life."
Moore, Patricia, "Growing Up Southern: An Interdisciplinary Project Exploring Family Stories Based on Selected Works of Art by Benny Andrews," Art Education, Vol. 52, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 25-31, available from National Art Education Association.
Morris, Oradel Nolen. I Hear the Song of the Houmas/J'Entends La Chanson Des Houmas. Paupieres Publishing Co., Houma, LA, 1992.
Owens, Maida and Pat Mire. Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana. Louisiana Public Broadcasting, 1998. Companion 30-minute video to the publication. Available from LPB.
Riquelmy, Christina, ed. Documenting Selected Louisiana Ethnic Groups: A Theme Issue of LLA Bulletin. 1994, Vol. 57, no. 1.
Roach, Susan. The Arts of Sarah Albritton. Louisiana Tech University, 1998, available from University Press of Mississippi. Her dramatic paintings illustrate the life story of a remarkable North Louisiana folk artist.
Seal, Graham. Encyclopedia of Folk Heroes. ABC-CLIO, 2001.
Simons, Elizabeth. Student Worlds, Student Words: Teaching Writing Through Folklore. Heinemann, 1990. A teacher and folklorist, Simons offers background and detailed lesson plans for writing and folklore studies, including games and play, family folklore.
Sunstein, Bonnie and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater. FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research. Prentice Hall, 2002. This teacher resource provides excellent exercises to aid students' fieldwork, observation, and writing skills. Good extension of Elizabeth Simons' Student Worlds, Student Words.
Stouff, Emile. A Chitimacha Notebook. Lafayette Natural History Museum, 1987. Writings of the last Chitimacha chief.
Toelken, Barre. The Dynamics of Folklore. Utah State University Press, 1996. A good general college text useful for teachers and older students.
Wigginton, Elliot. The Foxfire Book. Doubleday, 1972. The original book, which generated many community collection projects.
Zeitlin, Steve, et al. A Celebration of American Family Folklore, Pantheon, 1982. A full selection of family stories, customs, and photos for K-12 teachers to help students start family writing, oral history, and folklore collection projects.


Unit V Outline


National Endowment for the Arts.

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