Chinese Folktales


Geography of China

Constructing the Great Wall

Chinese Folktales
Made in China
The Great Pandas
Web Links









splendid China


  1. Demonstrate understanding of Chinese folktales by creating own folktale.
  2. Identify the elements of a folktale.

Key Words:

  • folktale

  • characters

  • setting

  • wisdom

  • tradition

  • values


2-4 hours


Microsoft Word, story map, folktales, on-line resources.


  1. Begin the lesson by prompting the students prior knowledge with the following questions: What are folktales? What are some examples of folktales? What are the characteristics of folktales?  What do folktales tell us about people?
  2. Inform the students that they are going to be reading and learning about folktales from China.
  3. Explain that folktales started long ago as stories that people told to each other. These stories generally were not written down until much later. There are hundreds upon thousands of Chinese folktales. These folktales have survived thousands of years throughout Chinese history mainly through oral tradition. These folktales usually convey a moral or wisdom. Often, they are short, have a simple plot, and can be told in just a few minutes. They combine history and mythology. Today, many of these folktales have survived as a short proverb, widely used and understood in the Chinese language.  The significance of these folktales is the display of Chinese values. Some of these common themes are: the triumph of justice over injustice; the supremacy of wisdom over sheer physical strength; examples of cleverness or resourcefulness.  These are all important Chinese values which are passed from one generation to the next through the telling of folktales.
  4. Have the students visit selected websites to learn more about Chinese folktales.
  5. Give each student a copy of the Chinese folktale: Tuan and the Giant Snail. Have the students read the folktale silently or by choral reading.
  6. Discuss the various elements of the folktale.
  7. After reviewing the elements of a folktale with the students, explain that they will write their own folktale.
  8. Have them brainstorm some values and traditions that are important to their family or culture.  Give each student a story map to organize their folktale.
  9. After the students have completed their story map, they will use a word processor to write their folktale.  Students' folktales should include pictures that they have scan, downloaded, or drawn.
  10. Students will read their completed folktales to the class or share with primary classes.  Bind all folktales to display and share in the school's media center.


Chinese Folktale rubric

Extension Activities:

Student can select their favorite folktales to perform for the class or school.

Students can read and write own proverbs.

Web Links:

Dim Sum: Folktales.html  teachers and students can access online folktales

Children's Folktales: teachers and students can access a list of folktales

China Vista:  teachers and students can access online tales

China :  more online folktales