Stories to Grow by Blog contains articles and resources for Parents and Teachers to use our Short Stories for Kids: Moral Stories at Home and in the Classroom. Our Blog contains articles on Storytelling, Reader's Theater, Lesson Plans and information for Parents on the benefits of Moral Stories.

March Theme Stories for Kids: Girls of Courage

March Theme Focus: Girls of Courage 
Stories to Grow by is proud to present our March Theme featuring many of our new "Early Reader" Classic Short Stories in English. Our March focus is on the theme of "Girls of Courage". What an important message in your classroom, specifically in this time of our history. Multicultural Stories such as Mulan, The Girl & the Chenoo, Janet & Thomalyn, and the ever popular "Snow Queen" which the Disney movie "Frozen" is based on. We hope you will find these stories inspiring to read at home as Bedtime Stories or in the classroom. Disney's "Mulan" is one of my sons favorite Disney movies so be assured that both girls and boys will come away from these stories having learned valuable moral lessons. Happy Storytelling! 

The Velveteen Rabbit Lesson Plan ~ Valentine’s Day

The Velveteen Rabbit Short Story for Kids

The Velveteen Rabbit Lesson Plan ~ February Theme of Love 

Velveteen Rabbit Lesson Plan Ideas for Valentine's Day: Creative Writing Tasks  

The Velveteen Rabbit is a beautiful, classic tale of a child's love for his stuffed animal. A motif, as also seen in the Disney movie "Toy Story", of the old toy thrown aside as new, shiny, toys with buttons and lights are received. The stuffed bunny, Velveteen Rabbit, and the Skin Horse wonder about their life as discarded toys.  But Skin Horse assures Velveteen Rabbit, "When soft toys are loved enough, we can become real." 

This story is a favorite childhood classic and our early reader version can be easily used in the classroom for grades K-3rd. It is perfect for Valentine's Day  with the theme of love which is easily accessible to all children. The love for their favorite stuffed toy.  In Kindergarten and 1st grade, the lesson could include am oral reading of the story and the children drawing a picture of their favorite stuffed animal coming to life. Meet standards by having students write a descriptive sentence "I love my ____ because_____." For 2nd and 3rd grade, it can be read for Independent Reading or Read Aloud and then include a writing task: Write a paragraph describing your own beloved stuffed animal. Extend the learning by having students be creative and write a short story about how their stuffed animal became real. Or a persuasive story about why their stuffed animal deserves to become real. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Storytelling! 

Beauty and the Beast Love Lesson Plan ~ Fairy Tale

February Theme of Love: Finding Love Where You Least Expect It

February: the month of LOVE and surely there are plenty of stories which cover the “traditional” love story. Our worldly stories, however, teach us so much more about love than just that.  This month we will explore love stories, each from a different country and each with their own unique message about what it means to love and be loved in return. This week’s stories are about finding :Love Where You Least Expect It".  Below you will find suggestions for a Beauty and the Beast Love Lesson Plan for both grades 2-4 and 4-6.

beauty and the beast Beauty & the Beast Love Fairy Tale 

The classic tale from France of a beautiful, smart, young girl who finds herself entrapped with a hideous Beast to spare her father’s life; a Beast who turns out to be more than what he seems. A tale as old as time…..

A story from France, this European Folk Tale is a wonderful tale of love that builds from friendship. Much like Disney’s version, but with some differences, there is also a secondary plot regarding three sisters, Beauty being the youngest, most humble, and the one to put the love for her father above her own wants and needs. She willingly goes to take his place and live with the Beast, whilst her older sisters only care about their selfish ways, getting their riches back and finding husbands who will “suit” them. An exploration of love in many forms, this tale analyzes love between a father and daughter as well as love that comes from truly learning to value another for their heart and not their looks. Beauty finds “Love Where She Least Expects It”, a love grown from friendship and true admiration for ones’ best qualities.

We offer two versions of this story: The Classic Version suited for a 4th-6th reading level and an "Early Reader" version in simple English suited for those with a 2nd-4th reading level.  This Fairy Tale offers a wonderful opportunity to meet Common Core Standards of Comparing/Contrasting Text to Film. The animated Disney version varies from the new recent version, which more closely meets the original classic tale. Another idea is to use the text to Debate Ethics:Does the punishment meet the crime? Last, I like to use this tale to analyze Point of View and write a Fractured Fairy Tale. What would this story look like from the Beast's perspective?

Stay tuned: The Fisherlad & the Mermaid’s Ring  

New Classic Early Readers! The Emperor’s Clothes, The Snow Queen, and more!

