STORY #8: EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON
Updated: Apr 29
"After they had gone a good way, the white bear said, "Are you afraid?"
No, she wasn't."― East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Old Tales from the North
This is one of my favourite stories to tell...with a little bit of teaching about pathetic fallacy!
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BACKGROUND-BYTE: this enchanting fairytale was collected by collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe and can be found in their ‘Old Tales from the North’. It will sweep you into a world where mysterious beasts keep spellbinding secrets…and where love, loss and loyalty lead bewitchingly to freedom! A poor, young woman is married off to a white bear in exchange for riches for her family. Unbeknownst to her, the bewitched beast is a bear by day and a prince by night. Her mother gives her a candle to see if he is indeed under an enchantment but she drips magic wax upon him and all ties between them are snapped. The prince vanishes and our young lassie sets out to find him…
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe were Norwegian folklorists. Famous for their contribution to Norway’s culture with their collection of fairy tales, they followed in the footsteps of the German Brothers Grimm, and were just as famous. The two men collected tales separately out of personal interest, and then combined their individual collections to create 'The Norske folkeeventyr' in 1841. My favourite edition, known as East of the Sun and West of the Moon, features the incredible illustrations of Kay Nielsen. You should definitely check them out!
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):
3. Read some more Norweigan folktales together - https://fairytalez.com/region/norwegian/
4. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how dramatic you can make your own re-working of our tale!
5. Try writing the story from a giant's perspective - here's a funny little video to help remind you how to organise your story - www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWHZJZQDSE
6. Using story stones/dice (see my blog post about outdoor activities for kids) , devise your own adventure for our lassie and her prince!
7. Educational resources for writing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bIgvAH4T5A
8. Draw and craft your own troll - https://howtodrawforkids.com/how-to-draw-a-troll-for-kids/
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN - FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):
1. Learn about story collectors Asbjornsen and Moe - https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/Peter-Christen-Asbj%C3%B8rnsen-and-J%C3%B8rgen-Engebretsen-Moe/330295
2. Find out about Norway -https://study.com/academy/lesson/norway-facts-lesson-for-kids.html#lesson
3. Read some more fairytales - https://fairytalez.com/region/norwegian/ (PS. The Blue Belt is particularly weird!)
4. Find out aboutpolar bears - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/clips/zpqw2hv
5. 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/
6. Sharpen your skills before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zs4qn39/articles/zhtjqp3, https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zx7cmnb/revision/1
7. Write your own version of what happened from a troll's perspective. This might help remind you about how to structure your story - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zwjsyrd/revision/1
8. Draw/design your own troll - https://howtodrawforkids.com/how-to-draw-a-troll-for-kids/
1. Check out the collection illustrated by Kay Nielsen - the illustrations are just breathtaking! https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9783836532297?gC=5a105e8b&gclid=Cj0KCQjws_r0BRCwARIsAMxfDRjZskjtUa5oRSXTqbYP_UWWLBTVro3fq5NzmuMxBKMKrvtFCGR15mwaAtxpEALw_wcB , https://www.pinterest.co.uk/trishcarle/kay-nielsen-illustrator/