Library Skills or Objective: To recognize the various features that distinguish the difference between a fairy tale, fantasy book and a folktale.
Activity: Teach the differences in each of the 3 separate genres.
Fantasy- Imaginative fiction that features especially strange setting and characters. Animal fantasy is where the animals talk, science fiction and high fiction, like Harry Potter, are some examples.
Folktale- An anonymous, timeless and placeless tale that expresses the rituals, traditions and beliefs of common people. Folktales are often told orally and passed down through generations. Folktales include, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs and Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Fairy Tale - Stories that often involve royalty, triumph over evil, wishes, magic, etc. Characters often include trolls, witches, dragons, fairies and other fantasy characters. Tales that were collected by the Grimm brothers or Charles Perrault are considered fairy tales. Hans Christian Andersen wrote original fairy tales.
Write the number 398.2 on the white board. Tell the students that this is where these books are kept. Go over and see the area. On each table, stack numerous books from the above genres and have the students sort them into 3 stacks, fairy tale, folktale or fantasy. (Create simple labels with index cards for each stack on each table.)
Or tell a bit about each book and do the activity as a whole group for younger children by holding up a book and having them put their thumbs up, because fairies fly up, if it's a fairy tale, thumbs down if it's a folktale, because folktales are handed down through the ages, and thumbs to the side if it's a fantasy book. Discuss why the book is or is not one of the above.
Read aloud a favorite folktale or fairy tale.