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June 30, 2013

Writing Lesson; How to Read a Fable Lesson 1

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Written by: Shari
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Injoy, Inc. Summer Writing Program;

How to Read a Fable

A fable is a short tale that teaches a moral lesson; it often uses animals or inanimate objects as characters.

Fables are often less than 200 words, making them easy for young children to read and listen to.

Reading fables to children is fun because they can relate to the fun animal characters and interesting plot!

Activities to help you explore Fables this week:

Injoy, Inc. Summer Writing Program worksheet; injoyinc.comCheck out a book of fables from the library, or find some online by googling Aesop’s Fables; you can read several fables here.

  • When you read a fable, consider the characters and the character traits they represent.
  • When the main character of a fable is an animal, the animal often keeps its animal traits so that¬† a fox is wily and a turtle is slow.
  • Discuss with your child the character of the characters–the moral character. Identify positive and negative character traits, and discuss how the characters could have made better choices.
  • Identify the lesson or moral of the story. What is the lesson in the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Even young children can find the wisdom in this story!
  • Read a fable to your child, then practice story-telling by re-telling the story. Then let your child tell the story in their own way. Change the story as you retell it over and over again.

Download these free printable worksheets: (you might have to right click on the link and open it in a new tab).

Summer Writing Program; injoyinc.comPre-Writers:

  • Draw a picture of the action of a favorite fable.
  • Encourage young children to give an oral recitation of the story using their picture to retell the story.
  • Prompt children to identify the beginning sounds they hear in the characters and objects they’ve drawn.


Multi-Level Learning:

Act out a fable together. Encourage the children to add interesting dialogue and expression to their voice to portray the emotion or the characteristics of the animals (snakes hisssssss, turtles talk really slow, an owl might sound very intelligent and professor-y!).

Reluctant Writers:

  • Draw a picture of the character trait exhibited in the story. i.e. how do you draw the industriousness of the ant from The Ant and the Grasshopper? Write the word or a sentence about the character trait.
  • Create a script for a family dramatization of a fable. Write the names of the animals or characters or objects on placards, or make cue cards with important one or two word reminders about an emotion, or expression (i.e. jump high, look sad, cry, pant and act tired)
  • Direct a video production; encourage student to write stage directions, cue cards, or a simple script.
  • Retell Fox and Grapes with an alternate ending showing the fox in a positive light with a new moral like: perseverance pays off, or patience rewards the patient.

Summer Writing Program; injoyinc.comOlder Students: 

  • Check out a book of fables from the library and let the older children read (and reread over and over again) the stories to the younger children.
  • Select a favorite fable and write an essay describing the moral and the message of the fable.
  • Write an essay describing how the characteristics of the characters match their personification.

For more lessons on how to write a fable, join the Summer Writing Program for weekly lessons emailed to you with information on writing contests, prizes, and an opportunity to publish your fable.
Click here to sign up for the Free Summer Writing Program


Shared with friends at: Time Warp Wife, A Wise Woman, Next Gen Homeschooler,

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy, wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, founder of a local co-op for hundreds of homeschool children, author of seven books, and creator of Won Without Words (a blog of encouragement for wives) lives in the quiet country of the Ozarks where she enjoys writing surrounded by nature (and her children, of course). She is currently completing Volume V of the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for 'smart' kids, which features characters with character, and underlying allegorical spiritual truths. She enjoys high places and the road less traveled, and moments when all is well, and peace permeates like a fragrance. . .oh, and chocolate, fresh fruit and veggies, and early morning sunrises. Read her blog at


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