Redhill tg:Aunt Tiger tg - Distribution .2015-11-04  detailed acrostic poem about that...

Redhill tg:Aunt Tiger tg - Distribution .2015-11-04  detailed acrostic poem about that character
Redhill tg:Aunt Tiger tg - Distribution .2015-11-04  detailed acrostic poem about that character
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Transcript of Redhill tg:Aunt Tiger tg - Distribution .2015-11-04  detailed acrostic poem about that...

  • BackgroundBukit Merah is a hill in Singapore. In English, it means red hill. According toMalay legend, it is called Redhill because a mysterious event took place theremany years ago when the island was still populated by small fishing villages.A young boy and his grandmother lived atop that hill until the day the boyangered the Rajas advisor and they had to flee for their lives. Events unfolddramatically in this classic pourquoi folktale. Folk literature terms relevant tothis tale are provided below:

    folk literature/folklore Traditional tales, knowledge and beliefshanded down from generation to generation by word of mouth.folktale A type of folk literature that has grown from the lives andimaginations of people. Folktales often tell of the adventures of human oranimal characters and sometimes attempt to explain the physical or spiri-tual world. Folktales can be organized into several different categories.trickster tale A type of folktale in which a small, weak character out-smarts a larger, more powerful character. pourquoi tale A tale that is also referred to as a why tale. Thesestories attempt to explain a scientific event, such as the reason for stripeson a tiger or why snow falls during the winter.

    Program SummaryOnce upon a time, there was a fishing village where Singapores capital sitstoday. On a hill in that village lives young Nadim and his grandmother. Theirvillage is ruled by a Raja who often welcomes gift-bearing visitors from afar. Atraveler goes to see the Raja one day and uses the beak of a garfish as awalking stick to help himself along. The Raja is amused by this use of agarfish beak and his advisor orders every fisherman in the village to gathermore garfish beaks. This continues until the Raja eventually grows tired of itand allows the villagers to return to their own fishing. This, however, is notquite so easy. The mass-capture of garfish angers the fish and any boat thatenters the water is destroyed by their long, sharp beaks. Unsure of what todo, the villagers grow hungrier and hungrier as their food supply dwindles.Nadim, who is gathering bananas to share with the village, realizes that abarrier of banana tree stems might solve their problems when he observesbirds getting their beaks stuck in the soft stem. The Raja agrees with Nadimsidea and the barrier proves successful. Raja and the villagers cheer Nadimand his solution. Later, the envious advisor suggests to the Raja that soldiersshields should be made from banana stems as well so that the blades of theirenemies would become stuck. The Raja agrees and allows for all banana treesbe chopped down for that purpose. Nadim pleads with the advisor and theRaja to end that destruction, but they refuse to listen.


    The advisor and some soldiers quietly plan to ambush Nadim and his grand-mother at their home that evening. However, when they get there, the pairare already gone. The ground, however, begins to shake and the earth opensup to swallow the advisor and his men. Red lava rises from the ground tocover the hill. While many believe this event is simply an earthquake, othersfirmly believe that it is a retaliatory act of an angry Earth. Either way, the Rajalearns a lesson and wishes that he had trusted Nadim.

    Pre-viewing Discussion Consider the age-old saying, Children should be seen and not heard. Ask

    students how they feel about this saying. Do they agree or disagree? Whenit comes to dealing with a problem, are children able to come up withopinions and solutions worth considering?

    Find the location of the storys origin on a map. Use the map and othergeographical information to make inferences about the landscape andpeople of that place. How might this information be relevant to a story setin this location?

    Review some of the different types of folktales so that students can classifythis tale after viewing.

    Follow-Up Discussion What is the theme of this tale? Is there more than one theme? Explain. Different versions of this tale are often told. Explain why this is the case.

    Encourage students to consider the nature of storytelling and oral traditionas they prepare their response.

    Discuss the cultural elements of the characters, setting and plot by askingstudents which aspects of the tale appear to be unique to Southeast Asiaand which are more universal in nature.

