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Common Core Based Homework Project Using Literature

After ending the Folktale Unit with my class, it was time for a culminating homework project.  Each student received a five-page template to create an iFolktale.

What’s an iFolktale?  Just a template that looks like a tablet in which students have to show understanding of a folktale by examining character traits and the central message.  It has a creative element to it in that students also must hand draw the cover, setting and the main character.

iFolktale Book Homework Project

I’m offering the template to you as a digital download so you can do this homework project with your class!

Read through the post and at the end will be the link to the iFolktale Digital Download!

Homework Project template

The Homework Project Supports the Common Core State Standards

The focus of language arts instruction in my district during the second trimester is on the Common Core State Standards for literature (and narrative writing, as well!).  Since November, I have been using folktales (Native American folktales, Greek myths, fables, etc) to teach those standards.

Now it was time to see what the students could do no their own with this homework project.  I will continue to teach the literature standards through January and February but focus on comparing and contrasting and point of view.

In the meantime, the focus has been on the following literature standards for Grade 3:

  • RL.3.1:  Ask and answer questions to demonstrate an understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RL.3.2:  Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • RL.3.3:  Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
  • RL.3.7:  Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

This homework project focused on all of them.  For this project, I supplied the folktale to the students: Anansi and the Turtle, which is a traditional West African folktale.  All that was needed by the student to complete the project at home was crayons and scissors.

PAGE 1 THE COVER in the HOMEWORK PROJECT

On the cover, all the students need to do is include the title of the folktale and a cover that represents the folktale.   This covers the standard RL.3.7 and how the cover emphasizes the character or setting.

Homework project cover page

PAGE 2  THE SETTING

On page 2, the students illustrated the setting and described it.  They should describe the place and time when the story takes place.  This particular folktale was somewhat nebulous about the time.  This covers the standard RL.3.1, as students had to read to answer where and when the story takes place.

Homework project the setting of the story

PAGE 3  THE MAIN CHARACTER AND TRAITS

On page 3, the students illustrated the main character.  Then wrote about the character traits of the main character and provided evidence from the story.  This covers the standard RL.3.3, as the students had to come up with a word that describes the trait this particular character exhibited.

Homework project the main character and traits

PAGE 4 PROBLEM AND SOLUTION

On page 4, students could either illustrate or write about the problem the main character had, and then explain the solution the main character came up with.  This covers standard RL.3.1 and RL.3.3.  Students had to read to understand the problem and solution and understand how a character would go about a solution.

Homework project problem and solution in the story

PAGE 5 CENTRAL MESSAGE OR MORAL

On the last and final page, students had to explain what they thought the central message (or lesson or moral) of the story could be.  Then they had to cite evidence from the text to support their claim.

Homework project stating the moral or lesson of the story

And that’s it. This homework project covers four third grade Common Core State Standards for literature.

completed example of homework project

If you would like to have your students do the same project, download the digital TEMPLATE HERE!

Here are some more articles covering the Common Core State Standards for literature.

Unique Ways to Teach Central Message Using Folktales

Focus on the Literature Standards with Amazing Folktales

How to Compare and Contrast Using Gerald McDermott Stories

Don’t Go Yet!

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Common Core Based Homework Project Using Literature
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Two Boys and a Dad

Hi, I’m Claudio, the dad from Two Boys and a Dad. Whether you’re just starting out teaching or a veteran teacher, let me offer you some ideas, tips, suggestions, resources and a sounding board for your daily classroom struggles (and successes!). This is your place to find information and ask questions about teaching in the elementary grades.

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