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Quote by Joseph Campbell

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Multi-Media Hero Analysis
In a world with few real heroes, students will recognize the positive character traits of heroes as depicted in music, art and literature.
Folklore, World Cultures

Five Artists of the Mexican Revolution

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Five Artists of the Mexican Revolution
Much of Mexican art at the beginning of the 20th century was influenced by or created in response to historical events.
Folklore, History, World Cultures

Grimm's Fairy Tales book

Grade 5 Lesson: Moving Tales
Students practice using their bodies to communicate through movement, improvisation, and pantomime games. Groups then read and interpret an assigned Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale
Dance, Folklore, Literature, Physical Activity

Russian Folk Dancers

Grade 5 Lesson: Discovering Russian Folk Dance
Students will learn the Russian folk dance "Troika." Then, they will work in groups of three (the traditional grouping used in the "Troika") to research Russian culture and history.
Europe, Dance, Folklore

Broom Bristles

Grade 5 Lesson: Searching For Cinderella
There are more than 300 versions and variations of the tale known as "Cinderella"
Folklore, Literature, World Cultures

Paul Bunyon

Grade 5 Lesson: Tall Tales Today
In this lesson, students are introduced to the genre of American tall tales and will create an original tall tale featuring a "larger-than life" main character.
America, Folklore, Literature

moon and raven

Grade 5 Lesson: Haunting Music
Learn about orchestral “program music” inspired by the spooky and bizarre
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Folklore

Christoper Columbus

Grade 5 Lesson: Explorers’ Experience
Students will learn about world explorers by researching facts and information relating to the routes traveled. They will discuss what motivates people to want to discover and explore new places.
Innovators & Pioneers, Geography, Folklore, World Cultures

Paul Bunyon and his Big Blue Ox, Babe

Grade 5 Lesson: Exploring American Tall Tales
Students will explore the common elements of folktales and tall tales while learning how these tales built the spirit of the American people
America, Folklore

frog prince

Grade 5 Lesson: Finding Your Own Frog Prince
Students will use a traditional tale, “The Frog Prince,” and Jon Scieszka’s variation of it, The Frog Prince Continued, to create improvised scenes and then a book for a mini-musical.
Folklore, Musicals, Popular Culture

Dragon Dance for Chinese New Year

Grades K-2 Lesson: The Chinese Lion Dance
Dance in the Chinese New Year with your K-2 students
Animals, Asia, Dance, China, Folklore, World Cultures

adjectiveMonster

Grades K-2 Lesson: Adjective Monster
Use the visual art and language arts to creatively tell stories of monstrous proportions
Visual Arts, Literature, Language, Folklore, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Weaving Rug

Grades K-2 Lesson: Navajo Weaving
Through guided reading of Ten Little Rabbits and hands-on activities students will explore aspects of Native American cultures and Navajo weavings
Native America, Visual Arts, World Cultures, Folklore, America

Greek masks

Grades K-2 Lesson: Masks and Aesop's Fables
This multi-media visual and language arts lesson offers intellectual, creative, and interpretive opportunities through use of books, music and the internet
Animals, Greece, Literature, Nature, World Cultures, Visual Arts, Folklore

Dorothy and the Lion

Grades K-2 Lesson: Map it Out
Explore how illustrations contribute to the telling of a story using character maps
Literature, Visual Arts, Folklore, Cartoons, Comics, & Animation, Language

group of ballerinas

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Telling a Story Through Dance
This lesson introduces students to the concept of emotionally and physically telling a story through dance and pantomime.
Dance, Folklore, Literature

Square Dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Swing Your Partner: The Basics of Square Dancing
This lesson will introduce students to the history of square dancing as well as provide an opportunity to learn some basic steps and formations.
Dance, Folklore

Annie Oakley

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Pioneer America: Legendary Westerners
In this lesson, students will work in pairs to research legendary westerners
America, Folklore, History

Drinking Gourd

Grades 3-4 Lesson: What Does This Song Really Say?
Students listen to, sing, and read the lyrics to various African American spirituals. They discuss the coded messages in the songs, and the purpose of these codes.
Africa, America, Folklore

Davy Crockett

Grades 3-4 Lesson: What a Character
In this lesson, students analyze how a character's personality traits, actions and motives influence the plot of a story
Folklore, Literature

Crow Drinking

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Counting Crows
Students will learn the meaning of Aesop's fable, "The Crow and the Pitcher," blending math and art with literature and film
Animals, Folklore, Math, Literature

Cinderella's slippers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Cinderella Trilogy
Compare and contrast three variations of the Cinderella folktale: “Rhodopis,” the Egyptian version; “Yeh-Shen,” the Chinese version; and “The Hidden One,” the Native American version
China, Africa, Native America, Literature, Folklore

