Subject Area: Language Arts/Fables
Reading Level: 3.0
A collection of delightful, rollicking, and highly original fables from a master storyteller.
Students will explore the genre of fables.
Standard: Students will use reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of texts (e.g. fairy tales, folktales, fiction, nonfiction, legends, fables, myths).
- Hold a classroom discussion about fables as a genre. Talk about their roles in folklore and the information they impart.
- After presenting students with a number of fables, ask them to each pick one.
- Distribute paper and crayons or markers to your class.
- Ask each student to make a visual representation of his or her favorite fable.
- Talk about each student's choice and what lessons he or she takes away from the chosen tale.
Here's a New Moral
- Ask each student to pick his or her favorite fable from Ackamarackus .
- Have each student write a short paragraph on why the selected story is a favorite, and then suggest two entirely new and original morals for the chosen story.
- One by one, have your students read their reports and present their new morals. Have them provide examples from the story that support the new moral.
- Post the reports on a classroom bulletin board.
My Own Fable
Julius Lester's original fables are hilarious and outrageous. Encourage your students to be just as silly.
- Fables provide a moral or lesson about behavior. Ask your students to think of an example of bad behavior. (You could also ask for good behavior, but bad is probably more fun.) Examples could include cheating on a test, staying up past bedtime, or eavesdropping on a sister's phone conversation.
- Either individually or as a class, ask your students to come up with a story around that behavior — in fable format. Be sure to include a fitting comeuppance for the behavior!
- Encourage your students to use their imaginations and be as wacky as possible.
- Have each student (or do this together as a class) write a short version of his or her fable, along with its moral(s).
- Share your new fable(s) as a class.
- If time allows, have your students illustrate their (or the class's) fable and post the artwork on a bulletin board.
More Fun With Fables
Squids Will be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables
by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Scieszka's trademark wacky humor will keep kids grinning as they read through this collection of wildly original fables.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
No fairy tale is safe from the twists and turns of this talented author and illustrator team!
Beware of the Storybook Wolves
by Lauren Child
Can Herb outwit the two wolves who've escaped from a favorite bedtime story? And what about that witch who escaped from another book while he wasn't looking? A fun and fanciful story.
Other Books by Julius Lester
The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
When the Beginning Began: Stories About God, Creatures, and Us
Sam and the Tiger: A New Telling of Sambo
Lesson Plan by Rebecca GÃ³mez