Now and Then: Stories from Around the World (Junior Badge)

Now and Then: Stories from Around the World (Junior Badge)

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1 Rich oral traditions are often part of many
cultures worldwide. Storytelling was a way to
pass on information before a written language
was invented. Stories developed that
explained many natural phenomena, such as
the sound of thunder in a storm , or the
phases of the moon, or the passing of seasons.
Find a legend that explains a natural
phenomenon, such as a type of weather, a
constellation , or a geographical feature.
Learn this legend and share it with a group.

2 Many cultures have legends that include a
"trickster" character, such as the Coyote in
some southwestern American Indian cultures,
Ananse the Spider in some West African
cultures, or the Fox in some Southern
European cultures. Read some "Trickster"
legends and perform one for your troop or
group or make up a contemporary legend
with a "trickster" character and share it with

3 Many fairy tales share common elements:
• There is a quest or a journey.
• Things appear in sets of three.
• Characters get magical "tools" such as
magic swords or shoes or carpets.
• The main character must overcome some
sort of obstacle or become a better person
before reaching her goal.
Try creating a modern fairy tale that includes
these traditional elements. How could you
share your creation with others?

4 Many stories from around the world end with
a "moral"-a lesson about right and wrong
behavior. Storytelling is a way that cultures
can share what is considered acceptable and
good behavior by members of that culture.
Read a story from the past with a moral. In
your troop or group, share your stories with
"morals" and discuss the lessons that are
being taught.

How a Basket Becomes a Mountain
One day, Coyote climbed a hill and sat
down to look at the view. Suddenly, a
beautiful girl walked by. He looked and
fell in love at that instant. He knew this
was the girl he wanted to marry. He
noticed the girl was not cartying ~er
heavy basket on her back, but the basket
was walking along by itself. It seems
as if this girl's father was a powerful
medicine man and had made this basket
especially for his daughter. The beautiful
girl was carrying firewood. When
her basket was full, she turned to leave
 Ha, ha, the basket
can walk!" ; The girl ran away and the
basket just stopped where-it was and
became a mountain which people to
this day call the Basket Mountain and
Coyote had neither the basket nor the
beautiful girl.

5 Some of the modern "myths" and stories that
are told at sleep-over parties and at camp
show how storytelling continues to be a popular
way to pass on cultural "rules" of behavior.
Share some modern myths or stories.
What are the morals of the stories?

6 Some older fables and fairy tales have stereotypes.
(Read more about stereotypes in
Chapter 5 of your Junior Girl Scout Handbook.)
Some common stereotypes are that women
are weak and must be rescued by men or the
evil characters have a physical disability like
a curved back or a limp. Find a fairy tale or
fable which you can modernize by taking out
the stereotypes and making it a more contemporary,
realistic story.

7 Professional storytelling can be a career or a
hobby. Professional storytellers can perform
in schools, at libraries, at community events
and her basket followed her. Coyote
thought and thought. Maybe it would
be better and easier to have the basket
than to marry the girl. With that basket,
everyone would think he was very
clever. He jumped out from his hiding
place and shouted,and fairs, at storytelling competitions. and on
television. Check with your school system,
university or college Literature or Folklore department
or library, your local community library,
or historical association to find out if a
professional storyteller will be performing in
your community. If you cannot attend a performance,
watch a video of a storytelling performance.
Look for ways the storyteller makes
the story exciting through her voice and her
8 Many cultures share a tradition of stories
whose morals concern protecting the environment.
Find and read some of these stories
and do one of the following activities:
• Perform one of the stories for Daisy or
Brownie Girl Scouts.
• Create a modern fable on the same theme
and perform it for Daisy or Brownie Girl

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