Love Classic  Fairy Tales and Folktales? Looking for easy, engaging reads for Children ages 6-10. We are expanding our story collection to now include more Classic tales which continue to have positive morals (and are kid-tested!) for at home and at school. These stories make wonderful additions to classroom curriculum as well as make the perfect Bedtime Stories for your little ones. Love Disney's Frozen? You will adore our adapted version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" which the Disney move is based on. Looking for a way to present a lesson on Vanity and Foolishness? That it is far better to speak up and stand out then to go along with the crowd? Then you will love "The Emperor's New Clothes". Looking for an enchanting tale of a beloved rabbit whose wish to become Real comes true? Then you will love "The Velveteen Rabbit".  Coming soon: Rumplestiltskin, Mulan, Sima Guang & The Broken Vat (A Chinese Folktale) and many more! 

Click Here for our Collection of Early Reader English Stories for Kids. 

Our English Stories for Kids early reader collection consists of classic folktales from all over the world.  Folktales (or folk tales) are stories that have been shared from generation to generation by word of mouth. They consist of Fairy Tales (or fairytales), Animal tales and Legends, which you will find here! These Early Reader versions of English Stories are Kid-tested, Multicultural and feature Positive Moral messages.  Perfect for leaving a lasting impression on the children in your lives, and stories you will enjoy, too! These easy small short stories for little kids are perfect for English Language Learners (ESL) anywhere and everywhere - for the classroom and at home and for those learning to read. They also make wonderful Bedtime Stories. 

Lesson Plan: The Goblin’s Market ~ A Poetry Analysis

The Goblin's Market Lesson Plan: Poetry Analysis for 10th-12th Grade

I am so thrilled to bring you this lesson plan! While I usually don't write about myself, I did want to share a bit of my bio before introducing our new lesson plan. Before being the Director of Stories to Grow by, I was a teacher like most of you! I've taught every grade from 4th-12th, including adults, but my most favorite teaching years were when I taught 10th-12th grade. I taught Career Level, College Prep, Honors and my absolute favorite, 11th & 12th grade Advanced Placement English Literature & Composition. Working on this poetry analysis lesson geared for High School was an absolute pleasure as most of our works are for Elementary & Middle School students. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful for your own classroom. Happy Storytelling! 

The Goblin’s Market Lesson Plan

A Spooky Poem for a Poetry Analysis: Grades 10th-12th

Looking for a fun, engaging lesson plan to tie into Halloween while also meeting standards for Poetry Analysis? Our adapted version of The Goblin’s Market by Christina Rossetti is a thrilling poem which not only ties perfectly into an October unit, but also is perfect for a poetry analysis since it contains so many poetic features such as Rhyme, Figurative Language, Symbolism, and more!

The Goblin’s Market:

Two dear sisters; two different personalities. Sarah is enamored and mesmerized by the goblin’s market and their fruits for sale; Lizzie remembers the cautionary tale of a girl who had eaten the goblins fruit, and is deterred. Lizzie is able to fend off the goblins and their forbidden fruit, while Sarah succumbs to the trickery. Can Lizzie save her once the damage is done? A poem chock full of Themes, Symbolism, Imagery, Figurative language and Allusion (beware the “forbidden fruit”) which could easily springboard this lesson plan into many...this poem is one that will keep your students on their toes while learning valuable skills in analyzing poetry and its much deeper meaning.

This lesson plans meets Common Core Standards for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL: 10th-12th grade, with strands in Key Ideas & Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (Depending on what your focus is with this poem analysis).

Objectives: Use higher-level thinking skills to analyze a piece of poetry, focusing on poetry elements: Structure, Language, Details and Themes to determine the Author’s Purpose. 

Anticipatory Set: Assuming the notion that Good usually prevails over Evil, describe a time in a piece of literature where Evil prevailed, even if only for a bit.

Activities: Students will read The Goblin’s Market Poem first to themselves, then read orally (I like to read myself so students are free to focus on the language and rhythm and taking a second look at some of the poetic elements while I read). It is then time for the analysis. This lesson assumes that students are familiar with the main poetic elements: break the students into groups and give each group 3-4 stanzas. Print out copies of the poem so students can annotate on their paper…groups should identify: Rhyme Scheme, Figurative Language (Most stanzas have examples of Alliteration, Simile, Metaphor), Imagery, Diction, Tone. I like to have each person in a group in charge of each element and then they discuss the findings among the group. Once the groups are complete, I have each group present their part and their findings so students can mark up their own poems. This will assist with the final task: finding the Theme & Author’s purpose of the poem. This leads to the discussion and determination of the Theme of the poem. As a challenge, I would ask the students to also identify the Allusion in the poem (depending on grade and level). Discussing this as a group will help students with the closing task of identifying the Author’s Purpose.

Closing: Explore the Allusion with the class of the “Forbidden Fruit”. Have students return to their groups to define what they think the Author’s Purpose was with this piece. They must include at least three pieces of evidence from the text to support their hypothesis.

