Central Message Puzzle Cards

Grade Levels
1st - 3rd
Formats Included
  • PDF
54 pages
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Use this literature resource to teach and practice identifying the central message or moral with well-known folktales and fables such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Ant and the Grasshopper. Students will match the story's central message with the evidence to support the lesson to complete the puzzle card.


  • After reading the folktale or fable, put the puzzles together as a whole class, small group activity, or use as a center.
  • Each card is a three-piece puzzle showing
    • one piece showing an illustration and title of the story
    • one piece showing the central message of the story
    • one piece showing the evidence for the central message

  • Included are suggestions for use.


  • The puzzles are for 10 well-known folktales
    • Little Red Riding Hood
    • Cinderella
    • Beauty and the Beast
    • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
    • Three Billy Goats Gruff
    • Hansel and Gretel
    • Jack and the Beanstalk
    • The Three Little Pigs
    • Rumpelstiltskin
    • The Fisherman and His Wife
  • and 10 well-known fables
    • The Ants and the Grasshopper
    • The Crow and the Pitcher
    • The Tortoise and the Hare
    • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
    • The Lion and the Mouse
    • The Milkmaid
    • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
    • The Fox and the Crow
    • Belling the Cat
    • The Fox and the Goat

Please note: the actual folktales and fables ARE NOT included. These are well-known stories found in libraries, school libraries, and the internet. You can find most of these stories online for free at www.gutenberg.org.


  • There are also graphic organizers for students to identify the central message and provide evidence for any folktale or fable.
  • There's also a generic version to be used with any story. Use the blank puzzle pieces with headings to add more stories and lessons or morals.
  • The puzzle cards are vibrant and colorful with a glittery design, but BLACK AND WHITE versions of the 20 cards are also included.
  • In either case, print, laminate, and cut.
  • Use with the whole class, in a small group, or in a center.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stannette Weaver says, "Loved using this in my centers."

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ LiveTeachAloha. says, "Useful resource for supporting students in learning what central message, lesson, morals, and themes of stories are. In the past my students had difficulty phrasing these, but this resources helped to scaffold that learning."

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jacqueline C. says, "I love the idea of the puzzle! It provides the students with a visual that everything from the story must make sense- it must fit together like a puzzle. If thats the central message, what evidence from the text supports that? does it match? This puzzle idea provides them with a "concrete". Thanks!"

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All rights reserved by the author.

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

Permission to use on secure digital learning management system platforms (such as Google Classroom, Teams, Canva, etc.)


Interested in more resources for English Language Arts for:

★ character analysis

★ central message

★ point of view and perspectives

★ literature companion packs

★ literary centers

★ shades of meaning

★ commas and addresses

★ vocabulary assessments

★ narrative writing

★ ELA games



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Total Pages
54 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
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.


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