Firecracker has a love of stories and fables. He loves to puzzle through them and decide what the morals are supposed to be. So, I’ve been reading to him and the other children from Aesop’s Fables, The Book of Virtues and The Moral Compass. I find that these selected readings add to our studies of character to help prove the principles that we teach the children in their character and Biblical education. I love to find examples of character throughout all the literature that we read so that the children can see these character examples (and warnings) to create a picture of what different virtues and vices look like in action.
Over the winter, we did some serious fable reading, and when we did, I began what would become a sporadic feature of our homeschool–fable and traditional story education activities. Today, I am going to share the first installment with you on Aesop’s fable, “The Crow and the Pitcher.”
This is the story:
Once there was a thirsty crow. She had flown a long way looking for water to drink.
Suddenly she saw a pitcher. She flew down and saw it held a little water, but it was so low in the pitcher that she could not reach it.
“But I must have that water,” she cried. “I am too weary to fly farther. What shall I do? I know! I’ll tip the pitcher over.”
She beat it with her wings, but it was too heavy. She could not move it.
Then she thought awhile. “I know now! I will break it! Then I will drink the water as it pours out. How good it will taste!”
With beak and claws and wings she threw herself against the pitcher. But it was too strong.
The poor crow stopped to rest. “What shall I do now? I cannot die of thirst with that water close by. There must be a way, if I only had wit enough to find it out.”
After a while the crow had a bright idea. There were many small stones lying about. She picked them up one by one and dropped them down into the pitcher. Slowly the water rose, till at last she could drink it. How good it tasted!
“There is always a way out of hard places,” said the crow, “if only you have the wit to find it.”
The moral of this story is that you can accomplish something difficult if you persevere and you apply yourself “little by little.” So, what did we do with this?
First, we wrote about something that was difficult but we accomplished by working “little by little.” Both Firecracker and Rose had recently had the training wheels taken off of their bicycles, so they both chose to write about that experience. The worksheet that you see below is one that I got from Teaching with Aesop’s Fables. I wouldn’t pay the ridiculous prices on Amazon currently for this, but if you’re working on a unit study on Fables and you can get this for a deal, it’s a good little package of writing assignments for some of the most popular fables.
We did a little experiment that explores density in a hands-on way. We put water to the same level in two plastic cups and marked the water level. We then placed rocks in one cup and popcorn in the other cup, and then measured the water level again. The water level in the cup that the children placed rocks in rose, but the water level in the water that we placed popcorn in did not rise.
Why? Because rocks have a greater density than popcorn. If you are looking for a way to explain density to your children, here is a great explanation from The Science Mom.
We also raced to see which child could fill a cup with rocks the quickest. They were only allowed to use their first finger and their thumb to complete this task. Although Rose was the quickest to begin with, Firecracker practiced over and over again until he could beat Rose’s time!!
So, that’s about all we did for our “The Crow and the Pitcher” mini unit. We could have gotten more into studying crows, water or even pottery, but we didn’t. We kept this one simple and fun!!