Literacy is so important throughout our lives, but early childhood years should be a time to really nurture a love for good stories. Crafty Classroom sent us a copy of their digital resource for K-2 students called Fables & Tales, and I have been using it with my 7 year old over the past couple of weeks. It is a 133 page PDF file to download that gives 8 weeks worth of literature instruction for early elementary students.
Each week, students are introduced to a new fairy tale or fable. Included are: The Ugly Duckling, Goldilocks, The Little Red Hen, Jack & the Beanstalk, The Gingerbread Man, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel & Gretel.
The PDF includes a suggested weekly outline, showing you how and when to do the various parts of the program. It works on a Monday – Friday schedule, with the student working on multiple activities per day.
We read the story each day. There is a printable story book reader for each week that you print, cut, and staple. Students can decorate and color this book if they would like, but my son didn’t want to , so we didn’t do that.
My son has really enjoyed working through this pack! We will continue when we resume our regular school year in a few weeks, but are taking a break for now. Due to the one-week per story schedule, it’s easy to pick up a week or two at a time, stop for a bit, and pick up the rest later. I love the structure, but total flexibility of this program.
How It Works
Monday is for the Story Snapshot and Character Profile pages. This comprehension activity encourage students to really think about the characters and events in the stories and take a deeper look.
Note: If your student is not a very strong writer, feel free to write down the answers they dictate. There are lines that should make it easier for students to practice their penmanship on, but they may not be big enough for younger students, or in our case, we didn’t have enough lines all the time. We just wrote below or in the margins. If we needed more space, I provided extra paper.
Tuesdays are for Character Feelings and Compare & Contrast assignments. They look back at the story to think about what different characters might think or do, as well as comparing and contrasting some of the important characters.
Wednesday, the student completes a Story Sequencing activity, as well as Story Sticks to retell the story.
My son loved having a fine motor activity of cutting and pasting! I helped with the Story Sticks since there were so many, but he liked the square-like pieces for the sequencing page.
We read the story together, then completed the sequencing activity. I let me son look back at the story to help him complete this task.
We did the same for the Story Sticks. We read the story together, and he used the sticks that way.
When we had done that, I had him retell the story using the sticks. His brothers jumped in to help! It was like a little puppet show.
Thursday, students work on a Problem & Solution sheet. In this one, they think about the problems and solutions in their tale and then also can come up with their own alternate scenario on their own. Then they complete a Foolish Fairy Tales activity. This one confused my son a little because he hasn’t been working on the parts of speech long, but it was like doing a Mad Libs style story, filling it in with adjectives, verbs, and nouns to make a silly fairy tale of their own.
Friday is when they get to create a story of their own, choosing characters, the setting, and choosing what happens at the beginning, middle, and end of their tale. I love the sheet for this, because it combines having them choose from preselected choiced, but also giving them freedom on how the story will unfold. I wrote down what my son was thinking on this brainstorming page, so that he would be able to see what some of the words looked like for the next activity in which he would write his own rough draft.
Students are provided with a lined sheet of paper and draft out their story that they just dreamed up in the last exercise. This concludes their weekly fairy tale unit study!
These stories and activities are great for a homeschool setting, but would also work well for a co-op or classroom. It works well with one student, but could scale to be used with a full class of students.
There is a lot of writing in the curriculum, so be prepared for the lessons to take a little bit longer if you will need to help them with their handwriting or if they are just a bit slow at putting their thoughts on paper.
Alternatively, most of this could be done orally if that works better!
I like that the print-outs are in black and white. This leaves the pictures ready to color if you have a student that loves to draw and doodle and color everything their own way. They can practice coloring in illustrations and writing!
Overall, we did enjoy this program. I like that it has brief and predictable lessons. I like that the stories are classics that students will likely already be familiar with.
This literature curriculum dives deep into the stories, getting kids to truly consider not only what is said, but what they think might happen or could have happened. There is a lot of critical thinking, but also observational questioning in the worksheets.
I would definitely recommend this to families with early elementary students! If it seems to intense or like there is too much writing, feel free to pick and choose, or to lengthen it over the course of 2 weeks instead of 1 for each story. This would put you at a pace of one worksheet per day, Monday – Friday, instead of the 2 that are assigned. This would make it last about a semester if you wanted to do it that way.
Implementing this curriculum in your homeschool couldn’t be easier! The only supplies you will need once you have purchased and downloaded the curriculum will be a pencil, scissors, glue, a stapler, tape (optional, but it worked better for us for the Story Sticks), crayons (optional, but highly recommended), and of course a black and white printer and paper.
The Crew reviewed several different Crafty Classroom titles, including R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook K, R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook Gr. 1, Interactive Math Curriculum Notebook K, Alphabet Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook, Bible Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook, Sight, Word of the Week Program, Pattern Block Activity Bundle, and the USA Activity Bundle Pack. Click the banner below to read more about those: