In the Trenches

Thoughts and Ideas from a Classroom Teacher

Mini Books & Morals

on February 16, 2012

Nope. I am certainly not taking this blog in the direction of anything too serious…at least not yet. Instead, as my Things Good Readers Do lesson today, we talked about finding the moral of a story. I liken this to my tip to RELATE. In the case of finding the moral of a story, I remind students that a story’s moral is what they can learn from a story that they can apply in their own lives. I grabbed the book Cherokee Animal Tales from my shelf and chose 3 short stories that I thought would fit the bill pretty well. I selected “How the Chipmunk Lost His Tail,” “Rabbit and Possum Seek a Wife,” and “Why Mole Lives Underground.” These are all traditional Cherokee animal stories, and many of the kids have heard them before. While these stories explain things in nature, they also have a distinct lesson that is timeless, like the fables of Aesop or Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.

To spice things up a bit (and include a foldable, of course), we made quick mini-books using the directions that I found HERE. Believe it or not, the whole class got this fold correct the first time! Woohoo! I do like this mini-book though because it’s a quick process. If your kids can’t make their own, it’s not too painful to make them ahead of time for your students.


The front cover of the book held the title of our book, and the back cover defined moral for the students. The three interior pages were used to record the moral of each story as determined by the students and an illustration from their own view of the story (remembering to visualize).  The lesson was about 30 minutes and a super review. We had some excellent discussions. My favorite part of it was when they were starting to move from the literal to the metaphorical. For example, the original thought of the moral of “How the Chipmunk Got His Stripes” went from “don’t go near hungry wolves” to “it’s better to be smart than strong.” Yay!

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