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Study Guides

Fun and Spooky,
Mysterious and Chilling

       Stories of overcoming fear and outwitting the evil are great for Halloween, and every other season. Fun or thought-provoking, Megumi’s got tales for you! ("Fun and Spooky" for the young, "Mysterious & Chilling" for not-so-young) (All Ages)

Study Guide & Bibliography

Depending on the audience, Megumi will select and tell two, three, or four of the following stories. Optional: The program may end with an interactive storytelling, where the audience help create a story, impromptu!

Esteban and the Ghost (Spain)
Gervus Cummins (United States)
Hoichi, the Earless(Japan)
Jack Frost (Russian)
Lon Po Po (China)
Oiwa-san (personal)
The Broken Promise (Japan)
The Boy Who Drew Cats (Japan)
The Bremen Town Musicians (Europe)
The Leak (Japan)
The Life Span (Europe)
The Man Who Tricked A Ghost (China)
The Snow Woman/ Yuki Onna (Japan)
The Tongue-Cut Sparrow (Japan)

- To introduce stories of overcoming fear, outwitting evil, and going past prejudices.
- To give students the opportunity to participate in storytelling through song, sound effects, and movement.

For Geography
Read any of the stories listed under “Fooling the Devil,” “Ghosts and Revenants,” or “Death and the World’s End” in Favorite Folktales from Around the World, by Jane Yolen. Find on the map and/or globe, where these stories came from.

For History
Research the history of Halloween, and other celebrations honoring the dead in other cultures. What are the connections between Halloween and fall harvest? between Halloween and pagan beliefs? Compare customs around Halloween now and in the past. How do holidays and customs promote a sense of community?

Research origins of the day, words, and practices around Halloween..

The Day of the Dead, El Dia de los Muertos, is celebrated in Mexico

O-bon, honoring dead ancestors, is celebrated in Japan.

For Language Arts (reading & writing)
Read the works of Shakespeare (Hamlet and Macbeth), Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Alfred Hitchcock. How do they build suspense? How do they describe the unknown?

Write suspenseful or scary stories. Teachers may want to emphasize that the masterful works of this nature often do not focus on violence and “blood and guts” per se, but on the fear of the unknown.

For Political Sciences (level: high school)
Who were the witches of Europe and America? Why were they prosecuted? (See bibliography, under: Atwood, Hill, Karlsen, and Ohba)

For Music
Listen to recording of “scary music.” What is it about this type of music that conjures up images of what is scary? What sorts of music would suitably accompany each scene? Experiment with various sounds (use percussion instruments, and/or sounds that can be made with one’s mouth or hands).


For Performing Arts/Music
Read Jane Yolen, The Emperor and the Kite, Philomel Books, 1967. What sorts of music would suitably accompany each scene? Experiment with various sounds (use percussion instruments, and/or sounds that can be made with one’s mouth or hands) to produce sounds to accompany sad, frightening, challenging, and celebratory scenes. Read the story aloud, with accompanying sounds.

For Language Arts (reading & writing)
Try putting on a Reader’s Theatre piece.
References: Aaron Shepard, Stories on Stage, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1993."

The Devil and Mother Crump
By Valerie Scho Carey
GENRE: Folktale
THEME: Strong woman; little vs. big guy
ROLES: 8-10
TIME: 10 min.

How about writing your own Readers’ Theatre? (Use as reference: Aaron Shepard, Stories on Stage, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1993.) Choose and adapt and perform them for your own class. Optional: Perform for students in the lower grades, or for senior citizens at a convalescent hospital.

Robert D. San Souci (retold by), Katherine Coville (illustrated by), Thirty Chilling Tales: Short & Shivery, Doubleday, 1978.

Wilhelmina Harper, compiler, Ghosts and Goblins: Stories for Halloween, compiled by illustrated by William Wiesner E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc, 1965.

Lafcadio Hearn, In Ghostly Japan, Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1971.

Alvin Schwartz, with drawings by Stephen Gammell, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Collected from American Folklore, J.B. Lippincott, 1981.

Alvin Schwartz, with drawings by Stephen Gammell, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, J.B. Lippincott, 1984.

Margaret Atwood, edited by Melissa Mia Hall, "Half-Hanged Mary," in Wild Women, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1997.

Naomi Baltuck, "Hoichi," Apples from Heaven: Multicultural Folk Tales About Stories and Storytellers, Linnet Books, 1995.

Patricia A. Compton, The Terrible Eek, Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Tomie de Paoloa, Strega Nona, Scholastic Inc., 1975.

Tomie de Paoloa, Strega Nona Meets Her Match, Scholastic Inc., 1993.

Pleasant DeSpain, "Ah Shung Catches a Ghost," Thirty-Three Multicultural Tales to Tell, August House Publishers, 1993.

Charles Dickens, edited by Peter Haining, The Complete Ghost Stories of Charles Dickens, F. Watts, 1983.

Jeannette Faurot, "The Man Who Sold A Ghost," Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.

