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Amber > Traditional Literature (choose 2)

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Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments 1

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Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments Nail Soup Retold By: Harve Zemach
This folktale is about a man who has been traveling and is looking for a place to stay for the night. He runs into an old women and he tries to convince her let him stay with her. She eventually gives in and says he can sleep on the floor, but not to expect much since she does not have much herself. However, once the man got to her house, he saw that she was not as poor as she pretended to be. When he asked for something to eat, she said she had not eaten herself all day and could not feed him. He told her that he had learned while traveling that he could make nail soup. She reluctantly gave him a pot and wanted to watch him try. As he stirred the water and the nail, he began to make excuses about why the soup may not be as good as it had been other times he had made it. He then asked for different foods to improve its taste. Each time he asked he would say, “But we’ll have to do without it, and not think twice about it.” The woman didn’t want the soup to be bad and gave him the ingredients he asked for each time not realizing that the man was actually using her ingredients to make a good soup. After the soup was done, they ate, danced, and actually didn’t mind the man’s company. The woman even let him sleep in her bed while she slept on the floor. The women realized that since she now knew how to make soup with a nail she could always live in comfort.
This was a story that had a lesson to be learned from it. The man realized she was being stingy and wanted to teach her a lesson to show her that she really had everything she needed and did not have to pretend to have nothing. Everything was right there in her house, and she even could share it with others. I would share this story with my class when talking about the folktale genre and discuss the characteristics of this kind of literature. I also think that if the book had an updated cover and illustrations, it would appeal more to children. I recommend this story for second through fourth grade students.

message 3: by Amber (new)

Amber Thomas (althomas80) | 28 comments Fables By: Arnold Lobel
This book is full of short fables. They each have talking animals that get into some sort of predicament. Each story ends with a moral or lesson that share with the reader what they should learn by reading it. For example, one story is about a set of ducks who are discussing taking a different route to the pond. One of them does not want to take a new route. However, there is a fox who sits along the path they usually take and one day he tries to grab them. The ducks both escape and fly home. The moral of the story is: “At times, a change of routine can be most helpful.”
Another story was about a bear who dresses up in what he thought was the latest style and is getting ready to head into to town. Along the way, he meets a crow who tells him he is dressing all wrong. He tells him that instead of a hat, people are wearing pans on their head. Also, they are wearing bed sheets instead of vests and paper bags on their feet instead of shoes. The bear goes home and change and then heads into town. Everyone laughs at him and he hurries home. On the way, he sees the crow again and is upset that he did not tell him the truth. The crow admits that he told him many things but he never once did he say he was telling the truth. The moral of this story is: “When the need is strong, there are those who will believe anything.”
I would use this book in my classroom to talk about the fable genre. I think that the stories are easy to understand and read. However, the morals may need discussed with the class even at the fourth grade level. I think children would enjoy reading about the funny situations these characters get themselves into. This story can be read by third through fifth grade students. However, they will be able to read the moral, but may need to discuss them with the teacher or classmates to make sure they understand what they mean. Overall, this is definitely a book I can start using in my classroom.

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