Статья " Использование русских сказок на уроках английского языка"

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« Использование русских сказок на уроках английского языка»

Методические рекомендации

Учитель английского языка

Абрамова Татьяна Ивановна

Using Russian Folktales in the English Lessons.

Books open up other worlds to young children, and making reading an enjoyable activity is a very important part of the language learning experience. Reading is one of the main sources of language and socio-cultural information.

But how much do our students read? Of course, they read texts in their textbooks and additional texts from readers. Frankly speaking, our students are not used to reading a lot. May be it`s our fault? Some teachers say they don`t have enough hours per week for teaching home reading, and if some teachers have such an opportunity they have to prepare a lot for home reading lessons. The opportunity of using books for home reading is enormous, because they help us not only to learn a foreign language, but to enrich ourselves by understanding better the socio – cultural reality of the country.

It is important and necessary to study and read literature. Literature is what makes us human beings, who we are: it gives us a sense of being in control of our destiny. The more we read the more we get a sense of understanding the world we live in. Of course, yes, it is important to read and study literature in English, in the sense that we want to learn English. For us to be fluent in English we must read everything which is written in English, including books for home reading. While reading a story our students become interested in knowing everything about the story, and at the same time they are also learning a language.

Nowadays a lot of publishers offer young readers many interesting stories and fairytales. Some of them are a good source for motivation in learning English. Sometimes I use at my lessons Russian folktales as well.

I think we should train our children by tales. While reading a fairytale we are very uneasy about the end of it and when everything is OK we are satisfied with a happy ending. Usually a folktale depicts the characters and the situations of everyday people`s life. Many tales were told first in oral form from generation to generation. They were collected and written down much later.

Today a folktale is not a wrecked monument of the remote past; but it is a bright and living part of our national culture. It gives children pride in their own heritage and builds their self- esteem, encouraging respect for other cultures. The students study English – speaking cultures, comparing them with their own, and practising behaving in foreign ways which provides them with a cross-cultural experience. Such knowledge can spark students` interest in values across cultures and deeper cultural knowledge. Like a particular genre of literature, folktales have the following characteristics:

- lasting from generation to generation

- standardised openings and closings ( Once upon a time …)

- teach cultural values, responsibility and morality

- show struggle between good and evil

- justice wins out

Besides, folktales strengthen all areas of a child `s development.

Cognitive Development

  • introduce classic literature of different cultures

  • help a child to distinguish between real and imaginary

  • encourage problem – solving techniques

Emotional Development

  • help a child to become comfortable at the lesson

  • resolve tension or conflict implied in most stories

  • encourage a child to '' try on'' different roles

Language Development

  • aid memory through rhyming, patterns of speech and repetition

  • suggest different forms of communication ( animal voices, little, middle- sized or big voices)

  • encourage the use of proper grammar structures and syntax

Motor Development

  • suggest different forms of locomotion (jumping, running and stopping, lurking)

Social Development

  • encourage a child to wait for a turn to act a popular role

  • encourage teamwork and flexibility

  • engage a child as an active participant in an activity

As you see, a folktale is not only a text reading, but it`s a good opportunity to acquaint our students with our culture, customs and traditions. It`s our heritage which helps us to understand better our country and ourselves.

I want to share my experience of working with some Russian fairytales in my English lessons. According to this plan you can create your own method of working with different folktales.

«The Three Bears»

Once upon a time there lived a little girl called Masha. One day she went to the forest and lost her way. The girl tried to find her way but couldn` t. She walked along the road through the forest till she came to a house.

“What a nice house!”, she exclaimed and pushed the door. The girl entered the house because the door wasn` t locked. Three bears lived in that house.

One bear was the father. He was big and shaggy and his name was Father Bear. Another bear was the mother. She wasn` t very big and her name was Mother Bear. They had a son, called Baby Bear. He was very little and smart. The bears were out because they went for a walk to wait their porridge to cool.

Their house wasn` t very large. There were two rooms: a big dining room and a bedroom. tiThere was one window and one table in the dining room. The girl entered the room and saw three plates with porridge. The first plate was very large; it was Father Bear` s plate. The second was medium in size and it was Mother Bear` s plate. Baby Bear` s plate was the smallest and it was blue.

First, the girl tried Father Bear` s porridge but it was too hot. Then the girl tried Mother Bear` s porridge and it was not very tasty. Towards the end she tried Baby Bear` s porridge. Oh! It was very tasty and she ate it.

The girl wanted to sit on a chair. First, she sat on Father Bear` s chair, but it was too large and it was not very comfortable. The girl saw a very nice chair and sat on. It was very cozy!

Mashenka wanted to take a nap and went into the bedroom. There were three beds in it. First, the girl tried out Father Bear` s bed, but it was very wide for her. Then she tried Mother Bear` s bed and her bed was too high for the girl. The girl tried out the third and it was up for her. So, she went asleep.

The three bears came home back. They were very hungry and wanted to eat. Father Bear took his plate and with a great big voice said, “Somebody has been eating my porridge!’ Mother Bear took her plate and with a middle – sized voice said, “ Somebody has been eating my porridge!”Baby Bear saw his empty plate and with a little wee voice cried, “ Somebody has eaten my porridge!”

