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Puerto Rican Folktales, by Doris Vazquez


Guide Entry to 93.02.12:

This unit has been written with the purpose of acquainting teachers and students in the regular and bilingual classrooms with the variety, themes, and characters found in the Puerto Rican tales. In the unit, I retell four tales from Spanish into English and have illustrated one. The unit includes a tale from the Taino tradition, recorded in 1506. It is a creation myth which describes the origin of the sea. There is a summary of a legend which was retold by Cayetano Colly Toste in the nineteenth century, which is a love story between a Taino princess and a Spanish officer.

In Puerto Rico there are many stories about ghosts and the devil. I have translated the story of Rosamada, a conceited and haughty lady who married the devil himself without knowing it. The last tale is an animal tale. This story is about a chick that was born with one leg, one wing, and one eye. I translated and illustrated this tale and it can be reproduced for classroom use. All the tales are adaptable for almost any grade level.

By integrating Puerto Rican tales into the classroom, the Puerto Rican students will be exposed to cultural and historical aspects of their heritage. Many of these children are unaware or have never heard folktales from Puerto Rico. The regular students will also benefit because these stories are from the island where many of their friends and classmates are from.

(Recommended for Language Arts and Reading, Grades 7-12; Spanish 3-4, Grades 9-12; Spanish 2, Grade 8; or Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Grades 7-12)

Key Words

ESL Folktales Bilingualism

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