Lesson: Lessons Learned: Finding the Moral of the Story

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Lesson Objective

Students will know and be able to identify the moral of a story by asking, “what did the character learn in this story?”

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.LT-T.3. Identify the theme (moral, lesson, meaning, message, view or comment on life) of a literary selection.





Students will know and be able to identify the moral of a story by asking, “what did the character learn in this story?”


Do Now

In your journal define moral? 




What are morals? What are some important morals to have? Why? Why would an author write a book to teach you morals? 

Direct Instruction

The moral of the story is what the author wants you to learn from the story.  It is often the central theme of the story and the lesson the character learned in the story. One strategy for identifying the moral of a story is by asking “What did the character learn in this story?” Today, we are going to read The Wolf Who Cried Boy, 

and determine the moral of the story. 


Guided Practice

Read the text. Stop periodically and ask questions such as:

“Who is the major character?’ What is he like? What is his problem? How did he solve his problem? What did he learn?


Independent Practice

Allow students to practice finding the moral of the story using their own independent text. I would suggest providing copies of fairy tales or tall tales as they are often a great way for students to practice the strategy. Then scaffold to harder more complicated text (ex. little woman).  



Have students share the moral of the story from their own text. Remind students that authors often write books because they want us to learn something. Even when the stories are written to entertain, the author may have a moral or a lesson that he/she wants us to learn.




More short passages:


What is the moral of the story below? How do you know?

The Fox without a Tail 

Aesop fable retold by Oban taken (from  http://www.planetozkids.com/oban/legends/fox-tail-aesop-fable.htm)

One day a fox was out walking when suddenly he heard a loud snapping noise and felt a sharp pain in his rear.

“Ooooow!!!!” howled the fox, tears coming to his eyes. “That hurts. Ooooow!!!

The fox looked behind him and saw his tail was caught in a trap. He struggled and struggled to get free but his tail was firmly stuck in the jaws of the trap.

With one last frantic effort the fox used all his strength and broke free.

“Ooooow!!!!” howled the fox as he looked behind him and saw his tail still stuck in the trap. All he had left was a little stump on his backside.

“My tail, my beautiful fluffy tail. What will I do?” he cried. “How will I face all the other foxes without my beautiful tail? It will be so embarrassing.”

The fox thought and thought and finally came up with a plan.

He called all the other foxes together for a meeting.

When the other foxes saw the little stump on his backside they began to laugh.

“I've cut off my tail on purpose and I want you all to do the same” he yelled over the laughter.

A large tail is more trouble than it's worth”, he shouted. “When we're being chased by dogs it gets in the way, and when we get together for a talk you never know what to do with it. Do you wrap it around your feet, do you sit on it, or do you leave it out for some one to trip over?” asked the fox.

“So now is the time to free yourself from your tail and join me in a tailless society.”

One of the older foxes shook his head and said, “You wouldn’t be saying that if you still had a beautiful tail. You’re only saying that out of your own self interest and because you’re embarrassed.”

All the other foxes walked off laughing with their big bushy tails proudly pointing upwards.

Lesson Resources



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