Marshellese Folklore



  • Accurately recount at least 2 main plot points of an auditory story in a verbal response;
  • Verbally identify at least 1 potential moral to a Marshallese folktale or story;
  • Demonstrate comprehension by depicting at least 4 major plot points of a Marshallese story in a drawing.


The Marshall Islands, composed of 29 small coral atolls and 5 islands, make up the northeastern part of Micronesia, about 200 miles southwest of Hawaii. They are broken up into Ratak, the east chain, and Ralik, a parallel west chain. These atolls gained recognition when the US began military operations and atom bomb testing, leaving behind deadly radiation that has caused intergenerational cancers and diseases, as well as significantly damaged the climate and the environment. Aside from its tragedy, the Marshall Islands are less recognized for their culture. Folklore and mythology are an integral part of Marshallese culture. The Marshallese folklore is diverse, as each island or clan has its own versions of traditional myths, passed down orally by trained myth tellers, often elders. In this lesson, 2nd graders will explore the different types of stories in the rich Marshallese culture, from explanatory tales (Bwebwenato) to fairy tales (Inon), while building reading comprehension and analytical skills.


  1. What defines a culture? Tradition, customs, location? How is it formed and passed on through generations?
  2. What do we have in common with people from the Marshall Islands?; How does where we live impact our culture?
  3. How do visual cues like tone and expression convey feelings in Marshallese storytelling?
  4. What can Marshallese stories teach us about the Marshallese people’s belief systems about the creation of the world and how we should live our lives?


Lesson plan created in partnership with Diversify Our Narrative