What our Fables lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Fables teaches students about this unique form of literature. Students will recount fables and determine the central message, lesson, or moral. They will explain how the moral is conveyed through key details in the text. Then, students will describe characters, settings, or events in a fable, drawing on specific details in the text. Finally, they will compare and contrast two or more characters in a fable, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.
Options for Lesson
You can check out the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page for additional suggestions for ideas and activities to incorporate into the lesson. Fables remain one of the world’s most popular genres in kid literature. Kids love them, and teachers like to teach them! And, though fables are short, they teach more than comprehension. Fables are an excellent way to teach skills such as personification. One option for this lesson is to have students read a fable, create costumes, and then perform a readers’ theater play using the dialogue from the fable. It is a great way to teach literature and a fun option to reinforce reading comprehension skills.
The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.
FABLES LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
Intro to Fables
The Fables lesson plan has three content pages. You have probably read fables. Fables have been around for a long time! How long? No one knows for sure, but the most famous author of fables was Aesop. The earliest known collection written by Aesop dates back to the 4th century BCE, more than 2,000 years ago. Yet, as old as fables may be, they are still popular in literature and storytelling. Many have been rewritten and made into movies for modern audiences. So, what is a fable?
A fable is a type of fictional narrative or story. The main feature of a fable is that the story is told through animals’ voices or inanimate objects. Inanimate objects are not human or animal, like rocks or trees. The author gives animals or inanimate objects the characteristics and personalities of humans. Personification is the literary technique of giving non-humans human characteristics. For example, in fables, the animals talk like humans.
Values and Morals
Another trait of fables is that the stories highlight human behavior. Sometimes, the behavior is desirable, like kindness or charity. Other times, the behavior is not favorable, like greed or envy. Fables were told to impress values upon the young listener that the culture felt important to pass down to the next generation. Values are things you believe in that are essential to how you live and behave.
The lesson provides a short list of common values that many fables examine. These values include trust, honesty, kindness, charity, respect, integrity, humility, courage, gratitude, teamwork, and thoughtfulness.
There are many values. One way to think of a value is to ask what you expect from your friends. Do you want to hang around people who are kind or mean? Do you want honest friends or friends who don’t tell the truth? The purpose of fables is to teach morals or value lessons. Fables end with a moral. For example, “Treat others as you would like to be treated” and “Appearances can be deceiving” are both moral lessons.
How Fables Are Different
Most fables are short compared with other narratives. The plot is usually simple. There is a conflict and then a resolution, leading to the moral lesson. Fables are mostly humorous. They often show the foolishness of human behavior in different situations.
Fables are not folktales, legends, myths, or tall tales. Though similar, these types of literature do not end with a moral or lesson. Folktales, legends, myths, and tall tales are traditional stories handed down from generation to generation. Initially told around campfires to entertain audiences, they were later written down.
Students will read a short fable about an ant and a dove. In this example, the Dove and the Ant do not talk. But would a dove have pity on another insect? The dove might want to have it for lunch! Compassion is a human trait. The Dove sympathizes with the drowning Ant and saves it (personification). Students can then write which trait they think the ant demonstrates in the story.
In summary, fables are narrative fictional stories. Most are just a few short paragraphs. In fables, the main characters have human traits or characteristics. We call this literary device personification. The purpose of a fable is to teach a moral or a lesson. The stories are often humorous, showing human nature’s good and not-so-good sides. Though they were written more than 2,000 years ago, the lessons still apply to modern times. Now you know everything you need to know about fables!
FABLES LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Fables lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students demonstrate their comprehension of the lesson material in different ways. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.
GNAT AND THE BULL ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
For the activity worksheet, students will read a short fable called “The Gnat and the Bull” by Aesop. The worksheet lists three prompts for them to respond to once they finish reading the story. If you like, you can have students work together and collaborate on what they learned.
TOWN MOUSE AND COUNTRY MOUSE PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet asks students to first read the fable about two mice, one from the city and one from the countryside. Students will then complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the lives of the two mice.
FABLES HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Students will get to test their understanding as they write their own fables for the homework assignment. They will need to ensure they use personification and have a moral for their story. If you like, you could have your students present their fables and have the other students guess the moral.
Worksheet Answer Keys
This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet as well as an example response for the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.