Jeannette Faurot, "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow," Asian-Pacific Folktales and Legends, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995.

Henry Goodman, The Selected Writings of Lafcadio Hearn, The Citadel Press, 1949.

Joan Grant, "The Monster Who Grew Small," A Storyteller's Choice, edited by Eileen Colwell, The Bodley Head Ltd, 1963.

Sibyl Hancock, pictures by Dirk Zimmer, Esteban and the Ghost, Dial Books for Young Readers, 1983.

Lafcadio Hearn, "The Boy Who Drew Cats," The Family Treasury of Children's Stories, Doubleday & Company, 1956.

Lafcadio Hearn, illustrated by "Kay", "The Boy Who Drew Cats," Japanese Fairy Tales, Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1953.

Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock presents: Stories that Go Bump in the Night, Random House, 1977.

Joseph Jacob, "Tamlane," Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World, compiled by Kathleen Ragan, compiled by Kathleen Ragan, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1998.

Rosemary Minard, (ed.), "The Chinese Red Riding Hoods," Womenfolk and Fairy Tales, Houghton Mifflin, 1975.

Olga Loya, Carmen Lizardi-Ribera (Translator), Momentos Magicos/Magic Moments, August House, 1997.

Olga Loya, Tio Conjo/Uncle Rabbit: Folktales Retold in English & Spanish, August House Audio, 1999.

Alice Lucas, illustrated by Kosal Kong, How the Farmer Tricked the Evil Demon, Pacific Asia Press, 1994.

Donna Jo Napoli, The Magic Circle, Dutton Children's Books, 1993.

Minako Ohba, "The Smile of the Mountain Witch," Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women, compiled by Sue Thomas, Overlook Press, 1994.

Ethel Johnston Phelps, "Janet and Tamlin," Tatterhood and Other Tales, edited by Ethel Johnston Phelps, The Talman Company, 1978.

Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Suzanne Clee, The Unabridged Edgar Alan Poe, Running Press Book Pub., 1983.

Patricia Polacco, Babshka Baba Yaga, Philomel, 1993.

Joseph and Edith Raskin, "Foreword," Tales Our Settlers Told, Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Co., 1971.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1959.

William Shakespeare, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Oxford University Press, 1905.

Bram Stoker, Dracula, Bedrick/Blacke, 1988.

Laurence Yep, The Man Who Tricked A Ghost, Bridgewater Press, 1993.

Ed Young, Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding hood Story from China, Philomel Books, 1989.

Jack Zipes, "A Tale About the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was," The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Bantam Books, 1992.
Jack Zipes, "The Life Span," The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Bantam Books, 1992.

Jack Zipes, "The Owl", The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Bantam Books, 1992.

Jack Zipes, "Town Musicians of Bremen", The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Bantam Books, 1992.

John Ankergerg, John Weldon, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Lesley Pratt Bannatyne, Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History, Pelican Pub. Co., 1998.

Edna Barth, Ursula Arndt (illustrator), Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of Halloween Symbols, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1981. (Reading level: Ages 9-120

Catherine Chambers, All Saints, All Souls and Halloween (World of Holidays Series), Raintree/Steck-Vaughn, 1999. (Reading level: ages 9-12).

Frances Hill, A Delusion of Satan, Doubleday, 1995.

Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchraft in Colonial New England, W.W.Norton & Company, 1987.

Peter R. Limburg, Weird! The Complete Book of Halloween Words, Bradbury Press, 1989.

Eve Merriam, Lane Smith (illustrator), Halloween ABC, Aladdin Paperbacks, 1995. (Reading level: Ages 4-8)

Nikolas Kiej, Japanese Grotesqueries, Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1973.

Jack Santino, The Hallowed Eve: Dimensions of Culture in a Calendar Festival in Northern Ireland, University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

Aaron Shepard, Stories on Stage, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1993.

Marilyn P. Smith, Invitation to Readers Theatre: A Guidebook for Using Readers Theatre to Celebrate Holidays and Special Events Throughout the Year, U-Otter-Read-It, 1997. (grades 1-6)

Bill Uselton, Trick or Treat: The History of Halloween, Hearthstone Pub., 1997.

Lois Walker, Arthur L. Zapel (Editor), Readers Theatre Strategies in the Middle and Junior High Classroom: A Take Part Teacher’s Guide: Springboards to Language Development Through Readers Theatre, Meriwether Pub., 1997.

CD’s, Videotapes, and Audio Cassettes:
Folktellers, Connie Regan and Barbara Freman, Chillers, Mama-T Artists, 1983. (audiocassette)

Masaki Kobayashi, director, Kwaidan, based on Lafcadio Hearn’s book, Kwaidan, Video Yesteryear, 1983, c1964.

Olga Loya, Scary Stories, The Atlas Video Library, 1991. (Videorecording)

Olga Loya, Tricks of Life and Death, Las astucias de la vida y la muerte, (the author), 1988. (audiocassette)