Sunday, August 2, 2015

10 Fables

In choosing my fables and the activities to go with them, I've narrowed down the curriculum guides to two. If I had to purchase books for this unit I would only buy Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach by Sieglinde de Francesca and Animal Legends: A 2nd Grade Language Arts Block by Donna Simmons (both links go to the Waldorf Books bookstore).

In choosing my extension activities, I've also added a stack of art/handwork books to my Fables MLB pile:

and Making Picture Books with Movable Figures by Brunhild Muller.

Here is my list of 10 fables:

1. The Milkmaid
(from Borrowed Feathers, let her act it out as a play, make a basketful of felted eggs - wet felt over real eggs then make a small zigzag cut to remove the egg -- it will look broken when they fall from her head)

2. The North Wind and the Sun
(from Borrowed Feathers, make a sun and a wind mask and let her be the man with his cloak, let each of her sisters be the other parts, perform as a play)

3. The Great and Little Fishes
(from Borrowed Feathers, make an underwater felt tapestry using templates from Feltcraft, embroider a net and let the large fishes be trapped inside it while the small fishes swim free)

4. The Tortoise and the Hare
(make as a moving picture using the directions from Donna Simmons or Brunhild Muller, also read Caroline Repchuk's version in The Race)

5. Foolish Words
(from Donna's book, use her idea of a large sidewalk chalk mural, use the directions from Drawing Simple Animal Forms by Live Ed - rabbit p.5, monkey p.15, antelope p.10, pig p.13, parrot p.5, elephant p.15, lion p.16)

6. The Crow and the Pitcher
(from Sieglinde's book, use her idea of the poem and her directions for the wet-on-wet watercolor, do this as a shadow puppet play with a vase, pebbles, and your fingers)

7. The Mouse and the Lion
(from Sieglinde's book, use her idea of the poem and her directions for the wet-on-wet watercolor, do this as figures from modeling beeswax using her instructions or Arthur Auer's or Donna's, also "read" the wordless picture book by Jerry Pinckney which won a Caldecott)

8. The Bear and the Bees
(from Sieglinde's book, use her idea of the two poems, make a mobile with this using the needle felting instructions in Little Felted Animals p.46 for the bear and the bee pattern in The Nature Corner)

9. City Mouse - Country Mouse
(wet on wet watercolor painting from Wildgruber p.145, three versions, use Donna's idea of a table puppet show with glove puppets)

10. The Ant and the Grasshopper
(Amy Lowry Poole's story, illustrate on black paper with white chalk creating the ants out of negative space, modeling ideas from Auer)

The Lion & the Mouse

OK, I admit it. I can't resist adding just one more. 11 fables it is! I want to do

11. The Fox and the Grapes
(from the collection by Ann McGovern, modeling ideas from Auer, wet on wet watercolor painting from Wildgruber page 141, I love the idea of doing this as a lap puppetry, with a needle felted fox and a cluster of grapes, a green silk across your lap, and having him jump and jump and jump and then give up, kids love to go outside and act this one out too)

I like how Sieglinde's book is so thorough (and I like the collection of international fables Donna collected, plus her extension ideas) and would recommend it to anyone. She lists a large number of possible extension ideas when working with fables beyond just writing and illustrating, including painting wet-on-wet, modeling, creating a poem, table puppetry, lap puppetry, hand puppetry, rod puppetry, shadow puppetry, creating a play, creating a musical composition, and following up with a science lesson -- and gives fables which are well suited to the science extensions. I came up with the idea, on my own, of doing a shadow puppet of The Crow and the Pitcher to show the water displacement and am pleased that she suggests this too.

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