Classroom Sneak Peek: 4th Grade Fables

One of my personal favorite curricular series is the fourth grade writing workbook: Writing and Rhetoric, Fables by Classical Academy Press. Not only are students exposed to short stories that include a beginning, middle, and end with conflict resolution, but they are taught how to write by parodying and then recreating. In one particular assignment, students were asked to amplify an uninteresting fable by adding details. I was impressed with Jessica's fable because of her rich descriptions! One of my favorite lines in her story was "in angry despair, she kicked a pebble which landed neatly at the bottom of the pitcher." I found myself imagining the scene with ease and clarity. Thank you, Jessica, for writing such a winsome tale.  - Miss Leithart, 4th Grade Teacher

A crow was flapping around. She was hot and sweating and she felt as if her wings were about to fall off, but she kept flying, scanning the ground for water. Except for the sound of the bumpy pattern of her wings, everything was silent. The town had become abandoned 3 1/2 months ago, not because everyone had left but because everyone had died. Not even the animals had survived for there was not a drop of water on the ground. The crow had survived a few months by eating the wet sand on the beach, but now not even that was left. She was leaving the town but she knew that if she did not drink soon she would die. Suddenly she saw something. It looked like a pitcher. The crow flew down to get a closer look. Yes, it was a pitcher! Almost afraid to reveal false hope she plucked off the top. To her joy she saw at the bottom of the pitcher some water, clear and sparkling, just waiting to be drunk. The crow popped her head in and opened her beak only to find that the water was too low to drink. In angry despair she kicked a pebble which landed neatly at the bottom of the pitcher. The crow was about to kick over the pitcher when she noticed that the water level had risen slightly higher. Her heart began racing when she remembered the pebble. She gathered more pebbles among the scattered bones and afraid to once more reveal false hope she dropped one in (the water rose a little higher) then another and another. The water rose higher and higher until the water was high enough to reach. She dipped her beak in once more, this time to be greeted by cool, sweet, and refreshing water. When she was done drinking she resumed her journey with newfound strength and hunger. A few hours later she reached another town and the re-exhausted crow quickly found a stream and some worms. She ate her fill and settled on the top of a coconut tree for a long nap.
The end.