Thematic Sheet

Living together

At school, it is up to the teacher to create material and human conditions of true communication so that children can express their interests and needs, express feelings, exchange experiences and knowledge.
(M.E., 2004, p. 138).


Popular (or folk) tales are narratives passed down from generation to generation. They have no known author. Each story is increased and modified as it is repeated. Authorship is attributed to the people – (folk, in English). This is where the word folklore originates. Passing oral, from mouth to ear, they were not written. They were kept alive thanks to the memory of the storytellers.

Folk tales deal with various aspects of life. They can talk about joys and sorrows, animals and magical beings, heroes and villains. They can be comical, satirical or exciting. They can entertain, set good examples or try to explain things people don’t understand.

Different cultures tell different stories. Hero stories are also very common in many cultures. Heroic tales help bring people together and remind them of their common past. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are heroes of many French and English legends.

Fairy tales are folk stories in which magical things happen. Often a young character meets fantastic creatures like fairies, witches, giants or dragons. Stories like “Cinderella”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Sleeping Beauty” have emerged as folk tales. Two German authors, the Grimm brothers, collected and wrote many fairy tales in the 19th century.

The tales are old stories but always current because their plots speak of emotions common to all of us such as envy, fear, hatred, jealousy, ambition, rejection, deception… which can only be understood and experienced by the child through emotions and fantasy.

Tales let the imaginary flow, arouse curiosity and aim to teach values. In this way they contribute a lot to the formation of the personality and help children to understand a little better the world around them.

In the teaching process it is very important to pay attention to the emotional in order to form more active citizens who, in the future, will know how to solve the fears, the normal conflicts of life. The form of judgment that divides the characters into good or bad, beautiful and ugly, strong or weak, makes children better understand some human values and behaviours for living together in society.


The tale is a narrative of oral transmission that presents a brief and simple structure and has a playful and moralizing intention.

Its characteristics are: the characters are identified by their professional activities or social and family position; both time and space appear very vaguely identified. Another aspect that is common is the fact that practically all tales contain a message.

Through the tales, it is possible to demonstrate more clearly to children the difference between what is considered right and what is considered wrong in our society, because although some tales were created centuries ago, they deal with subjects which deal directly with characteristics and feelings which are present in man, such as: fear, loss, death, life, good, evil, right, wrong, smart, foolish, weak, strong, subjects, feelings and characteristics which are and always will be present in the human being and, therefore, in all societies.

As for example, in the tale “The three tips” we can use the three tips given by a more experienced person and use them in our daily life. Sometimes older people have a life experience that can teach us something.

Another example, in the tale “The old man, the boy and the donkey“, teaches us that the opinion of others is not always valid and that we should live life sometimes from our point of view.

As in the tale “The salt and the water” shows us the importance of small things and that sometimes we don’t do it just as a father’s love for his children can swing with banal things, and that repentance is always something we have to take into consideration in our daily lives and being humble is also a rare characteristic in society, which has to be preserved.

In the tale “The Lion and the Mouse” also gives us a lesson for life, not always the strongest are able to do everything by themselves, the weakest are also important so we must treat everyone in the same way and know how to respect each one as the human being he is.

In our daily life we also have to learn how to use strategies to get us out of some situations as presented in the tale “The old lady and the gourd”.

In short, it is important not to forget the oral tradition that has been left to us over time and to continue telling traditional tales for future generations.

Telling stories and listening to them is the beginning of learning to be a reader, facing an absolutely infinite path of discovery and understanding of the world.