Chinye a West African Folktale


Chinye a West African Folktale

(Image cc Andy Roberts)

Chinye a West African Folktale is one of a number of “Cinderella” style stories looked at as part of Ruth MIskin’s Read Write Comprehension series. This selection of stories show the wide, multicultural nature of the Cinderella myth. The story follows the basic shape as we know it.

Chinye was a well known  West African folk tale which is retold in this version by Obi Onyefulu and beautifully illustrated by Evie Safarewicz The main character is a young Nigerian girl who loses her beloved father, she is left to work as a servant to her stepmother and her spoilt step-sister . One day she is kind to an old woman in the forest and Chinye’s good heart eventually brings her great rewards.

Chinye a West African Folktale Display

I love the way this display uses a story map approach. The eye is gently led through the story and as we follow the shape of it we can easily see the bones of the Cinderella myth revealed. Story maps are great for displays and we used them widely in our Telling into Writing Project.

I also like the use of collage in this display. A simple background has been used with a couple of large points of interest at either side. This gives the design balance and helps to draw the eye round the display. The cut out animals are particularly effective. I think I like the crocodile with his mouth open best! I might have been tempted to use the children’s own drawings for the animals, even getting them to copy the original illustrations would have given them more ownership of the display. The use of ‘fussy cutting’[1] on the animals is very effective and adds movement and interest to the design.

I’d like to have seen some of the story elements laminated onto cards [2] which could then be used to sequence the story as a whole class activity. This works very well and is a useful plenary activity for reinforcing the shape of the story and the links to other similar myths.


Chinye a West African Folktale Resources


Buy the Read Write Inc. Comprehension: Handbook on Amazon

See Read Write Inc. Comprehension: Module 14: Children’s Books: Chinye Pack of 5 books on Amazon

Learn more about story mapping with Pie Corbett

  1. [1] shapes are cut away from their backgrounds and stuck straight onto the display
  2. [2]You can do this quite simply by using Velcro Sticky Dots on the back of the cards and on the display

About Linda Hartley

Hi, I enjoy helping teachers to make their classrooms into interesting visual learning environments. I write most of this site and I also run the Classroom Displays online course which you can find out more about in the sidebar.