Aesop’s Fables Unit & Lesson Plans – Genre Study for 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade

Rated 4.72 out of 5, based on 36 reviews
36 Ratings
Brenda Kovich
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
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Brenda Kovich
Includes Google Apps™
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What educators are saying

Great resource to use to help students understand fables. I also used for a lot of figurative language and word meaning instruction.

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    Bonus: Lesson Plans and Extra Activities


    This fables unit offers a complete reading, writing, speaking, and listening experience! It includes lesson plans, 10 stories with comprehension questions, 7 plays, writing, and compare-contrast activities. You’ll have everything you need to teach your third, fourth, or fifth grade students.

    Open the preview to take a closer look at the components.

    Lesson Plans

    Three weeks of ELA lesson plans are ready to go! You may use them to guide your study of fables. (Open the bonus preview to see the plans.)

    10 Aesop’s Fables with Comprehension Questions

    Students infer, find word meaning, describe story elements, find the moral, and more. Stories have been adapted for upper elementary reading.

    Fables include:

    • “The Ants and the Grasshopper”
    • “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”
    • “The Donkey and the Load of Salt”
    • “The Fox and the Crow”
    • “The Fox and the Grapes”
    • “The Goose and the Golden Eggs”
    • “The Miller, His Son, and the Donkey”
    • “The Peacock”
    • “The Tortoise and the Hare”
    • “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”

    Aesop’s Fables in Drama Form – Seven Printable Plays

    Scripts may be used for short skits, readers theater, or full-blown plays – for up to 40 students!

    • First, kids learn about structural elements of drama. Two reference guides offer definitions, as well as an annotated example.
    • Second, as an exit ticket, students can identify elements in one of the plays.
    • Finally, they’re ready to act out some plays. 

    Materials include:

    • Lesson plans
    • Elements of drama reference guide
    • “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” – seven characters
    • “The Crow and the Fox” – three characters
    • “The Crow and the Pitcher” – two characters
    • “The Miller, His Son, and Their Donkey” – fourteen characters
    • “The Pot of Gold” – five characters
    • “The Wolf and the Goat” – three characters
    • “The Wolf and the Horse” – seven or more characters

    Narrative Writing Activity

    The sequence of this unit is carefully sequenced to scaffold kids to narrative

    writing success. It teaches specific writing processes that will improve their craft. Students:

    • analyze two fables and identify common elements;
    • learn rules and practice writing dialogue;
    • explore traits associated with various animals;
    • consider proverbs choose a moral;
    • plan their narratives;
    • explore good introductions and conclusions, specific word choice, and transitions;
    • draft, revise, and finalize.

    Resources include:

    • Lesson plans
    • Two fables by Aesop, specially adapted for this writing project
    • Writing dialogue slideshow (PowerPoint or Google Slides)
    • Dialogue reference guide
    • Dialogue practice worksheet
    • Worksheet for analysis of animals and their traits
    • List of proverbs (to help select morals)
    • 3 planning sheets
    • 1 page of transition terms
    • Editing sheet
    • Rubric

    Comparing and Contrasting Fables with Stories and Plays

    Kids compare and contrast three fables, which are each included in two forms: prose (story) and drama (play). They use Venn diagrams and tables to find similarities and differences of:

    • different stories told in prose,
    • different plays written in drama form, or
    • the prose and drama forms of the same fable.

    Resources include:

    • Lesson plans
    • Reference guide – elements of prose and drama
    • Venn diagram for comparing two different fables
    • Worksheet for evaluating two different fables
    • “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” – 1-page story, three-page play, Venn diagram and worksheet
    • “The Miller, His Son, and the Donkey” - 1-page story, three-page play, Venn diagram and worksheet
    • “The Fox and the Crow” - 1-page story, two-page play, Venn diagram and worksheet

    The unit include everything you need for your genre study and more.

    Enjoy teaching fables to your third, fourth, or fifth grade students!

    Brenda Kovich

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    I'm committed to continual improvement. This resource was updated and enhanced on January 22, 2023.

    Total Pages
    Answer Key
    Included with rubric
    Teaching Duration
    3 Weeks
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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
    Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
    Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
    Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.


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