August 17, 2018
By Beth Lemon

EL Support Lesson

What's the Moral?

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Finding the MoralLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Finding the MoralLesson plan.

Students will be able to summarize fables and folktales and determine the moral or lesson.


Students will be able to orally summarize a fable and use sentence frames to discuss the moral.

(2 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they'll be reading and summarizing a short story called a fable.
  • Ask students to name a story they know with animals as the main characters. Define FableAnd determine whether student examples are fables or not, based on whether they have a Moral, or lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that before we begin learning about fables, we will need to learn new vocabulary.
  • Present the rest of the tiered vocabulary terms. Use the Vocabulary Cards as you define each word and allow students to discuss how the visual relates to the new word. Be sure to distinguish a fable from a folktale. For example:
    • Folktales are always about people, but fables are always about animals acting like people.
    • Fables always have a moral or lesson, but folktales only sometimes do.
  • Complete a Frayer Model with the students for the term fable, and check student comprehension throughout by asking them to orally repeat the definition or provide examples.
  • Divide students into six groups, each of which to complete a Frayer Model for an assigned tiered vocabulary word.
(5 minutes)
  • Allow students to create their own sentences with the new vocabulary words. For example: "I know a fable about a bird and a water jug."
  • Ask student volunteers to come up to the projector/smart board and circle the vocabulary words in their sentences from the Frayer Model worksheets. Then have them share their sentences from the completed Frayer Models aloud.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute The Lion and the Mouse Fable worksheet to students. Project your copy.
  • Ask students to follow along with their fingers as you read the story aloud.
  • Ask students to work in partnerships to reread every other sentence.
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner about the beginning, middle, end, and moral. Explain that their answers may be a little different from one another's.
  • Project written sentence frames for students to reference during partner discussion. For example:
    • In the beginning, the lion ____The mouse.
    • I think the moral is ____Because ____.
  • Have students write down the moral on the worksheet.


  • Provide students with definitions in both English and their home language (L1) if they are literate in their home language.
  • Allow beginning EL students to form a small group that works with you.


  • Challenge students to write a paragraph summarizing the story.
(1 minute)
  • Get the whole group's attention to ask students to show you their level of understanding of the words moral or fable. Have students hold up one finger if they are still unsure and need more information. Students who feel they have mastered the concept would hold up five fingers, and so on.
  • Collect The Lion and the Mouse Fable worksheets to review for comprehension.
  • Circulate the room during student work time. Comprehension and fluency should be noted for future small group work.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask for the whole class' attention. Have student volunteers share the moral of the fable and how they know, using sentence frames as references.

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