Injoy, Inc. Summer Writing Program Week 2; Elements of a Fable
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How to Write a Fable Week 2
Elements of a Fable

The entire lesson is included in this email, however there are several ways you can use these free resources:
  • You can complete the lesson ideas from the computer screen.
  • You can print out the teacher lesson sheet here to complete with your children later. You can also print out optional age/grade appropriate worksheets/printables.
  • Complete any or all of these ideas throughout the week, or at any time during our Summer Writing Program. There's no pressure! Just use whatever works for you and your students and enjoy this process!
  • Check out my Oh Joy! blog for fun ideas, and be sure to like and follow the Injoy, Inc. Facebook page for important announcements and additional fun!
If you have any questions, please email me at


Shari Popejoy

Elements of a Fable; Lesson 2

Even though a fable is a very short story, it still contains all the elements of a good story.

The five elements of a good story are:

  1. characters
  2. setting (time and place)
  3. plot (series of events with a beginning, middle and end)
  4. conflict
  5. theme (or in a fable--a moral)

Read the fable of North Wind and the Sun just below and complete some of the optional activities throughout the week. For a handy Parent/Teacher printout for your lesson plan book that includes many of these activities and the fable text, click here.

Print an optional Pre-Kindergarten worksheet by clicking here.
Print an optional early elementary worksheet by clicking here.
Print an optional worksheet for reluctant writers/spellers by clicking here.
Print an optional worksheet for older elementary or middle school students by clicking here.
Print an optional worksheet for students in grades 7-12 by clicking here.

Our Write Now! Online Writing Class is currently doing a companion class to the FREE Summer Writing Program on How To Write A Fable. In this optional class, students will write several fables, submit them for critique and analysis, and participate in live chats and other writing activities. Students who participate in this 8-week online writing workshop will be well prepared to enter several of their fables in the Injoy, Inc. Fable Contest

Sign up here for the additional class for the Write Now! student rate of $7.95 per month for the current class: How to write a Fable: Exploring characters, plot and theme -- with a moral.

Please note: The Injoy, Inc. Summer Writing Program is FREE. It is a weekly online class that is emailed to you (like the email you are reading now). If your student would benefit from more individualized instruction like is described above, you may want to add the Write Now! option for a lesson fee. If you have any questions, please email us at

Writers are so much fun, and we enjoy talking with you about your writing projects. Be sure to like the facebook page and read Injoy Ink for information about ways we can connect online!

North Wind and the Sun

A dispute once arose between the wind and the sun over which was the stronger of the two. There seemed to be no way of settling the issue. But suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road. “This is our chance,” said the sun, “to prove who is right. Whichever of us can make that man take off his coat shall be the stronger. And just to show you how sure I am, I’ll let you have the first chance.”
So the sun hid behind a cloud, and the wind blew an icy blast. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his coat around him. At last the wind had to give up in disgust. Then the sun came out from behind the cloud and began to shine down upon the traveler with all his power. The traveler felt the sun’s genial warmth, and as he grew warmer and warmer he began to loosen his coat. Finally he was forced to take it off altogether and to sit down in the shade of a tree and fan himself. So the sun was right, after all!

Moral: Persuasion is better than force.

From Aesop's Fables, Grosset & Dunlap

Across the Curriculum Activities and More Ways to Explore Fable Fun:

Check out a book of fables from the library, or find some online by googling Aesop's Fables; you can read several fables here.

  • Identify the characters of this fable. What are the characteristics of these characters?
  • What is the setting (time and place)?
  • Name the plot (beginning, middle and end).
  • Identify the moral of the story: Persuasion is better than force or gentleness is better than blustering, or ____________
  • Discuss with your child the character of the characters--the moral character. Identify positive and negative character traits, and discuss which characters are admirable and why.
Retell from memory or read these familiar fables. Identify the characters, setting, plot, conflict, and moral of these fables.
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • Androcles and the Lion
  • The Crow and the Pitcher
  • The Town Mouse and Country Mouse
  • The Tortoise and The Hare
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper

More Activities For Students of All Ages


Pre-Writers (print an optional worksheet for pre-kindergarten students here or for early elementary students here.)

  • Draw a picture of the action of North wind and the Sun. How do you draw the wind? What shows that the wind is blowing?
  • Encourage young children to give an oral recitation of the story using their picture to retell the story.
  • Prompt children to identify the beginning sounds they hear in the characters and objects they've drawn.
  • Retell the story with your child being the sun, you being the wind (or vice versa).

Multi-Level Learning (print an optional worksheet for elementary students or middle school students here.)

  • Act out this fable together. Encourage the children to add interesting dialogue and expression to their voice to portray the emotion or the characteristics of the North Wind and the Sun. How does a warm and persuasive character sound? How does a blustery and harsh character sound?  What facial expressions or sound effects would the wind or sun use?
  • Memorize the five elements of a good story.
  • Identify the five elements of a good story in some familiar fables like Tortoise and Hare, Ant and Grasshopper, Boy Who Cried Wolf, and others

Reluctant Writers (print an optional worksheet for reluctant writers/spellers here).

  • Draw a picture of the emotion or personality of the North Wind or Sun, by drawing them with faces.How do you draw the blustering of the wind and the gentleness of the sun? Write words or a sentence about the characters.
  • While preparing for a family dramatization of the fable, encourage the reluctant writer to write the names of the animal, subjects, actors on placards.
  • Direct a video production; encourage student to write stage directions or cue cards, put together a simple script.

Older Students (print an optional worksheet for middle school through high school students here.)

  • Check out a book of fables from the library and let the older children read (and reread over and over again) the stories to the younger children.
  • Create an oral or written fable with these elements (or exchange them for your own ideas): 1) characters: o’possum and kangaroo 2) setting: candy store, 3) plot: a chocolate bar goes missing, the kangaroo looks guilty because of a full pouch,  but is innocent 4) conflict: the O’possum accuses the kangaroo of stealing 5) theme/moral Things are not always what they seem. In your story, include plenty of emotion and dialog, and expression as the two characters interact.
  • Story Telling. Retell one of the fables listed above, or create an oral fable for younger children with you as narrator, them acting out the instructions you give them in the story-telling. Add plenty of fun things like emotion, hand signs, and dancing that they have to incorporate, the sillier the better!

Injoy, Inc. is offering a Fable Writing Contest!

We'll be selecting between 50 and 100 winners to be published in an e-book at the end of the summer, so if you've never been published, this is a great opportunity! We'll be selecting fables from every grade level, with prizes for the most fun and interesting fables.

Mark your calendar for August 23, 2013, the deadline to enter, and be sure to follow us on Facebook to get all the info on the contest as it is announced.


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