Extension: Discuss the layers of the poem. Students should walk away with an understanding that the base layer of the Theme of a piece of work does not always correlate with the deeper meaning of the Author’s Purpose for writing the piece. As an extension activity and to meet common core standards, students could then analyze the Bible passage from Genesis about the forbidden fruit and compare/contrast with this poem.  

Lesson Plan: Baba Yaga ~ Plot and Characters

Fun with Spooky Fairy Tales: Learning How Supporting Characters Develop the Plot

&

Contribute to the Sequence of Events

Looking for a great story to teach Elementary Students Grades 4th-6th (can use this script with 3rd-8th grade adjusting the activities accordingly) about the importance of supporting characters and their role in the development of the plot? Baba Yaga is a fun spooky story which allows the reader to see how “unique” characters contribute to the sequence of events through their thoughts and actions. A positive message while teaching an important literary skill: this is what you will find in all the Stories to Grow by Stories and Reader’s Theater scripts. This week’s Fun Fairy Tale for Fall is Baba Yaga, a classic Folktale from Russia:

Baba Yaga:

A young girl, Natasha, is sent into the forest by her evil stepmother to retrieve some string from her “aunt”, the horrible witch Baba Yaga. Once Natasha gets to Baba Yaga’s hut, she meets the servants of the witch, who all delight in her kindness. They develop a plan to help Natasha escape, but what is in store for them once she is gone? Do they all live happily ever after or do they face the wrath of the witch? And what of Natasha when she returns home to deal with her step-mother? Read the exciting tale here!

The content of this tale prompt skill-building for the Common Core Standards CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL: 4.3, 4.9, 5.3, 6.3:

Objectives: Describe how characters thoughts, words and actions develop the plot and explain how this contributes to the sequence of events. Analyze different character Points of View. Compare/Contrast texts with the similar theme: Good vs. Evil.

Anticipatory Set: Have students research the witch Baba Yaga to understand the background of this historic Russian witch/tale. Have students draw a picture of the image in their mind of Baba Yaga based on their research.

Activities: Students will read the Reader’s Theater Script: Baba Yaga. This Script has Five Scenes and Nine Characters: Students can be broken into small groups and given two parts each for the Reader’s Theater Round (20-25mins). Students should then look at the four supporting characters. Students should then look at the characters they’ve chosen and Think, Pair Share: How did each their two characters (either the cat, dog, the gate, or Anastasia) assist in the development of the story through their actions and conflict resolution? What obstacles did Natasha face and how did she overcome them with the help of each of these characters? Students can complete our Character Analysis Map for each of the characters of their choosing, answering the two discussion questions above on the sheets.

Closing: Rewrite one of the five scenes from a different characters’ point of view: Natasha, Grigori, Inga, Baba Yaga or one of the supporting characters students analyzed in the activities section.

Extension: Have students read another Fairy Tale surrounding a Witch, such as our tale The Magic Ball or Hansel and Gretel, for example. What plot details/events, are similar and how are they different? How is the theme of Good vs. Evil presented in each of the tales?

Fairy Tales for Fall: Spooky Stories & Lesson Plans!

Here's a Preview of our October Themed Stories & Lesson Plans!

Fairytales for Fall: Halloween Stories of Courage, Love, & of course, Good vs. Evil

The Goblin’s Market

A poetic tale of sisterly love and how far one sister will go to save the other. A classic Christina Rossetti piece, adapted for kids in grades 3rd -8th. This poem, also available as a Reader’s Theater, is perfect for Halloween: Teach Poetic Analysis alone or while putting on a fun and engaging Reader’s Theater Performance. Look for our Lesson Plan on covering such skills as Rhyme, Figurative Language, Imagery and more!  Preview the Poem Here. 

 

 

 

 

Baba Yaga 

Baba Yaga the witchRussian folklore tells of the scary witch, Baba Yaga. In this version, our main character, Natasha, is sent deep into the woods by her new, evil stepmother, to search out her “sister” Baba Yaga. Natasha meets many “characters” along the way who help her to escape the wrath of her evil aunt. Available as both a Short Story & Reader’s Theater Script for grades 2nd-5th; the Lesson Plan for this tale will focus on looking at the structure of a story, as well as a fun activity on writing the tale from various character points-of-view.

 

 

 

Ogre’s Feather

Would you volunteer to save your king by visiting a man-eating Ogre in a land far, far away? In this tale from Italy, a brave courtier offers to trek to the Ogre’s lair and pluck his feather to save the dying king. On the way, he meets a range of characters who each need a feather and a favor. Will the young courtier prevail? Available as both a Short Story and Reader’s Theater Script for grades 3rd-8th, this Lesson Plan will focus on how Characters respond to Challenges as well as how the Sequence of Events contribute to the Theme/Moral.