The Tortoise and the Hare Language Arts Curriculum Guide
Parts of speech: Adjectives and Adverbs
- Activities and games about adjectives and adverbs: Adjective and Adverb game, a Who Wants to be a Millionaire-type game.
- Many grammar games including multiple games for adjectives and adverbs.
- Grammar Blast game
- Fun books about adjectives and adverbs: Hairy, Scary, Ordinary- What is an Adjective?,
What's a thesaurus?
- A thesaurus is used to find synonyms, or words that have the same, or almost the same, meaning.
- Use a thesaurus to look up some of the above adjectives and adverbs and find similar words.
- Take a paragraph from a favorite book and replace as many words as you can using the thesaurus.
- Play the word game "Add it": Write a very simple skeletal sentence, such as "The bear ate the fish." Then take turns adding one or two words to the sentence to make it more interesting. The only rules are that each time you add to the sentence, the result must be a complete sentence; and there can be no more than 3 adjectives or adverbs describing any one thing. Example: The brown bear ate the fish. The brown bear hungrily ate the fish. The brown bear hungrily ate the squirming fish. Last night the brown bear hungrily ate the squirming fish. Etc. Keep playing until you can no longer add to the sentence. These can get really funny!
Poetry on Animals
- Write an animal cinquain!
- A cinquain is a five line poem with a very specific structure. Visit this site for a lesson plan on writing a cinquain.
The Greek Alphabet
- We get many of our English words from Greek (words such as "acrobat", "choir", "democracy", "gigantic", and even "fable") and also use Greek alphabet symbols in math. (The symbol "π", or "pi", used in formulas for the circumference and area of a circle is one of the Greek letters of the alphabet).
- Here is the Greek alphabet with their sounds.
- Study some of these Latin and Greek word roots, found at Fact Monster (scroll down past the Latin). You may be surprised at how many of our words come from Greek!
- Here are "flashcards" of Greek word roots to practice and Greek alphabet practice pages.
- Other activities and ways to help kids learn word roots can be found at this website.
What is a Fable?
- A fable is a morality story, often with animal characters that take on human characteristics, personality traits, and flaws.
- "Aesop's Fables" is a collection of stories from the 5th century BC which originated in Greece. There is some disagreement about who wrote them. Some say it was a Greek slave named Aesop, others say he didn't exist and that the fables were written by numerous others of the time period. But regardless of who wrote them, Aesop's Fables have been around for a long time, highlighting lessons and morals for all of us.
- Here is a collection of Aesop's Fables from an art school. Students over the years have illustrated the stories in wonderful ways! Explore the stories and find one whose illustrations you really like. Describe the artwork.
- Choose a fable to illustrate yourself and display the art in your home.
- Write your own fable! Make sure you include a lesson for readers to learn from the actions of your characters!
- The book "Lousy, Rotten, Stinkin' Grapes" (amazon.com) is a humorous, and wonderfully-illustrated retelling of the fable of the fox and the grapes by Aesop.
- Here are some more illustrated versions of Aesop's fables: "The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg",
- "Doctor Coyote" A Native American Aesop's Fables,
- "Aesop's Fables" by Jerry Pinkney,
- Coloring pages of Aesop's fables
- Jakata Tales are Buddhist fables from the period 300 BC to 400 AD. Explore some of these here.
- Joe Harris collected and retold dozens of African American stories from post-Civil War culture. They became known as Uncle Remus stories. Here are the stories in their original dialect.
- Rent the movie "Song of the South", a Disney retelling of some of the Uncle Remus stories.
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