The fables we have learned about in the month of August with Mother Goose Time did more than just teach the children about long ago stories, they taught the children how to look at their actions and to see what they might do differently. It was fun watching them find the common link between them and the story of the lion and the mouse.
I ended up reading the story several times to the classroom because they loved the way the story ended and couldn't get enough of how nice the mouse and lion were to each other. It led to a conversation about what we could do to make our friends happy. Much of it revolved around food and sharing toys. But the fact that they were even thinking about ways to help their friends meant that the lesson helped them to make real life connections. Which is something that is very important when it comes to teaching children abstract information. We want to make sure they can carry it over into their real life.
So how do we do that? well, when introducing such abstract materials we start the conversation with them.
"What can you do to help a friend feel better?"
"What makes a friend happy?"
"Can helping people make you happy?"
Starting out the story with these questions meant that the children went into listening with an active intent on understanding how this story will relate to them. It may inspire them to be a little nicer when sharing their toys, or to think about others before they act. I have love Aesop stories since I was a child and it was great being able to share the stories in a more toned down way with my students.
Live Long and Keep Teaching!