In reading and writing this week in 2nd grade, we were ALL about fables! They are kind of a big deal considering an entire Common Core Standard is dedicated to them.
Well, actually, I started last week when I was being observed. My lesson required students to identify a major event in the story where a character learned an important lesson. I taught this in small reading groups and the kids loved it so much, it spilled into this week. Here’s a breakdown of what we did each day.
Day 1: I hadn’t thought ahead too much (I do that sometimes) so I didn’t have any fable books…yet. So I went with my go-to plan B and looked up fables on UnitedStreaming.com or Discovery Education–whichever you prefer. Does your school have a subscription? Not sure what I would do without it.
Discovery Ed. has a whole bunch of Magic School Bus Episodes which is kinda our thing on most Friday afternoons. My kids have a tendency to assume we are watching Magic School Bus anytime I start typing the website into my browser. But no sir, it was not Magic School Bus today! Today I was going to do the teaching–step aside Miss Frizzle!
Back to our fable lesson. We talked about the elements of a fable. I used a poster from Lessons in Literacy Fable Writing pack.
Then we watched 2 short fable videos and identified the elements focusing mostly on the lesson. And even though the stories came out and told us the lesson, we still needed to interpret into kid terms.
Next, we took a look at the fable writing planning page also from Lessons in Literacy. We chose some animal characters and identified which one would be the ‘hero’ and which one the ‘villian’. Although, I like to just say “the one who makes good choices and the one who makes not-so-good choices” because I am not a huge fan of strong labels.
After we chose the characters and setting, I sent them off to work in partners on the fables. I decided to let them develop their own lesson or moral and the next day we would share them and try to guess what it is.
Identifying the Lesson
Day 3: This day we were back in action. I even went to the library before school to pick out some fable books. However, I have a reputation of not looking through books before I read them (I know, it is a horrible habit) and one of the books I picked out had a swear word in it–GASP! Like the word for donkey. I just skipped over those fables.
We referred to our anchor chart everyday to identify the elements of a fable. I read some fables and we discussed all the parts. A few were repeats from ones we had read in reading groups but they were slightly different so it was fun to discuss how they were the same and how they were not.
Finally, after we got a lot of ideas from reading fables, I sent them off to plan for writing their OWN fable this time. And I let them pick their characters from the character cards which, you guessed it, are found in Lessons in Literacy’s Fable Writing pack (I am not getting paid for this, I just really liked this pack). Here’s what they looked like: