"The Grasshopper and the Owl": A Fable by Aesop

Grade Levels: 3 - 5

INTRODUCTION
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to draw conclusions using one of Aesop's enjoyable fables. Students will use a chart to record their conclusions as they read.

OBJECTIVES
Students will:

  • use story details, prior knowledge, and logical thinking to draw conclusions about characters and story events.
  • support conclusions with evidence from story texts and real life.
  • draw conclusions to comprehend and appreciate a story.

SUGGESTED TIME ALLOWANCE
This lesson can be divided into two or three smaller lessons, each lasting about 15-20 minutes.

MATERIALS

PROCEDURES

  1. Introduce key vocabulary: delicious, gleam, insect, noisy, rude. Ask students to complete the Vocabulary Worksheet.
  2. Point out that drawing a conclusion in a story means figuring out something about a character or an event. To reach a conclusion, readers use clues in the words or art, plus what they already know.
  3. Illustrate the concept using pantomime. Ask a volunteer to pantomime trying to scratch a spot on his or her back while saying, "I can't reach it!" Ask students what is happening and why.
  4. Pantomime one or more other situations and ask students to tell what you are doing and how they reached that conclusion.
  5. Distribute the Drawing Conclusions Chart and the fable The Grasshopper and the Owl. Read the first four lines of the fable together. Ask: What is making that 'screech' noise? How do you know? Help students write the answers on their charts. Discuss how they formed their conclusions.
  6. Have students read the rest of the fable and complete the Drawing Conclusions Chart, answering these questions:
    • How does Owl feel about Grasshopper's singing?
    • Why did Owl get a gleam in his eye?
    • What did Owl do just before he went to sleep?
  7. As a class, discuss the answers on the students' charts. Discuss why drawing conclusions is important to the reading process.

ASSESSMENT
Use the Scoring Guide Rubric, the students' charts, and their contributions to the class discussion to assess students' understanding of drawing conclusions.

EXTENSION ACTIVITES
  • Have students reread a story you've studied recently. Students can work independently or in small groups to write conclusions using the Drawing Conclusions Chart.
  • Ask students to research owls or grasshoppers. Students can use the Internet to find information. Encourage them to present their findings to the class.
  • Students can retell favorite fables. When the moral is not stated, help students draw a conclusion to write one.

STANDARDS CORRELATION

  • Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions of human experience.
  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, and identification strategies.
  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to communicate knowledge.

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