Education Technology

NCTE: Exploring Native American Folk Tales

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will read two folk tales, "The Origin of Fire" and "The Origin of Medicine" and identify their cause and effect relationships. They will discuss these relationships and examine elements of folk tales as demonstrated by these two samples.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck™ App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Determine whether students will read the folk tales aloud in class or on their own. The folk tales are short, and should be reread a few times before you begin determining cause and effect relationships. Remember to remind students that effects often become causes and that many causes were once effects.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Identify causes and effects present in folk tales through careful reading.
  • Analyze the relationships between cause and effect as a class.
  • Create cause and effect relationships in order to write folk tales.
  • Write folk tales which contain elements common to traditional folk tales.
  • Examine the use of cause and effect and evaluate the effectiveness of student-created folk tales.
  • After the Activity

    Go over the various causes and effects with the class, explaining that at times an event can have multiple effects or multiple causes. Discuss how the various events affect one another, including discussion of possibilities if any one event was different. Discuss the common elements in the two tales, which might include: describing how something began, explaining a natural phenomenon, the use of seemingly magical powers, communication among creatures we do not necessarily think of as possessing the ability to speak, and so forth.