Aesop's Fables

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Aesop was an Ancient Greek story-teller and slave, famed and cherished for his short fables that often involve personified animals. In the renowned collection of works that is Aesop's Fables, he weaves moral education and entertainment together into tales that have been enjoyed by many generations (from
Curriculet Details
30 Questions
34 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining point of view, using context clues, and various aspects related to Ancient Greek and Roman culture. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about personification, verbal irony, and various animated fables to compare and contrast with the written versions. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of how Aesop’s characters interact, theme, morals, point of view, and analyzing the text to support inferences. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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When you are using Curriculet, there is a great tool which allows you to see the definition of any unknown word. Click and hold on the word "imputations". From the pop-up box choose the define option. Now we understand that what the wolf means by "imputations" is "charges of being evil." 

Homework #2

Aesop consistently uses a literary device called personification to make animals and objects in his stories have human characteristics. Watch this short video to learn more about personification. (This annotation contains a video)
What theme is apparent in the lesson the father gives his sons? 
A locust is a species of grasshopper. They are known to move in great swarms, often destroying crops very quickly. (This annotation contains an image)
How is the Hare in this fable similar to the Grasshopper in the fable The Ants and the Grasshopper? 
Although the farmer saw the Stork as a robber just like the Cranes, the Stork felt he was a much better species of bird. Read this short article about the differences between cranes and storks, especially the yellow text box near the bottom. Do you think the Stork was justified in his opinion? (This annotation contains a link)
Do you agree with the Aesop after reading The Tortoise and the Eagle, that "If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined"? Support your opinion with an example from real life. 
A sling is a piece of leather tied with strings. When a stone is placed in the leather pouch and quickly whipped around, it can become a deadly weapon. (This annotation contains an image)
A common theme that runs among many of Aesop's fables is that 
Aesop's fables are told from the third person point of view. This means there is an outside narrator telling the stories. In this fable the narrator's point of view is that the fox is wise because he is very observant and is able to protect himself after watching what has happened to others. 
Without changing the meaning of the sentence, which word could be used in place of "hubbub"? 
A filbert is also known as a hazelnut. Due to their rich flavor, filberts (hazelnuts) are often used in desserts around the world. (This annotation contains an image)
The fable The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is most like what other popular children's story? 
Around the time that Aesop was living (600 BC), the Roman's believed the king of gods was Jupiter. Therefore, in many of Aesop's fables, the characters pray to Jupiter. (This annotation contains an image)
This fable makes more sense if you know what a Jackdaw looks like. The storyteller obviously thinks the Jackdaw is ugly, do you agree? (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #3

Aesop wrote The Goatherd and the Wild Goats to teach a lesson about friendship. Explain, in your own words, what Aesop was trying to say. 
In this fable, Aesop uses a storytelling strategy called verbal irony. Watch this short video which explains verbal irony, and see if you think the highlighted section is a good example of it. (This annotation contains a video)
Let's Review the First 70 Fables 
This is a very popular fable, known to many of us as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf!" Often it is told to children to teach them about the dangers of becoming a liar. Watch this short cartoon of the fable. Do you remember anyone telling you this story? (This annotation contains a video)
A good word to describe the father in The Farmer and His Sons would be 
Have you ever watched a crab walk? Most species of crabs walk sideways because of the way their legs are attached to their bodies. You can watch one by clicking on this short video clip. (This annotation contains a video)
How is the sheep in The Wolf and the Sheep different from many of the other sheep we have read about in the other fables? 
Although he lived in Ancient Greece, Aesop is believed to have been a black slave from Phrygia, a region now in central Turkey. An old translation of "Aethiop" is a black-skinned person. Do you think this fable may have come from Aesop's own experiences?  
In this fable, we can infer that the type of kite to which Aesop is referring is a bird. Today's readers of this fable might be reminded of the many prescription medicine commercials we see on television. Look at this cartoon. Do you think Aesop would agree with its message? (This annotation contains an image)
If the lion was going to take all of the prey anyway, why did Aesop have him divide it into three shares and make the statements he made to the wild ass? Explain using quotes from the text. 
Click the link below to see a slightly different version of "The Mice and the Weasels". How does the illustration that is included impact your understanding of the fable? (This annotation contains a link)
What is similar about the mice in The Mice and the Weasels and The Mice in Council? 
A sprat is a small, fast moving fish that often swims in a large school throughout the day. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #4

