Friday, July 27, 2018

The Brothers Grimm Biography: The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Story Time ESL Listening)
Worksheet: drive, docs, pub
Video 1: HERE,  Video 2: HERE Quizlet: HERE

* The information was gathered from several different websites.  I probably should cite my sources, but I didn't keep track of which websites I was visiting.
* One of the interesting things I found out during my research was that there was a big difference between what the popular image of the Grimm Brothers and the reality.  The popular image is that they were collecting stories directly from the real village people.  The reality is that they were primarily just going to their friends--other educated middle class people.   They were also shaping the stories to fit their narrative.  This video here does a good job of explaining it.

...but, since the goal of ESL is to simplify everything, not complicated, I just went with the myth.

* I actually did two recordings for this.  The first time, there was an ungrammatical sentence in the transcript (something that I had missed in proofreading).  "although some of the stories were told are very old".  The first version is HERE.


Suggested Use:
Step 1: Look at the vocabulary. Check any words that you don’t know in your dictionary.
Step 2: Listen to the video. (Listen only.  Don’t look at the reading yet).
Step  3: Practice the Vocabulary on Quizlet
Step 4: Watch the video again.  This time look at the reading. Read and listen at the same time.
Step 5: Practice the vocabulary on Quizlet again:
Step 6: Listen one last time.  The last time, don’t look at the reading.

able, add, adult, although, area, beauty, besides, born, collect, collection, complain, consider, country, countryside, creature, cruel, culture, dwarf, edition, educated, education, effort, elder, enjoy, entertain, exactly, exist, expensive, extra, European, eventually, fairy, fairy tale, final, finally, folk, folklore, follow, generation, German, Germanic, graduation, grow, history, hood, however, intend, invite, join, kingdom, land, law, library, literature, lost, magic, magical, mostly, neighbor, nowadays, ordinary, parent, poor, popular, prison, professor, program, project, public, publish, refer, represent, respect, retell, riding, robber, save, several, sick, snow, storyteller, storytelling, suitable, tale, television, themselves, thief, traditional, uneducated, unfortunately, unimportant, university, village, violent, whole, worried

Proper names:
Names of people: Cinderella, Friedrich Karl von Savigny, Hansel, Jacob, Gretel, Grimm, Rapunzel, Wilhelm
Names of countries: France, Germany
Names of continents: Europe

The Brothers Grimm
The “Grimm Brothers” or “Brothers Grimm” refers to two brothers named Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm.
Jacob Grimm, the elder brother, was born in 1785.  His younger brother, Wilhelm Grimm, was born one year later in 1786.  The brothers grew up and lived in the area that we now know as Germany.  (Although at the time, the country of Germany did not yet exist, and the land of the German speaking people was made up of several smaller Germanic kingdoms.)
Jacob and Wilhelm came from a large family.  Besides themselves, they had seven other brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, their father got sick and died when Wilhelm and Jacob were only ten and eleven years old.  This was the beginning of hard times for the Grimm family.  At that time, there were no government programs to help the poor.  Without their father, the boys had to find a way to get money for their family by themselves.
The two boys studied very hard, and eventually got into a very good school.  The other children in the school were from rich families, and they had had a better education than the Grimm brothers.  But the Grimm brothers worked extra hard to catch up to the other students.  Their teachers began to respect their efforts.
After graduation, the boys went to university.  Jacob, the older brother, went first, and Wilhelm joined him the following year.  Their mother wanted them to study law so that they could get a good job.  But the brothers were also interested in history, literature, and folklore.  (“Folklore” means old traditional stories.)
At university, the boys had a favorite teacher--a young professor named Friedrich Karl von Savigny.  He got the brothers interested in German history and culture.  He also let the brothers use his library.  Back in those days, there were no public libraries, and books were very expensive.  So most ordinary people weren’t able to read a lot of books.  Being able to use the library opened up a whole new world to the brothers.
The brothers were interested in great literature, but they also became interested in old folk stories.  These were the stories that were told in the countryside and in the villages.  Often, these stories were told by uneducated people who couldn’t read or write.  The stories were never written down, but they were told and retold so often in the villages that they had been remembered for many generations.  People learned these stories from their friends and neighbors, and children learned these stories from their parents.
Before the Grimm Brothers, very few educated people were interested in these stories.  They considered these stories to be unimportant, because they weren’t great literature.  But the Grimm Brothers thought that these stories were important, because they represented the culture of Germany.  In some ways, they thought these stories were more important than great literature, because these were the stories that most of the people knew and enjoyed.
However, since no one was writing these stories down, the Grimm Brothers became worried that these stories might one day become forgotten.  They wanted to write down these stories, so that they could save them for future generations.  So they started a project to collect all the stories and folk tales that they could.  They went to the libraries, they asked their friends, and they travelled around Germany and Europe.  They invited famous storytellers to come to their home, and wrote down all of their stories.  They even went to the prisons, and talked to the thieves and robbers in the prisons.  They wanted to write down all the robbers’ stories exactly as the robbers told them.
In 1812, they published a collection of stories.  In English, these stories were called: Grimms' Fairy Tales.
 “Fairy Tale” is the English name for old traditional stories.  No one knows exactly where the name “Fairy Tale” comes from.  “Tale” is another word for “story” in English.  “Fairy” is a magical creature, so maybe the name comes from a magical story.   (Many, but not all, of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales have magic in the story.)
When the Grimm Brothers first published their stories in 1812, many people complained.  They said that the stories were violent, and cruel, and not suitable for children.  It is true that many of the stories were violent and cruel, but it is also important to remember that many of the stories were never intended for children.  In the days before television, storytelling was used not only to entertain children, but also adults.  Many of the stories were told by adults, for adults.
Throughout their lives, the Grimm Brothers would work on their fairy tale collection.  They added new stories, and they also changed some of the old stories to make them less violent and more suitable for children.  Finally, in 1857 they published the final 7th edition, with 211 stories.
The Grimms’ Fairy Tales were mostly from Germany and France, although some of the stories were very old and were popular in many European countries.
Many of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales are very famous nowadays, such as: Cinderella, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and many more.  But if the Grimm Brothers had not written these stories down, they might have been lost to history.
Today, the Grimms’ Fairy Tales is the most famous collection of folk tales and fairy tales in the Western world.

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