Reading and Writing Fables Unit for Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade

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8.08 MB   |   website, PowerPoint & 94 printable pages


Introducing the ultimate reading and writing fables unit for third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students! Now bigger kids can use these timeless tales for a complete reading, writing, speaking and listening experience.

Everything you need is included! You can follow the lesson plans or pick and choose from dozens of resources. In addition to printable files, you will receive the link to a website that organizes the files and additional learning links. Click here for a preview.

In addition to the website, you will also receive a file with these materials. Some parts are also available as separate products. Click on the title to view.

• Fables Lesson Plans – Four pages of lesson plans (detailed below) map out a sixteen-day fables unit complete with reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Fables in Narrative Form – Ten one-page fables, adapted for intermediate grade readers, are ready to print and go. Corresponding reading comprehension questions ask students to answer inferential questions, find meanings of words in context, describe story elements, determine the moral, and more. An answer key is provided for your convenience.

Fables in Drama Form – Seven fables are available as plays. You can use them for reader’s theater, short skits, or full-blown performances with costumes and props (20 pages).

Writing Fables – This complete 24-page unit teaches third, fourth, and fifth grade students to write narratives using effective technique and clear event sequences. A 33-slide PowerPoint presentation teaches students to write dialogue effectively.

Analyzing Multimedia with Fables – Six pages support an activity in which students analyze how different illustrations and an animated movie contribute to or alter the meaning, tone, and beauty of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

• Additional Fable Resources – Fifteen pages of resources include two mini posters, higher order questions (teacher page and student cards), three summarizing foldables, a summarizing template, three templates for finding moral or theme, prose and drama reference guide, comparing prose and drama Venn diagram, and prose/drama comparison table.

The website also includes suggestions for pairing texts in order to compare and contrast folklore.

All the work has been done for you! Simply go to “Schedule” in the website, click to print the linked files, and go. A 16-day no-prep fables unit is right at your fingertips.

Day 1 – Launching the Unit
• Read “The Peacock” together.
• Discuss these questions:
o What does the word “plumage,” found in the second line, mean? How do you know? Review how to find meanings using context clues.
o What does the word “soaring,” found at the beginning of the second paragraph, mean? How do you know?
o What was the peacock’s greatest weakness? How do you know?
o What lesson did the peacock learn?
o What is the moral of this story? How do you know?
• Writing: Ask students to write a letter to the peacock with suggestions of how he could have handled the situation better.

Day 2 – Explaining Aesop’s Fables
• Ask students to read “The Fox and the Grapes.”
• Discuss similarities in elements of “The Peacock” and “The Fox and the Grapes.”
o How are the characters alike? [Both stories have characters that exhibit human traits.]
o How are the settings alike? [Both stories have simple settings.]
o How are the plots (story lines) alike? [Both plots are short, simple, and straightforward. They teach lessons, or morals.]
• Display and discuss “What Is a Fable?”
• Display and discuss “Who Was Aesop?”
• Have students answer questions for “The Fox and the Grapes.”
• Speaking/Listening: Have students share their letters to the peacock in small groups.

Day 3 – Summarizing
• Discuss summarizing. Explain how we can use the phrase “somebody wanted but then so” to help us remember to include the character, his motivation or goal, an obstacle, the steps taken to overcome the obstacle or meet the goal, and the resolution. Model use of this process to summarize “The Peacock” and/or “The Goose and the Golden Egg.”
• Ask students to read “The Goose and the Golden Egg.”
• Have students use a foldable to gather story elements.
• Writing: Ask students to use the template to write a paragraph summarizing the fable.
• Optional: Have students answer questions for “The Goose and the Golden Egg.”

Day 4 – More Summarizing
• Ask students to read “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.”
• Discuss how authors use a story arc to write a story. Display and discuss summarizing template with story arc. Model use of this tool with elements of “The Goose and the Golden Egg.”
• Ask students to fill in elements from “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” on the template.
• Writing: Use the template to summarize the story in paragraph form.

