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Activity Overview

The tale of Rama and Sita is an Indian love story. Their story began in a time of many gods and magic. Rama was the son of King Ayodya, and next in line for the throne. However, one day his evil stepmother banished him into exile with Sita, his new wife. She did this so her son may take the throne.

While in the forest, the beautiful Sita came across a white deer and asked Rama to catch it for her. While Rama was chasing it, a demon god appeared and kidnapped Sita and flew her back to his island, Lanka. For many months, her husband searched frantically for her and then finally asked the king of the monkey army to help him because the king of the monkeys could fly and would be able to go rescue her.

He found Sita, who was imprisoned, and helped her escape. Knowing it would bring a great battle upon them, they prepared for war. It was one of the greatest battles ever, lasting 10 long days. Just when they thought the demon king was going to win, Rama borrowed a bow and arrow from a god and shot the demon, winning the battle. After winning, Rama and Sita traveled back to their kingdom. On the way, the local villagers lit clay oil lamps, known as diyas, in their windows to guide the lover’s home where Rama and Sita ruled.

It is custom now that every year, the people remember their story by lighting diyas inside their homes and setting off fireworks.

After students listen to or read the story and (optional) fill out a note-taking sheet or graphic organizer, they can create a storyboard that highlight the key events from the story! This is a great way for students to combine social studies with literature and have the opportunity to explore stories that they may not be aware of.

There are many other engaging books that introduce students to the traditional folktales and stories from ancient India. Here are some suggestions:

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: After listening to the story of Rama and Sita, create a narrative storyboard that includes important details from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Student Instructions:

  1. In about 3-5 cells, write the major details of the story in order of occurrence.
  2. Add appropriate scenes, characters and items to illustrate each cell. The Creator has each animal from the story.

Requirements: Beginning, Middle, and End of the story.

Lesson Plan Reference

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How To Discuss Folktales in Class


Give Background and Origin

Give a brief history of folktales before starting the lecture. Describe how these are old tales that have been passed down through the centuries, frequently including cultural values, moral teachings, and aspects of the community from which they originated. Teachers can also discuss the difference between folktales and other forms of literature.


Examine Plot Structure

Give an example of a popular folktale to students and examine the folktale's main components, including the characters, setting, storyline, and subject. Students should be asked to name these elements and discuss what they noticed. Encourage the students to apply their knowledge of plot structures and modern literary frameworks to these folktales for a comprehensive analysis.


Examine the Role of Culture

Talk about how the folktales originate from the culture and traditions of a civilization. Students should be encouraged to identify characteristics, such as customs, beliefs, and practices, that are unique to the culture from which they come. Give students an example of a folktale that reflects the cultural values of the civilization it came from.


Discuss Folktales From Different Cultures

There are many folktales in literature from different cultures which represent the cultural values of a civilization. Teachers can list down a few examples of these folktales which focus on moral values and lessons to recommend to students. Students will be able to learn about diverse cultures and values with the help of these interesting stories.


Organize a Role Play

Divide the class into groups and assign each group a different folktale to role-play. After each group is done with their play, ask the students to reflect on what they learned about different cultures and moral values from these folktales.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stories and Folktales Regarding Ancient India

What sort of connection do Indian folktales have with the history and culture of ancient India?

Indian folktales from the past are a storehouse of moral teachings, cultural values, and social conventions. They shed light on the customs, beliefs, and knowledge of prehistoric Indian culture. They also help the readers understand the focus of the ancient Indian society and their way of living.

What are some common central ideas of Indian folktales?

Themes like the fight between good and evil, morality, ethics, justice, karma, and loyalty can be frequently observed in these folktales.

Have folktales from ancient India influenced modern art and visual culture in any way?

Yes, a variety of visual arts, such as painting and sculpture, as well as performing arts like theatre and especially dance have had major roots in the ancient Indian folktales. These concepts of morality and abstractness are loved by people and inspire artists all around the world.

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