Friday, December 17, 2010


The ballad is one of the most popular storytelling forms in the world, and you can take the plot of those ballads and create your own tales! I keep hoping to entice more people to try this project approach, and one of the best Storybooks anybody ever did for this class is a wonderful crime-style approach to the ballads (and the ballads are FULL of crime stories); here it is: F. Child Case Files.

Online Resources: You can find the complete Francis Child Ballads at Sacred Texts website (that's the "F. Child" in that Storybook title), and you can search the Child ballads for a specific word, such as ghost, for example. For background, check out the Ballad unit at the course website, and you can find many excellent ballad books online at GoogleBooks and elsewhere. As you can see, there is no shortage of excellent material to work with! You will even find Wikipedia articles for many of the most famous ballads, such as The Wife of Usher's Well (as shown below in the illustration). There are also ballad traditions from different languages and cultures around the world; check out the Wikipedia article on Corridos for example!

And remember: before television crime drama and soap operas, there were... the ballads!


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