Stories are a fantastic way to teach kids important life lessons. This reading comprehension worksheet uses the classic Aesop’s fable—The Fox and the Crow—to get your students thinking about the central lesson of a story.
Want to help your young readers learn to discern the central message or lesson of fictional stories? Have your students read this short version of the classic fable of the "Lion and the Mouse" by Aesop to practice determining the moral.
This lesson focuses on the comprehension of fables and folktales in order to identify a moral or lesson. Use this lesson as a stand-alone activity or a support lesson for the Finding the Moral lesson plan.
Every great reader and writer knows that syntax matters. During this lesson, students will use the close reading strategy to focus on word choice, and use their understanding of syntax to develop theories about patterns in the text.
What makes a character special? Their traits, of course. With help from The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg, students will enjoy completing character maps and learning about different character traits.
Central Message, Lesson or Moral in Fiction Texts Resources
The ability to understand the key message in a passage is a critical reading comprehension skill. These resources give your child short text blocks to read and ask comprehensive questions to get your young one on the path to discovering themes, lessons, and messages themselves. For more practice, see our identifying main topics in non-fiction texts resources.
Once your students are able to read well and can understand the structure of a story you can teach them about the moral, or central message, of the story. Often presented in an analogous way, the central message of the fictional piece is a lesson that the author presents to the reader without putting it forward bluntly, forcing the reader to look beyond the text on the page, as it is in
Teaching children to understand this can be difficult as it is an abstract concept. You can start by reinforcing the commonalities of physical objects, causing the children to see a uniting theme between different items. This can be applied when recalling the story as they search for the theme or message of the piece.
Some common themes and ways to identify them are:
Acceptance - Characters respect and accept others who are different
Courage - Characters overcome fear
Compassion - Characters try to placate those who are suffering
Honesty - Characters discover that telling the truth is best
Kindness - Characters are generous and considerate of others
Reading stories with the children, followed by a question and answer period is the best way to reinforce this concept. Above, Education.com has provided many stories with themes and morals, along with questions that may help steer the students towards finding and understanding the moral of the stories so they can start to identify them on their own.
Teaching students to identify hidden meanings and reading between the lines helps them understand more complex story structures later in their education.