    Follow-up Activities Singapore: Redhill is an example of a pourquoi tale a story that

    attempts to explain a scientific event or phenomena. This tale explains theorigin of a hill in Singapore and how it got its name. Have students con-sider this tale alongside other pourquoi tales, such as Alaska: Raven Stealsthe Daylight. Students may also enjoy Margaret Mayos When the WorldWas Young: Creation and Pourquoi Tales (Simon & Schuster ChildrensPublishing, 1996). Discuss what each tale attempts to explain. Do thesetales share any common threads? Encourage students to get creative andcome up with pourquoi tales to explain natural events or phenomena intheir own community. Students tales may explain the origin of a body ofwater or why an animal has a certain characteristic. Students can write andillustrate their stories or prepare for a dramatic storytelling.

    Characters in this tale have very clear, distinguishable traits. The Rajasadvisor, for example, strives to please and satisfy the king. He also enviesNadims wisdom and the respect he is given by the Raja and the villagers.Ask students to select a character from the tale and make a detailed list ofhis or her traits. Students can use the contents of that list to write adetailed acrostic poem about that character.

    Garfish have long, needle-like beaks and different species are foundthroughout the world. They abound in this tale from Singapore and are stillcaught today off of Singapores coast. What fish are commonly found inwaters near your community? While some students may hail from coastalcommunities, land-locked ones may have bodies of freshwater nearby.Students can visit known fishing spots and poll fishermen to find out whattypes of fish they have caught there. Students can also contact local envi-ronmental agencies for additional information. Students can select a fishfrom their collected data to investigate further and can present their find-ings with classmates. As an extension, students can practice Gyotaku, theJapanese art of fish printing. Instructions are available


    Page 1 of 2 Teachers Guide 2007 by Schlessinger Media, a division of Library Video CompanyP.O. Box 580, Wynnewood, PA 19096 800-843-3620


  • Pretend you are an environmentalist visiting the island while the garfish arebeing captured en masse and while the advisor is overseeing the cutting ofall banana trees. List the detrimental effects these actions can have on theland, people and wildlife living there. Then, prepare a list of suggestions(short- and long-term solutions) for restoring these natural resources. Havestudents provide their opinions on what may be the greatest challenge.

    At the end of this tale, the Raja learns to listen to his people and becomes amuch-loved ruler, but Nadim and his grandmother never return to thevillage. Pretend you are a villager and write a postcard to Nadim. Informhim of what has happened since he has left. Students may even try to per-suade him to return. As an extension, students can swap postcards andwrite postcards in response from the perspective of Nadim.

    Act it out! Recreate this tale in your classroom. This can be done as apuppet show, a mime skit, a student play, etc. In preparation for the produc-tion, examine and critically think about the storys elements of characters,setting and plot. Consider how the story might change if the setting was adifferent time and place.

    Before folktales were written or turned into films, they were passed downorally, from one generation to the next. Introduce students to the art of sto-rytelling. Discuss different ways in which the storyteller can engage listen-ers (e.g., using sound and gestures, giving vivid sensory details). Practicestorytelling techniques by having each student retell a portion of this tale.

    Compare the Singapore today with the setting and people portrayed in thefolktale. You catch a glimpse of the modern-day urban landscape at thebeginning and end of this tale. Organize these similarities and differencesusing a Venn diagram.

    Suggested Internet Resources

    This site, assembled by Singapores Ministry of Information,Communication and the Arts, features detailed information on the geography, culture, history and art of Singapore. archive of folk and fairy tales from around the world presents a sampling of the many stories that make up our worlds oral tradition.

    Suggested Print Resources To learn more about the land and people of Singapore: Kummer, Patricia K. Singapore. Childrens Press, Danbury, CT; 2003. Thomas, Matt. Singapore. Childs World, Mankato, MN; 2001. If you are interested in tales from Southeast Asia, you might also enjoy: Day, Nancy Raines. Piecing Earth and Sky Together: A Creation Story

    from the Mien Tribe of the Laos. Shens Books, Fremont, CA; 2001. Garland, Sherry. Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam.

    Harcourt, Orlando, FL; 2001. Sierra, Judy. The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story. Simon &

    Schuster Childrens Publishing, New York, NY; 2000. This is a tale from theSpice Islands in Indonesia.

    Taylor, Di. Singapore Childrens Favorite Stories. Tuttle Publishing, NorthClarendon, VT; 2003.

    Teachers Guides for titles in this series are available at

    Teachers Guide Copyright 2007 by Schlessinger Media, a division of Library Video Comp