Updated: Jun 17, 2020
A few weeks ago we shared a story from Homer's epic poem 'The Odyssey' and we thought we might try out another tale of 'epic proportion' that you might not have encountered before...it features in Asbjornsen and Moe's collection of 'Old Tales from the North' and it is extremely WEIRD as well as truly EPIC!
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BACKGROUND-BITE: This tale is truly bizarre - it's definitely the weirdest, wackiest story we have shared so far! It this story, a poor boy gains a magical strength that gives him protection from a host of hostile creatures, and humans, who want to do him harm! To give you a taste of what's to come - this tale has a boy who finds a magic belt, tricksy trolls, milk-giving lions, magic apples, giant eggs, island-carrying condors and that's just the beginning! It goes on the include a princess from Arabia, a shape-changing bear skin and a king who thinks it's ok to keep his daughter in a little house floating at the end of invisible ropes...
The word epic comes from the Ancient Greek adjective, “epikos”, which means a poetic story. In literature, an epic is a long narrative poem, which usually incudles details of many heroic deeds by a person of an great courage and unparalleled bravery! Well, this story isn't a poem, but it's certainly epic!
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):
1. Listen to some more tales that whisk us away to the Middle East - https://www.storynory.com/category/fairy-tales/1001-nights/
2. Design your own hero with a special superpower - https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/games/style-hero , https://stage.dckids.com/en-gb/dc-super-friends/htmlgame/name/super-hero-me
3. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how dramatic you can make your own re-working of our tale!
4. Using story stones/dice to devise the next adventure for our characters!
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN - FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):
1. Listen to another version of the story - https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/tales/the-blue-belt--jSq3UgO8k6/
2. Make your own elderflower cordial at home - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/homemade-elderflower-cordial
3. Create an comic strip or animation of the story - https://www.imagineforest.com/blog/how-to-create-a-comic-strip/ , www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator https://www.canva.com/create/comic-strips/
4. Find out a bit more about heroes in literature and try the quiz - https://study.com/academy/lesson/epic-hero-definition-characteristics-examples.html#lesson
5. Learn a bit more about 'the hero's journey' - http://pasadena-library.net/kids/2016/kids-writing-workshop-the-heros-journey/
6. Try writing your own epic story!
FOR GROWNUPS - STORY-ORIENTATED ESCAPISM:
1. Listen to this four part series by Radio 4 that explores how the fictional foundling and their success stories relate to real life. "Batman was an orphan; Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was an orphan; Superman was an orphan and a foundling. Cinderella was a foster child. Darth Vader - well, they can't all be winners. Lemn Sissay returns to BBC Radio 4 with a comic and poetic look at the treatment of children raised in care, orphans and foster children in popular culture, comparing them with reality. Because it surely says something about how we view them that we create so many for fiction. Lemn will explore the gap between fiction and reality, based on his own experiences of growing up in care as well as those of some special guests." https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wpf5q