Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homeschool~ Aesop's Fables

The Fox and the Grapes

We love Aesop's Fables. These are short, quick little reads that teach morals and values through entertaining stories surrounding animals. Most of us have heard an Aesop's Fable at some point in our schooling but you may not have known it! The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is an Aesop's Fable! So is The Lion and the Mouse, a story of a kindness that is repaid.

How about this famous lesson on laziness:


ONE bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.
"What!" cried the Ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"
"I did n't have time to store up any food," whined the Grasshopper; "I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone.


The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.
"Making music, were you?" they cried. "Very well; now dance!" And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.
There's a time for work and a time for play. 
~Milo Winter The Aesop For Children  found at The Baldwin Project

We most often use the Milo Winter version of Aesop's Fables. I found it on The Baldwin Project site and printed it off. I did a simple Copy and Paste onto a Word document. 

The Crow and the Pitcher

The drawings are so very beautiful. They may be slightly printer ink heavy but I shrunk them a bit so I could use less ink. Then I three ring paper punched them and placed them in a binder.

These are an Ambleside Online Year 1 reading but our whole family enjoys getting in on the Aesop fun. I usually read them myself because I enjoy reading these bits of gold with lots of enthusiasm. I will on occasion have Prince Ray read aloud for practice. The Milo Winter version has slightly challenging vocabulary so it is great for reading practice. 

I have of course used audio versions sometimes simply because I don't have that extra set of hands or eyes I have wished for and there are times when school happens over supper or while I am doing dishes! Books Should Be Free is one of my go-tos for free audio readings of classic books. So we have listened to an Aesop's Fable while looking at the printed book artwork or even coloring a picture. It should be noted that these are not the Milo Winter versions of the fables.
The Boys and the Frogs

Here are some resources I have found in my internet wanderings that have helped or supplemented our Aesop's Fable readings.

The Lion and the Gnat
For fun sometimes we will watch a video after reading. I might later that week for a change of pace or even as a reward put on a Youtube video clip from this site. They are short, simple, and good renditions using very easy language. My kids like it when we watch the whole playlist. There are 23 videos to pick from.

If you are looking for a bit more this site has lesson plans and also audio versions available. They have over 600 fables to choose from! The Selected Fables section is easily copy and pasted and has a handy chart for 'suggested morals' you can build the study on.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst 1994 Art 271 class has a whole site dedicated to Aesop's Fables. Many of the Fables were rewritten by the students into modern English along with original computer artwork. The History section is good if you want to give your older kids (or yourself) a bit more information on this guy we all know the name of. He definitely had an interesting life.

Project Gutenberg has free downloads of the original Aesop's Fables.

Last year I copied the reading of the week from The Baldwin Project and then used to make copy sheets for Handwriting Practice.

Here are a few free coloring pages online from That Resource Site. I wish they had more. When we do color pictures from Aesop's it is usually from their own imaginations. :)

If you have a preschooler sitting in on most of your classes like I do you are probably already familiar with This is a good size selection of coloring sheets and ideas for your little people so they can join in. 

The Dogs and the Hides

The way we really like to finish our Aesop's reading every week? 

Sir Bean working on staging.
Act it out!
These are perfect for mini-drama sessions. 

The greedy dogs at the river trying to get to the hides....

They get the practice of sharing ideas, playing pretend, learning to delegate acting parts, and of course having fun being silly.

...and they drank too much water!

This is an excellent narration time as well. ;) In warning, because I have rambunctious kids, it is only fair to say that there have been a couple unprofessional acting moments in our past due to some of the more aggressive scenes. The actors were reprimanded and asked to be stage crew for the rest of the day. :)

How do you study Aesop's Fables?

Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)

Possibly Linking With:


  1. I always told my children, "Look to the ant." I smile when I hear my daughter telling her children the same thing. Thank you for the link to free classics. You put a lot of time into this post--I'll be using your ideas with my grandchildren.

  2. This looks like so much fun! I bet my kids would love acting out these stories. :) Are you familiar with ? They've got a linkup on Wednesdays, I think, for homeschoolers. Lots of great ideas there too!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

    1. They are very fun to act out! I will check out the Next Gen Homeschool site. I think I have read things from there before! Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Just saw you linked up for the blogroll. Your combination sounds very interesting, and I look forward to following your family.

    1. Well thank you! I am working my way through this thing called homeschooling. It has been such a blessing and challenge. :)

  4. I love these stories. Thanks so much for sharing over at WholeHearted Home.


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