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Fabulous Fables for Middle School

last modified on 09/10/2010

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Explore fables from around the world to help students develop an appreciation for cultures different from their own. They also learn that mankind as a whole shares many common virtues and values. Mary Blow is a 6th grade English Teacher at Lowville Academy and a 2010-2011. Scholastic Teacher Advisor. Visit Mary on her Scholastic Blog at: http://blogs.scholastic.com/classroom_solutions/mary_blow/.

Total: 9
Status: Public
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A Ring of Tricksters: Animal Tales From North America, the West Indies, and Africa

by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Barry Moser

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.5

Genre: Fables, Folk Tales and Myths, Multicultural, Short Stories

Resources: Yes

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These animal fables are about tricksters from North America, West Indies, and Africa. Folklorist Virginia Hamilton tells fables using rich colloguial language, which prepares students for reading classics such as Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

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A Sip of Aesop

by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Karen Barbour

Interest Level: Grades PreK - 3

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5

Includes: Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Western

Resources: Yes

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Yolen does a superb job of translating Aesop's fables into verse. This illustrated translation provides a model of how classical fables are still being told and retold in various forms--prose and verse.

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Aesop's Fables

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 4.4

Includes: Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Western

Resources: Yes

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Aesop is considered a Greek fabulist. Every student needs an introduction to Aesop, the father of fables. Aesop, a slave, was a master storyteller, who uses animal stories to have a political voice.

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Fables Of Aesop

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 6.9

Includes: Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Western

Resources: Yes

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Joseph Jacobs is an expert on the history of fables.  He also translated many fables for adults and children.  Anyone studying fables, should be familiar with Jospeh Jacobs.

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Once a Mouse...

by Marcia Brown, illustrated by Marcia Brown

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.4

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Western

Resources: Yes

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This is one Panchatantra fable from India. They are considered to be one of the earliest forms of listerature. There are 5 books to the collection, which were used to educate royalty.

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The Lion and the Mouse: Fábula de La Fontaine

by Mark White, illustrated by Sara Rojo

Interest Level: Grades 1 - 3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz

Genre: General Fiction

Resources: Yes

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Jean de la Fontaine is a French fabulist who translated many of Aesop's fables into verse. La Fontaine's fables allow students to compare and contrast verse and prose versions of a fable.

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The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.1

Includes: Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Resources: Yes

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This is a very popular Jataka fable, a Buddha tale, from India. It is believed that the animals in these stories are a future Buddha who is sharing his wisdom.

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The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales

by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Diane Dillon and Leo Dillon

Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5

Grade Level Equivalent: 4.3

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Fables, Folk Tales and Myths

Resources: Yes

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This collection of American Black folk tales includes fables. The fables provide a nice introduction to reading and comprehending colloquial language.

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The Rooster's Antlers: A Story Of The Chinese Zodiac

Interest Level: Grades K - 2

Grade Level Equivalent: 4.1

Includes: Accelerated Reader Quiz, Scholastic Reading Counts! Quiz

Genre: Western

Resources: Yes

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This Chinese fable is more like a pourquoi tale, as it explains how the zodiac came to existance. Learn how the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac were chosen and how the emperor teaches the animals a lessons that many middle school students can relate.

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