There are a lot of fairy tales and folktales that were created to scare kids into behaving. Are these scary holiday stories out of line? Let your class debate.
The lesson looks at several Icelandic Holiday Characters: the Yule Cat, the holiday witch, and the thirteen yule lads who come out on the 13 nights before Christmas to steal and cause mischief. Students will think about these characters and rank them from scariest to silliest. Students will analyze these stories from multiple perspectives. Why do parents tell the stories? What do kids think about them? What would your students think of hearing these from their families at the holidays?
The stories became so intense, that in 1746 Iceland banned parents from telling their children scary holiday stories. Was this the right move? Should we make a law like that? The lesson includes a lot of probing discussion questions.
- How do you enforce a law like that?
- Do some stories seems scary to some children but funny to others?
- How do you decide what’s too scary?
Students then think about American Holiday stories and how some of them might seem scary to young children.
The lesson also contains a creative writing extension where students can work to modernize the Thirteen Yule lads before writing a story about the visit of one of their lads in the days leading up to the holidays.
"Festive or Fearful ” includes:
-Teachers Guide with probing questions, legal explanations, lesson tips, and sample student answers.
-Student Work pages are available as Word Documents, Google Documents, and Editable PDFs
The download also includes a PowerPoint, or is also available as a Google Slide Presentation
-The PDF teachers guide contains a A link to all resources available on Google Docs.
"Festive or Fearful" provides a highly engaging-cross curricular real life, learning experience to actively engage and excite the learners in your classroom!