Day 5 – Analyzing Multimedia Elements
• Examine how an illustration shifts perception of story elements using these steps:
1. Have students read “The Tortoise and the Hare” with no illustration. Ask them to record impressions of characters, setting, plot, and theme on the organizer.
2. Display a version of the story with a realistic illustration of a tortoise and a hare. Discuss how impressions of the story change, or shift.
3. Display a version of the story with a cartoon illustration of the animals. Again, discuss how impressions of story elements have changed.
• Show the Disney Silly Symphony video of this fable. Take these steps to analyze how multimedia shifts perception of story elements.
1. Ask students to underline or highlight descriptions that were reflected in the video then explain in the margins.
2. Have them record impressions of the characters, setting, plot, and theme in the video column of the organizer.
3. Discuss how multimedia (sights and sounds) contributed to (or altered) the meaning, tone, and beauty of the text.
• Writing: Ask students to write an essay explaining how illustrations and videos change or enhance a fable.

Day 6 – Making Connections Between Texts
• Ask students to read “The Ants and the Grasshopper” and “The Donkey and the Load of Salt.”
• If you would like to assess reading comprehension at this point, have students answer questions for “The Donkey and the Load of Salt.”
• Speaking/Listening: In pairs, have students determine similarities between the two fables. Ask them to create posters to illustrate those similarities.

Day 7 – Defining Drama and Prose
• Have students read “The Crow and the Fox” (play form, or drama).
• Ask how this piece of literature differs from fables they’ve read so far.
• Speaking/Listening: Collaborate to find structural elements of each form.
• Display and discuss “Prose and Drama: What’s the Difference?”

Day 8: Comparing/Contrasting Drama and Prose
• Have students read the drama and prose versions of “The Miller, His Son, and the Donkey.”
• Ask them to compare and contrast characters in the two versions using the Venn diagram.
• Gearing Up for Writing: Review elements and structure of fables.

Day 9 – Analyzing Drama and Prose
• Have students read the drama and prose versions of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
• Ask them to analyze development of story elements using the worksheet with the table.
• Gearing Up for Writing: Use the PowerPoint presentation to teach/review how to write dialogue in prose.

Day 10 – Launching Plays & Planning Fable Writing
• Select plays for your students; assign parts (or let them audition).
• Hand out scripts and ask them to read through their parts.
• Writing:
o Explore traits associated with various animals (student sheet provided).
o Discuss a variety of proverbs, which can be used as morals.
o Complete Fable Plan 1.

Day 11 – Practicing Plays & Planning Fable Writing
• Practice plays. Students may again read lines off of their scripts. They may begin acting out the scenes.
• Writing:
o Review writing techniques.
o Complete Fable Plan 2.

Day 12 – Practicing Plays & Drafting Fables
• Practice plays. Students may begin using props.
• Writing: Students write first drafts of their fables. Remind them of this criteria:
o The fable must begin with a simple introduction that establishes the situation and introduces the characters.
o Dialogue must be used to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
o Transitional and/or sequence terms must be used to manage the sequence of events.
o Concrete words (such as specific nouns and active verbs) must be used to convey experiences and events precisely.
o A conclusion must wrap up events, as well as imply or state a lesson.

Day 13 – Practicing Plays & Editing Fables
• Practice plays with props but without scripts.
• Writing: Students edit their own fables and/or peer edit. (Editing sheet is provided.)

Day 14 – Practicing Plays & Finalizing Fables
• Rehearse plays in front of class.
• Writing: Students write or type their fables and, if desired, add illustrations.

Day 15 – Performing Plays & Publishing Fables
• Perform plays to parents and/or other classes.
• Publish writing in classroom book, a hallway wall, a bulletin board, or on the class website. Use rubric to assess.

Day 16 – Culminating the Unit
• Read “The Fox and the Crane.”
• Use questions with higher order thinking to discuss the story.
• Cut out shadow play figures and act it out.

More reading and writing units will be published soon. Follow my store to be notified as new products roll out.

Brenda Kovich
Total Pages
website, PowerPoint & 94 printable
Answer Key
Included with Rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks

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Reading and Writing Fables Unit for Third Grade, Fourth Gr
Reading and Writing Fables Unit for Third Grade, Fourth Gr
Reading and Writing Fables Unit for Third Grade, Fourth Gr
Reading and Writing Fables Unit for Third Grade, Fourth Gr
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