1. A website containing an archive of urban legends is located at http://urbanlegends.about.com/. Browse through the “Famous Urban Legends” link. How many of these stories have you heard of? Who did you hear them from? Under what circumstances? Compare the classics with current urban legends. How do the subjects of these stories differ? What are the major issues that are expressed in modern urban legends?
2. Consider modern American representations of Santa Claus. Are they myth, legend, folklore, or literature? What kinds of institutions, values, and relationships do they support? What behavioral lessons do they try to impart? What rituals are they related to? What kinds of opposed relationships do they employ? Answer these questions by exploring websites that document the history of images of Santa Claus. The history of the evolution of the images of Santa Claus and the practices in America associated with the celebration of Christmas and other holidays is found at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131219-santa-claus-origin-history-christmas-facts-st-nicholas/.
3. A site titled "The Annotated Cinderella" can be found at: www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella. Read the annotations and notes for a more in-depth analysis of the story. Compare and contrast the various versions of the Cinderella story from all over the world (see the link to “Similar Tales Across Cultures”). Aspects of the stories to compare cross-culturally include Cinderella’s name, gender, cultural details (such as food, dress, terms, local landscape, etc.), and time the story was told. Discuss how different historical and cultural contexts can lead to these different versions. Try to determine what interests, if any, the organizer of this website has in presenting this information. How does this underlying interest influence the presentation of the material?