Myth or Legend? Parable or Fable?: Knowing the difference

Storyteller for schools, Wales Myth and Legend

There are many classifications of story and some stories have a foot in more than one genre. However knowing the difference is key to being able to understand what type of message a story may be trying to convey.

In common usage the terms Myth and Legend are certainly used interchangably even though each has a distinct meaning and association. People will often know that a Fable or Parable is a story but not necessarily know why they are different.

There are many wonderful stories in each of these genres, some even standing with a foot in more than one. 

The session introduces the main differences between the classifications of story and how to tell them apart. Then through storytelling the children get to guess whether the story is a myth, legend, parable or fable.

  • Legend = supposedly a historical account 
  • Myth = symbolic and no inherent truth
  • Fable = animal only – teach moral or ethical lessons
  • Parable = people only – teach moral and ethical lessons

In this way, the story becomes a fun and entertaining vehicle to explore and highlight some fundamental aspects of storytelling. The process can aid memory and recall in future as children can remember story much easier than statements of fact. Therefore the children can remember the images or motifs of a particular story that will help trigger the memory of how to distinguish myth from legend and so on. 


The work can be extended with the children creating their own stories in the style of a Myth, Legend, Parable or Fable or taking an exisiting story and using creative work to present the story in pictures or models etc. We are happy to plan all our workshops and activities to lead seamlessly into extended learning activities that will be directed by the teacher after our visit. If this is a specific requirement, please let us know at the time of booking or contact us to discuss your needs beforehand. 

storyteller wales legend myth parable fable

Other Storytelling for schools and learning packages:

Culture and Communication – Using story to explore different cultures

Folklore and history – using story to understand the past

Myth or Legend? Parable or Fable? – knowing the difference

Mabinogion Magic – Exploring the ancient stories of Wales

Fabled Fables! – Using animal stories to explore ethics and morals

What makes ‘Spookey’ spookey? – Storytelling and structure

The never ending story – tales where the children decide the ending.

Hedgerow wisdom - the stories that help us remember


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