Father Bear looked at his chair and cried, “ Who sat in my chair?” Mother Bear looked at her chair and cried too, “ Who sat in my chair?” Baby Bear saw his broken chair and squeaked, “ Who sat in my chair and broke it?”

The three Bears went into their bedroom. Father Bear looked at his bed and cried, “ Who lay in my bed?” Mother Bear looked at her bed and said, “ Who lay in my bed?’. Baby Bear climbed into his bed and squeaked, “ Somebody is lying in my bed!” He wanted to bite the girl and cried, “ Let` s eat her up! Come on! Come on!”

The girl opened her eyes, saw the bears and ran away. The three Bears couldn` t catch her!

Pre- reading

Before reading this tale you can use some topics for discussion

  1. Are you allowed to go walking alone to the forest? ( to the park, to the river, or other areas)

  2. Is it safe to do this?

  3. What manners should we have when we visit our friend` s house?


  1. Read the text to the class.

  2. Read it again and ask the children to fill in some repetitive phrases.

For example:

First, she tried the porridge of – ( Father Bear) But it was – ( too hot).

Then the girl tried the porridge of ---. But it was ---

After that she tried the porridge of --- . It was ---.

First, the girl tried out --- bed but it was very --.

Then she tried out ---. But it was ----.

The girl tried out --- and it was --- ---. And so on ---.

This activity is fun for children and it reinforces the plot of the story as well as the patterned language. Of course, many children have already read or heard this popular folktale when they were babies; but now they read it in English!

Postreading ( or critical thinking questions)

  1. Should the girl have gone into the house when she knew no one was home? Why ? why not?

  2. Should the bears have locked their doors? Why? Why not?

  3. How do you think the bears felt when they first noticed that someone had been in their house?

  4. Should the girl have run away? Why? Why not?

  5. Why do you think the girl ran away when she saw the bears?

  6. Do you think the girl will ever go into another house when the people who live there are not at home? Why or why not?

  7. How would the story be different if she had known to be careful in strange places?

  8. What manners do you think the girl needed to learn?

Besides usual methods of working with the text, you can create different activities for student motivation.

Art Idea

Ask children to draw the three bears` house in a box lid, and tell them to draw furniture and kitchen items for each room so they can retell this folktale. They can also draw the bears and cut them out. Have children use the characters while retelling the tale.

Social Studies

Ask children to draw a map of the woods. Brainstorm with them descriptions of the woods where the three bears` house was located. Have children imagine what the bears saw on their walk ( animals, flowers, plants, trees,.. etc) Place the children in groups and let them use their imagination to draw a map of the woods. After that they can share their maps.


This tale is a good source for working on grammar topic Degrees of Comparison. Ask the children to draw and cut out three bears ( big, medium, little) three beds, three plates, three chairs. Tell them to place the picture cards in groups to show likeness and after that with the help of your students you can make a rule about degrees of comparison.


  • Ask the children to write their own endings to this tale

  • What might happen if Baby Bear came to your house while your parents were not home?

Role Playing

Because the folktale “The Three Bears” is familiar to our children, it can be easily role-played. Role-playing has a lot of advantages while learning English.

Suitability of Folktales for Dramatization

  • Plots clear with no digressions

  • Lots of dialogue

  • Happy endings

  • Fun to dramatize and compare folktales across cultures.

The Value of Role – Playing in the Classroom

  • Students involved in the process

  • Cooperative learning

  • Develops language, pronunciation, oral reading skills

  • Helps overcome self-consciousness

  • Builds self-esteem: improvement builds pride

  • Provides a fun activity

I think all these activities will help the teachers of English to create their own different Russian folktales. As you see, the famous Russian folktale “ The Three Bears” can be used while working on different topics:

  • Table manners

  • Safety techniques ( How to be safe at home, in the woods, with strangers)

  • Grammar ( degrees of comparison)

According to American researchers we tend to remember:

  • 10% of what we read

  • 20% of what we hear

  • 30% of what we see

  • 50% of what we hear and see

  • 70% of what we say

  • 100% of what we both say and do.





“Masha and Three Bears” Raduga Publishers – Moscow-1988

A Frank Schaffer Publication “ Literature Notes”

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Автор: Абрамова Татьяна Ивановна  rambov
08.10.2011 3 2553 570

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Всего: 3
3 esvel • 21:05, 01.05.2014
Здравствуйте, Татьяна Ивановна!
Ваша статья содержит полезные рекомендации как для начинающего учителя, так и учителя со стажем. Вы замечательный учитель. Вы не только учите ребят говорить на английском языке, но и мыслить, рассуждать. Присутствует и воспитательный момент, манеры поведения, например.Хорошо продуманные задания до чтения сказки и после ее прочтения позволяют Вам развивать коммуникативные навыки учащихся. Большое спасибо!
2 Nike_Pashkov • 16:21, 24.10.2011
свидетельство №483/2011
1 Nadezhda1974 • 18:33, 10.10.2011
очень интересная идея. спасибо.