Which words from this fable help the reader infer that the lion is still full of pride? 
As good readers, it is important that we look for context clues to help us with unknown words. Even if a reader is not sure what a "brazier" is, there are clues in the next sentence. "While he hammered away at his metals" lets us know a brazier must be someone who works with metal. Watch this short video about other ways to find and use context clues to figure out unknown words. (This annotation contains a video)
The Wild Boar and The Fox has a very similar moral as the earlier fable, The Ants and the Grasshopper. Explain what the moral or lesson is, and how each of these fables help teach it. 
Have you ever heard a swan sing? Watch this video of two swans "singing" and you will see why the cook realized he had grabbed the wrong bird! (This annotation contains a video)
Using the define tool in Curriculet when we get to the word "expostulated", we can tell that the Cock was 
Let's Review the Middle 73 Fables 
"Hart" is an old term for a healthy adult male red deer. What do you think about the Lion's decision to leave the food that was an easy catch for the Hart? (This annotation contains an image)
Aesop does not tell us the moral, or lesson, of this fable. What do you think he was trying to teach by writing about the dancing monkeys? Use the events of the fable to support your answer. 
Dame Fortune refers to Fortuna, the Roman Goddess of Luck, Fate, and Fortune. She was a very popular Goddess, and many temples in Rome were built in her honor. This is a picture of Dame Fortune with the wheel she supposedly spins to decide who will have good luck and who will have bad luck. (This annotation contains an image)
This popular fable has been shared with children in many different ways. Watch the video below and think about differences in the two versions. Did the moral remain the same? (This annotation contains a video)
According to the beliefs of the crow, how would the travelers' reaction be different if the Raven, instead of the crow, had been perched in a nearby tree? 
During Aesop's time, lions were an important part of Greek culture. Have you noticed how many of his fables include lions as characters? Read this short article about the lions Aesop might have seen when writing his fables. (This annotation contains a link)
According to the Curriculet "define" tool, there are several meanings for the word started. Using the context clues provided in the sentence, which meaning is correct in this case? 

Homework #5

The thief in this fable sure was clever! Isn't it interesting that even as early as Aesop's time, there was a fear of humans turning into wolves? As a matter of fact, the first werewolf myths have been traced back to Ancient Rome! (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how The Hart and the Vine uses the same story structure we have seen in many of Aesop's other fables. 
Even today, Piraeus is a thriving harbor in Athens. If only the monkey had known it was a harbor not a person! (This annotation contains an image)
What did the horse originally want from the man? 
This fable may remind readers of a famous riddle about two guards. One who always lies and one who always tells the truth. Click the link below to see if you can figure our the riddle. (This annotation contains a link)
Why wasn't the mother lark concerned for her nest when the farmer was going to ask his neighbors to help him with the harvest? 
The goddess, Juno, is trying to let the Peacock know that we have all been given different gifts or strengths. Buddha, the founder of Buddhism 2,500 years ago said something similar when he said, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”. What do you think about the advice from Aesop and Buddha?  
What is similar about the Fox (The Dog, the Cock and the Fox) and the Wolf (The Wolf and the Goat) is these two fables? 
"Bird-lime" is a sticky substance that used to be rubbed on sticks and branches to trap or capture birds. Its use is illegal in most places these days. 
Why do you think Aesop chose a blind man for the main character of this fable? What purpose does this detail have in teaching the moral? 

Homework #6

This fable has several similarities to "The Cobbler Turned Doctor". Both characters pretended to be doctors. What can we infer was Aesop's experiences with the doctors of his time? Does it sound like he respected them? 
What can we infer will happen to the dog when winter comes? 
Another good example of verbal irony is found in this fable. When the trumpeter states, "I have not slain a single man of your troop." This is ironic because, as the enemy states, it is his very trumpet call that brings all the other soldiers into the battle, causing many to be slain. 
According to the fable, The Goods and the Ills, which happens more to people? 
A Satyr is a creature often found in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. It is usually half man, half horse or goat. (This annotation contains an image)
The moral of the fable, The Ass and His Purchaser is most similar to which of the following other morals? 
According to the Curriculet definition, a "stratagem" is a deceptive tactic designed to gain the upper hand. Have you noticed how many times Aesop has the more clever characters use "sweet talk" as their stratagem? In this case, the grasshopper is fooled by the "sweet talk" of the owl. Can you think of a time when you have used "sweet talk" to get your way? 
Jupiter states that Minerva is wise because she chooses to protect the olive tree, a very useful tree to ancient people. Do you agree that "unless what we do is useful, the glory of it is vain"? Why or why not? 
This fable provides a great lesson to us as readers. We should be wondering, do we often go along with what others celebrate even if it is not the real or best thing? Do we think for ourselves to determine what is true and right? 
What can we infer from the statement, "I am shut up on your account in this palace as if I had been a girl"? 

Homework #7

From the ending of this fable, we can tell that Aesop 
A "Plane-Tree" is a very large tree, like a sycamore, often planted in places where large amounts of shade are desired. Many large Plane -Trees were planted around ancient Greek palaces. (This annotation contains an image)
Without changing the meaning of the sentence, which of the following words could replace "bewailed"? 
"The Golden Rule" states that you should treat others the way you would want to be treated. The rule is thought of as a two-way agreement. Which characters in this fable do you think followed this well-known rule. 
Another good title for this fable could be 
Let's Review the Final 71 Fables