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Teaching the Central Message Part 2

I wanted to make sure that my students had some experience with identifying the central message before trying to figure out the central message of Coyote or any other story we would read.  I thought that maybe I would start with well known stories like the fairy tales.  So I came up with 10 fairy tales and their central messages.  But, I also thought of what evidence from the story would prove the central message, since students would have to do the same.  I developed these cards that looked like a giant puzzle piece.  The top piece displayed the central message, while the two other pieces had a picture of the fairy tale to identify it, and the other piece the evidence to prove the central message.

The students then had to match the picture/fairy tale with the central message.  But first, I made sure that the majority of the students knew each of the fairy tales presented.  It turns out, the only fairy tale not known was The Fisherman and His Wife.  I quickly retold the tale and then we proceeded to match the first fairy tale with a central message (Little Red Riding Hood — Don’t talk to strangers).  Once the students were able to match the the puzzle pieces together, then we talked about how to prove the central message by citing text evidence.  That’s when I introduced the third puzzle piece that had the evidence.  We started again with Little Red Riding Hood discussed what evidence from the tale shows that you shouldn’t talk to strangers.  Immediately they offered that Little Red should not have talked to the wolf, because that is how he learned of her going to her grandmother’s house.  Excellent!  We proceeded with the rest of the tales and in a short time we completed each puzzle with the evidence.  I posted some on a bulletin board in my room as a resource for students to use.

Completed puzzle pieces

I am developing 10 more puzzle pieces based on fables.  When they are done, I will post a free sample here on my blog. 

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