|Aesop's Fables (high beginning-intermediate)|
|Lesson Tips - Lesson Tips - Listening/Speaking|
|Written by Anonymous|
These activities use Aesop's Fables (http://tesoltools.com/tt/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=54&Itemid=61 - also see Gutenberg.org or Librivox.org for free recordings of the fables) to develop different listening and speaking skills.
Depending on the students' level of English and familiarity with the concept of fables, the teacher may want to start with some introductory information about Aesop and what a fable is, and then listen to the first story together as a class. Ask the students to identify important or unknown vocabulary words and generate questions which can be written on the board. (See the examples below.)
Then, working individually or in small groups, have the students define the words (or used them in sentences) and take turns answering the questions. Once the students are familiar with the activity, the teacher can assign fables for homework and students can listen and bring their own questions in to share with the class.
For more proficient students, assign a fable for them to listen to, in class or at home, and ask them to identify/explain the moral and talk about how it applies to their own lives. For less proficient students, ask them to summarize the basic parts of the story for the class; the students who are listening can help by asking questions. Alternatively, assign a different fable to each student. He/She is then responsible for introducing new words, summarizing the story, and explaining the moral. This, again, can be followed up with practice on question formation and answers.
Another fun activity which works well with many of these fables is to have the students create dialogs or skits with the characters in the fables. Depending on the number of students you have and the fables they use, divide the students into pairs or small groups and have them create a dialog or prepare a script for their fables and then act them out for the class.
The fables can also be used to focus students on sentence structure or grammar points. Ask the students to listen for a specific structure or grammar point in their fables. Then, have the students try to use what they'd heard in their own conversation. For example, a student might take the sentence 'He tried and tried but he didn't succeed.' from the first fable and use it with his/her friends in casual conversation.When students have become familiar with concept of a fable, you might also try having the students create their own fable and moral and perform it with a partner for the class.
Aesop's Fables #1 vocabulary: introduction, made up, Greece, story teller, lessons, morals, added, fables, professional, getting along
1. Who was Aesop?
2. When did he live?
3. Where did he live?
4. What did he do?
5. Why did he tell stories?
6. What is the purpose of Aesop's fables?
7. Why do you think so many people are still telling his stories today?
#2 vocabulary: fox, grapes, thirsty, farm, succeed, reach, jump, sour, criticize, able
1. Where was the fox walking?
2. What did he see?
3. Why did he want the fruit?
4. Why couldn't he eat this?
5. What did he try to do?
6. Did he succeed?
7. What did he say at the end?
8. Why did he say this?
9. Have you ever felt like this fox? Explain.