Day of the Dead figurines

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Tolerance: Comparing Cultural Holidays
Compare the artistic and cultural traditions of the U.S. celebration of Halloween and Mexico's Day of the Dead
America, Latin America, World Cultures, Folklore

Hula dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Island Breezes: Exploring Hula Dance
A hula dance is a choreographed interpretation of a poetic text, or mele, that tells a story through hand and arm gestures and rhythmic patterns.
Dance, Folklore, Geography, Asia, World Cultures

Harriet Tubman

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Harriet Tubman: Dancing on the Freedom Trail
In this lesson, students are introduced to the emotional struggles Tubman faced as she helped slaves escape and travel north along the Underground Railroad.
America, History, Folklore, Dance

Harriet Tubman

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Harriet Tubman: An Informative and Impressionistic Look
Examine the life of Harriet Tubman through a comparison of informative resources and impressionistic art
America, History, Folklore, Visual Arts

The Drinking Gourd Constellation

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Harriet Tubman: Secret Messages Shared through Song
In this lesson, students are introduced to the African-American spiritual and its use of a secret language to share information within the slave community.
America, History, Folklore, Music

Levi Coffin's home in Fountain City, Indiana, formerly Newport. Known as Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Harriet Tubman: Illustrating History
Using collage, students create a scene from the life of Harriet Tubman
America, Folklore, History, Visual Arts

Miriam Lambert

Video: Miriam Lambert: Goldilocks & the Three Bears
Irish puppeteer Miriam Lambert makes the storybook Goldilocks and the Three Bears come alive.
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Folklore

Conga drum

Video: Azor: Vodou Jazz
Azor is known throughout the world as one of the most powerful voices in traditional sacred music in Vodou. He and his group of traditional drummers travel and record extensively especially in Japan. Their repertoire ranges from traditional chants to “Vodou jazz.”
Music, World Cultures, Folklore

Shaanxi Folk Art Theater

Video: Shaanxi Folk Art Theater
This side by side video shows the story of the turtle and the crane as seen by the audience and behind the screen as the puppeteers bring the story to life
Asia, Backstage, China, Folklore, Puppets, World Cultures, Theater, Animals

Terra Cotta Warriors

Video: Terra Cotta Warriors
The Terra Cotta Warriors are a collection of 8,000 statues that were buried over 2,000 years ago in the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Three of the statues - two soldiers and a horse - were sent to the Kennedy Center for display during the Festival of China
Asia, China, Folklore, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Yunnan Singers, Dancers and Musicians

Video: Yunnan Singers, Dancers & Musicians
Artists of the Yi and Wa ethnic groups from Yunnan Province-the most ethnically diverse in China-demonstrate their unique folk traditions in this excerpt from the Kennedy Center's free Millennium Stage show.
Asia, China, Folklore, Music, World Cultures

Video Series: In Performance: Babar the Elephant
Malta’s St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity presents the interactive musical tale, The Story of Babar the Elephant.
Europe, Folklore, Literature, Animals

Jason and the Argonauts

Video Series: Jason and the Argonauts
This video series explores a dramatic interpretation of the Greek myth Jason and the Argonauts
Folklore, Puppets, Greece, Theater, Literature

Sounds Historic

Flash Interactive: Sounds Historic
Explore the relationship between history and music with the pieces and activities from the Sounds Historic concert, performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. Learn how music can be inspired by history, capture history, or even make history.
America, History, Orchestra, Music, Folklore, Jobs in the Arts

Shadow Puppets

Flash Interactive: Playing with Shadows: An Introduction to Shadow Puppets
Learn about the ancient art of Shadow Puppetry and find out how to create your own shadow plays!
China, Folklore, Animals, Jobs in the Arts, Puppets, Theater, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales

Flash Interactive: Spooky Sounds and Scary Tales
Dust off the cobwebs and warm up your imagtination to hear composers tell stories about supernatural creatures and events.
Orchestra, Music, History, Folklore

A World of Music

Audio Series: A World of Music
We’re off on a Musical Tour of Europe! The invention of the orchestra hundreds of years ago meant bigger musical possibilities, and composers all across Europe were inspired to try their hand at pushing classical music to new limits
Composers, Controversial, Europe, Folklore, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

Summon the Heroes: Classical Music to the Rescue!

