Lesson plan

Finding the Moral

In this lesson your students will find and examine the morals in the classic folktales of "Stone Soup" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
Need extra help for EL students? Try the What's the Moral? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the What's the Moral? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to recount fables and folktales and determine the moral or lesson, explaining how it is conveyed through key details or ideas in the text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(8 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be learning about folktales and fables.
  • Ask students if they know the meaning of the terms folktale and fable.
  • Define the terms on the chart paper for student reference.
  • Explain that a fable is a short story that usually is about animals and is intended to teach a lesson, and a folktale is a traditional story.
  • Explain that while folktales can teach a lesson, fables always teach a lesson. Define moral as a lesson that can be learned from a story or experience.
  • Ask students if they can name any folktales or fables. Challenge them to describe some key details or ideas in familiar fables and folktales.
  • Record their examples on the board or chart paper.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that the goal of today's lesson is to be able to determine the moral of a folktale. Share that a moral of a story is the lesson that is learned from the story.
  • Provide an example of a familiar story, such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Remind students about the plot by explaining that Goldilocks was looking for a place to take a rest, and she went into the bears' house. She ended up breaking some chairs, and eating some porridge. When the bears came home, they were upset that someone had been in their house breaking chairs and eating their food. The moral in the story is that your actions can hurt others. The lesson that Goldilocks learned is a lesson that we can also bring into our own lives.
  • Bring students to the rug and project the story "Stone Soup."
  • Read aloud "Stone Soup" to the class and challenge them to think about the moral of the story, and the details that support it.
  • Allow them to discuss in partners the key ideas and details that support their ideas.
(8 minutes)
  • Project the Fable & Folktale Story Map worksheet.
  • Begin filling out the parts of the story. For each section of the story map, ask students to turn and tell their partners before asking volunteers to share their ideas. Record the beginning, middle, and end of the story on your story map.
  • Ask students to tell their partner what they think the the moral, or lesson, of the story is. Have them describe the key details from the folktake that support their ideas.
  • Explain that the lesson of the story "Stone Soup" is that you should share with neighbors. Ask students to help determine key details from the text that convey the moral. Record the lesson on your map.
(20 minutes)
  • Distribute the Boy Who Cried Wolf Story Map and the Fable & Folktale Story Map worksheets to students.
  • Instruct students to read the passage with their partners, alternating sentences.
  • Instruct students to begin answering the questions below the passage and filling out the story map to recount the folktale, as well as determine the moral of the story.


  • While others work independently, call your struggling readers into a group to work with you.
  • Ask students to recount key details and ideas they typically find in folktakes and fables.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, have them read and complete The Man, the Boy and the Donkey worksheet.
(4 minutes)
  • Circulate the room while students are working, answering questions and informally assessing students’ abilities.
  • Student fluency, comprehension, and writing abilities should be noted for future small group work with you.
(5 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask student volunteers to share their recount of the story and the moral, as well as their reasoning behind their ideas.
  • Record their answers on a teacher copy of the worksheet and story map.

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