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This series of study topics is for use by teachers, students and learners of all kinds. We are constantly developing our teaching tools, lesson plans, schemes of work and other material based on this animated folk tale. Please contact us if you have specific requests.

A South Indian Folk Epic
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The Legend of Ponnivala
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A South Indian Folk Epic

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Good Story Writing and Telling: The Ponnivala Legend provides a prime example of a good story. One can teach it as an epic and examine how the bard creates continuity and links between its various segments. One can also look at the micro structure, that is one folktale element at a time.

The Difference Between Oral and Written Materials: This story exists in two versions, one dictated to a scribe and one performed orally before an audience. There are many, many interesting differences between the two. One can select given passages and examine the subtle (and not so subtle) ways in which the bard changes his presentation when performing, in contrast to when he knows the tale is being written down for others to read.

Story Telling As A Traditional Way of Teaching History. This legend provides a good example of the kind of stories that people all over the world used to create to record their own histories and to celebrate their own local traditions.

Poetry and Song: One can focus on individual poems or songs and study how they serve to express the inner feelings of characters in the legend. One can juxtapose these expressive passages to the action and event focus of the bard’s narrative voice.

The Nature of An Epic: One can make comparisons with The Iliad, with The Bible, or with epic literature from any where else in the world. If true depth is required a translated text of the entire story is available. Academic books and articles about the epic provide further source material for the serious scholar.

Moving From A Story’s Written Text To Animation: All twenty six animated episodes of this legend are available for school use. Teachers can find many creative ways to engage students in thinking about how story telling on paper and story telling on the screen differ. Because songs and poetry are also featured in the animation their different and contrastive treatment can be examined.

Essay Writing: There are over 400 action-based pictures used to propel the digital game linked to this legend. These pictures are available, separately, for classroom use. They can be projected onto a large screen and/or blown up to a size visible to all. They can be used for teaching creative story oral telling by the teacher/leader, used by individual students, or shared in a round-robin kind of story-telling exercise. Each individual student can also be assigned a unique picture and then asked to write an essay-cum-story based on that image.

Literature class at school
Literature class at school

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