Audio Series: Summon the Heroes: Classical Music to the Rescue!
Throughout the ages, composers have celebrated the accomplishments of famous heroes through music. What does a hero sound like? Get ready to find out!
Composers, Folklore, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, Popular Culture, Movies & Movie Stars

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Myth Maker
Ever heard the superstition that opening an umbrella indoors brings bad luck? What about the one that says finding a penny brings good luck? Make up a new superstition. See if anyone believes it.
Folklore

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Jellinek
"The history of a people is found in its songs."
Music, History, Folklore

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Confucius
"Let a man be stimulated by poetry, established by the rules of propriety, and perfected by music."
China, Folklore, Poetry, Music

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ethiopian Proverb
"Move your neck according to the music."
Africa, Folklore, Music

John Steinbeck

Arts Days: October 25, 1962: Voice of the Common Man
The Nobel Prize Committee was clear in its reasons for honoring American author John Steinbeck: “…for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” When asked by a reporter whether he believed he deserved the Nobel Prize, Steinbeck said he did not.

His modesty notwithstanding, Steinbeck’s contributions to American literature is considerable. In works like The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and East of Eden, he captures in plainspoken language the trials and triumphs of his characters. The writer imagined men and women who sought to make better lives for themselves and their families; they struggled in demeaning, demanding jobs, and they coped with events like the Great Depression.
Literature, America, Folklore, Geography, History

Fiddler on the Roof

Arts Days: September 22, 1964: Mazel Tov! It’s a Hit!
It was just a simple story of a Russian Jew with five daughters, based on a book by Joseph Stein. But thanks to Jerry Bock’s music, Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics, and Zero Mostel’s unforgettable turn as Tevye the milkman, Fiddler on the Roof became one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals. Tevye tries hard to preserve the traditions of his childhood, but as his daughters grow up, fall in love, and leave the family’s village, he struggles to accept change.

In songs like “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” Tevye’s family’s life is recounted with both hilarity and poignancy. Fiddler would go on to be the first musical to break the 3,000-performance mark on Broadway.
Broadway, Musicals, Europe, Folklore, History, Theater, World Cultures

Cave Painting of a Horse

Arts Days: September 12, 1940: The Writing on the Wall
Estimated to be about 16,000 years old, the paintings in a network of caves found by four teenage boys are rare examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic era. Here in a region called Lascaux, hundreds of painted animals are visible on the caves’ walls, ranging from bison to stags to horses.

There are also geometric figures and patterns of dots that some say correlate with constellations. Some of the paintings show a sophisticated grasp of concepts like perspective and depth, too. Art historians say that the paintings indicate some of our oldest ancestors’ ability to express themselves in art.
Folklore, Geography, History, Europe, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Loch Ness Monster

Arts Days: August 22, 565 C.E.: Telling Tales
Decade after decade, century after century, sightings of the Loch Ness Monster continue to be shared by word of mouth.

It’s originally told that Ireland’s St. Columba spotted a beast moving toward a swimmer in the lake. When the saint made the sign of the cross, the monster quickly retreated. Ever since, tales of a dinosaur-like creature prowling the lake’s murky depths have surfaced, even as some have used cameras, sonar, and other technologies to debunk the myth.

In this fashion, the art of storytelling carries a tale down through the centuries, regardless of whether the teller can read or write. Sometimes stories may be embellished by a speaker; other times they are surprisingly consistent from one age to the next.
Animals, Geography, Folklore, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Snow White

Arts Days: December 21, 1937: The Fairest (and First) of Them All
The story of a lovely princess, seven sidekicks, and an evil Queen all played a part in Walt Disney’s initial venture into Technicolor. Based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, Snow White was also the first animated feature film made in the U.S. The making of the film was considered an absurd gamble, with its groundbreaking ideas that required the invention of brand-new technology.

Focusing on telling the story rather than garnering laughs, animators made sure the film had all the elements of suspense, comedy, romance, and tragedy of a feature film. The risk paid off. The audience at the premiere loved the film, which included original songs like “Someday My Prince Will Come."
Cartoons, Comics, & Animation, Innovators & Pioneers, Movies & Movie Stars, America, Popular Culture, Folklore

A Christmas Carol

Arts Days: December 19, 1843: From Bah Humbug to Benefactor
Charles Dickens published this novella—longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel—about a cranky old fellow named Ebenezer Scrooge on this day in 1843. Stingy with money, even more so with compassion for the sufferings of his fellow man, Scrooge is visited by several ghosts on Christmas Eve, who show him scenes from his boyhood and the present day, as well as a dark and depressing future if Scrooge continues to treat others badly.

Scrooge undergoes a change of heart, waking up a new man on Christmas Day and doing good deeds for others. The story’s humor and gentle morality lessons delighted readers and critics then and now. Over the decades, A Christmas Carol has been adapted into musicals, films, ballets, and operas—there’s even been a mime version.
Literature, Europe, Folklore

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