Fables Extension Activities
- Grades: 3–5
Extend your enjoyment of Arnold Lobel's Fables with these fun activities.
Art: Picture a Feast
What's your students' idea of the perfect meal? In “The Cat in His Visions,” a cat has a “glorious vision” of a meal: “a large, fat fish on a china plate, resting in an ocean of lemon juice and butter sauce.” Pass out paper plates and let children draw (or cut out and paste) pictures of favorite meals. Paste plates to large sheets of construction paper and have children add descriptions of their “glorious visions.”
Movement: Ballet Dancers and Dreams
Can a camel dance? In Fables, a camel dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. “‘To make every movement a thing of grace and beauty,’ said the Camel. ‘That is my one and only desire.’” So, the camel practices pirouettes, relevés, and arabesques — each a hundred times a day! Though her camel friends don't appreciate her talent, she takes great pleasure in her accomplishments, which is all that matters. Invite a local ballet teacher or student to teach a basic routine to students. Practice, then put on a recital as part of a retelling of the story. Follow up by inviting children to share their dreams. How can they work to accomplish them?
Science: Rainbow Maker
What's really at the end of a rainbow? In “The Frogs at the Rainbow's End,” three frogs are convinced they will find gold, diamonds, and pearls. With the simple setup described here, students can discover for themselves what's really at the end of a rainbow — and in between.
- Fill a clear container with water and set it on a windowsill. Place a sheet of white paper between the container and the window. Show children how to place a small mirror in the water, mirror side toward the sunlight. Move the mirror until a rainbow appears.
- Let children make rainbows on their own, recording their observations. Do children's drawings indicate that they recognize the pattern of colors in a rainbow? What other discoveries do they make?