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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Read and Retell (Paraphrase) Fables




Lesson Objectives: As a result of this lesson, students will be able to read and understand short fables and retell them clearly in their own words.

Read the following fable, then the look at the three examples of how to retell the fable. Then read the other fables and retell in your own words.

"The Wolf and the Ass"
An Ass was munching grass in a pasture when he noticed a Wolf lurking nearby in a hedge. Realising that he was in danger for his life, he decided upon a plan to save himself. He began to hobble about most painfully.

The Wolf approached and asked what had made the Ass so lame. He replied, "I have a sharp thorn in my hoof. Please, please, pull it out!" he begged. "If you don't, it may stick in your throat as you eat me."

Now the Wolf could see the sense in that and wished to avoid such choking. So, when the Ass raised his hoof, the Wolf moved to inspect it closely.

Just then the Ass gave a mighty kick, tumbling the Wolf away some dozen paces. As the Wolf staggered slowly and painfully to his feet, the Ass galloped away to safety.

"I deserved that," growled the Wolf as he crept back to the hedge. "I'm a butcher by trade, not a doctor."

Example Basic Rewrite
An Ass was eating grass and this wolf came up on him. The Ass tried to be hurt and walked real painful.
The wolf came up to him and asked, "What's wrong?" The Ass said, "I've got a thorn in my foot. It really hurts. Please pull it out, please. If you don't, it might stick in your throat."

The Wolf didn't want this so he had a look. He got real close and the Ass kicked him real hard. The Ass ran away and the Wolf got to his feet.

"I deserved that," said the Wolf and he went back to the hedge. "I'm here to kill, not be a doctor."

Example Average Rewrite
An Ass was eating some grass in a field when he spotted a Wolf lurking nearby. The Wolf was up to no good. The Ass realised that he was in danger, so he began to limp.
The Wolf came over to him and asked what was wrong. The Ass said, "I've got a big thorn in my foot. Please pull it out. If you don't, it might stick in your throat when you eat me."

The Wolf said, "Yeah, you're right. Giz a look!" And the Ass brought his foot up.

The next minute, the Wolf was kicked fair across the field and the Ass galloped away.

"I deserved that," moaned the Wolf, as he crawled back to the hedge. "I'm better at killing than being a Doctor."

Example Skilled Rewrite
A quick-witted Ass was enjoying the pleasant taste of fresh pasture when he sensed movement in his peripheral vision. Upon raising his head, he began to realise that his life might be in danger for he was being threatened by none other than a dastardly wolf . He immediately employed 'Plan B' which consisted of copying birds and their 'Lame duck' routine.
"Oh, ouch! Yoeow! Oh woe is me!" wailed the Ass, limping appropriately. "Dear Wolf, I need your help! Please closely inspect my hoof, for I am sure there's a nasty thorn in it .... And I just know you intend to dine upon my being so I couldn't bear it if I were to cause you to choke because of a thorn. That would be most rude of me."

The Wolf nodded in agreement and approached eagerly.

A resounding 'Thwack' could be heard about the countryside and a US satellite observed an airborne projectile, namely one recently-booted Wolf, hurtling into the ozone layer. Meanwhile, the Ass complimented himself on his superb kicking ability before galloping off with gay abandon to pastures anew.

It was some time later that a poor, battered Wolf upon re-entry to Earth, had time to reflect upon his life: "Clearly I should have gone in for the kill, not in with medical skill!"

Now read more fables and rewrite them using the style of the “skilled rewrite” example.

See for more fables.

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