Collaborative Learning: Transformation Level

K-4 Lesson

Fables Have World Appeal

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • Whole group activity, with small groups using mobile laptops or mobile devices simultaneously

Common Core State Standards: ELA

  • Key Ideas and Details
    Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
    Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
    Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
    Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
    By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
    Comprehension and Collaboration
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others ideas and expressing
    their own clearly.
    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
    c. Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
    d. Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
    Text Types and Purposes
    Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
    Production and Distribution of Writing
    Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
    With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
    Range of Writing
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    Comprehension and Collaboration
    Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
    Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
    Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
    Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.


    Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)

    1. Creativity and Innovation
      1. Concept 1: Knowledge and Ideas
        1. PO 1: Analyze information to generate ideas and processes
      2. Concept 4: Original Works
        1. PO 1: Analyze information using digital creativity tools to create original works and express ideas
    2. Communication and Collaboration
      1. Concept 1: Effective Communications and Digital Interactions
        1. PO 1: Communicate digitally with others by selecting and using a variety of appropriate communication tools.
    3. Research and Information Literacy
      1. Concept 2: Processing
        1. PO 1: Use appropriate digital tools to synthesize research information and develop new ideas
    4. Technology Operations and Concepts
      1. Concept 1: Understanding
        1. PO 3: Choose technology applications for a given project or activity
      2. Concept 2: Application
        1. PO 5: Create multimedia presentations with multiple pages, audio, transitions for individual assignments
        2. PO 6: Use interactive web content to access, read, send, and receive information.


    • Students will learn about Aesop, the Greek slave who wrote hundreds of fables, as well as fables written from other cultures around the world.
    • Students will identify elements of a fable such as moral and personification.
    • Students will explore different literary forms of fables from books, audio files and movies
    • Students will exchange morals for stories read and collect ideas for their own story.
    • Students will collaborate in a team of 2 to create their original fable.
    • Student teams may choose to produce their fables in the form of an enhanced podcast or presentation.
    • Students will have the opportunity to publish their podcast or presentation on the class webpage or blog.

    Fables are some of the oldest stories known to man. Fables are universal. Fables relate to everyone and connect us to other cultures. Classic fables like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” or “The Tortoise and the Hare” teach us a lesson or a moral.
    Discuss Aesop’s Fables

    • After reading a few of the Aesop’s Fables aloud, ask kids which ones they liked and why. Help them understand the moral at the end of each tale by asking:
      • What happens in the story? Who or what is the story about? What does the moral mean? Do you think you could live by the moral? In what situations in your life would it apply?
      • Before I finish reading the story, can you guess what the moral will be? Why do you think that?
      • What lessons do you think the morals teach? Why do you think Aesop wrote stories with morals at the end? Why do you think he used animals in many of his tales?
      • The animals in the story often have human characteristics. This is called personification. Look at the pictures. Why do you think the animals are dressed in human clothing? What other human characteristics do you see? Why do you think the author and illustrator did this?
    • Read aloud two stories, more than once, then compare them using a Mind Map in print form or digital format. Ask: What is similar about them? What is different? Which story did you like best? Why?
    • Read aloud myths or folktales from other countries. Compare them using a Mind Map in print form or digital format. Ask: Are they the same? Different?
    • Pre-Writing for a Fable
    • Make up a fable. Pass around a talking stick (any simple item, such as a ball or ruler, that makes it the turn of the person holding it to talk). When students get the stick, they add a line (or two) to the fable that is being created. The last students can tell the moral, or the group can create one together.
    • Independent Activity
      • Students are directed to immerse themselves into fables. They may choose from listening to Aesop’s Fables from Lit2Go audio web files (.mp3’s), AesopSITE, Lesson’s from Aesop or Aesop’s Life and Fables. online interactive story sites.
      • If iPads/iPods or other mobile devices are available, students may listen to Lit2Go audio files from the mobile devices.
        • Students will enter the name of the fable they listened to and the predicted moral.
        • Students will join a discussion and share how they came up with the moral of their favorite fable.
    • Writing a Fable
      • Before students begin work, have the class collaborate as to what a digital presentation rubric should include for final evaluation of projects. (Can begin with a teacher-made rubric, which students may then suggest changes to.)
      • Teacher will show an online presentation on How to Write a Fable, explaining the elements of the fable and required parts of a story.
        • Elements to remember when writing a fable.  Teacher can create a checklist of these to guide students.
          • There is a lesson to the story (moral)
          • Animals are usually the characters
          • Their names reflect their personalities
          • Dialogue between characters
          • The setting is usually outside.
          • Create your story with a beginning, middle and end.
            • Beginning-Introduction of characters
            • Middle-There is a problem that needs to be solved.

    The details of the story are the events that lead up to the solution or conclusion of the story.

            • End-Solution becomes the moral of the story.
      • Teams of 2 will be set (one option is by the drawing of name sticks).
      • Student teams will brainstorm and discuss their favorite fables and share what they like about them. They will also compare and contrast their similarities and differences, using a tool of their choice.
      • After their discussions they will start plotting out the elements of their fable using a collaborative web tool or pencil and paper.
        • Students will create a rough draft
        • After rough drafts are complete, the teacher will facilitate revision groups as a part of the writing process until final copies are completed.
      • Now that the student fables are finished it is time to publish them to a wider audience!
        • Students will have a choice of creating an enhanced podcast (audio track with pictures) or enhanced presentation.
          • Enhanced podcasts may be produced with Apple’s GarageBand software.
            • If GarageBand is not available use Audacity for an audio only podcast.
          • Enhanced presentation may be created with Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote software or another tool of student choice.
        • Using a computer, students need to prepare for two parts of their digital story:
          • Collect digital images that go with their story
          • Record their story, alternating characters voices to tell their story
        • When the preparation of collecting digital images and recording their stories is complete, students may assemble their files to produce their project in GarageBand or PowerPoint or Keynote or other application.
          • See Tutorials for software assistance.
        • Once fables are completed, you may want students to export/share their files by compressing them into a smaller, more manageable files to attach to a blog or webpage.
          • Recommended file type would be Quicktime.
        • Time to celebrate with those around us and around the world!
          • Invite students from lower grades to come and listen to a storytelling session.
          • Invite parents, grandparents to come listen and view.
          • For fables that met high publishing standards, you might want to share them with the world on a classroom webpage or blog.
        • Assess student digital presentations by the rubric that was created by the class.
      1. Extended Activity:
        1. Students may wish to enter their fable to Kids Fables, an online repository of student written fables. This information to could be distributed to parents first.


    • List of species in folklore and mythology by type

    • Australian Storytelling: Aesop’s Fables

      • This site has many fables in abbreviated format.
    • National Zoo Web Pages Just for Kids - National Zoo| FONZ

      • Look for Animal Stories in the side menu on the right-hand side of the Web page.


    Student learning will be assessed by completed projects and the quality of the enhanced podcasts or presentations by the class developed rubric.

Technology Integration Matrix





Goal Directed