The Fox and the Grapes: A Mini Unit Study

The Fox and the Grapes: A Mini Unit Study

Hopefully this post will inspire you to encourage your students to interact with literature. 

  • Not all of the activities will be age-appropriate for every child.  Begin where you child is and adapt (read the fable aloud if your child is not yet ready to read at this level, etc.). 
  • Not all of the activities will benefit your child; substitute those that will. 
  • Not all of the activities should be done in one day; revisiting the passage each day throughout a week breeds familiarity. 

Some of the activities are adapted from A Strong Start in Language by Ruth Beechick (Also available as part of The Three R’s.)

  1. Have your child read aloud “The Fox and the Grapes,” a fable by Aesop.
  2. Copy the fable into a notebook. Pay particular attention to how the quotation is written.
  3. Pick out one or two words with which you are unfamiliar. Write these in your vocabulary notebook with the original sentence and a brief definition.
  4. In this instance, what does the phrase “sour grapes” indicate? Give an example of how the phrase is used today.
  5. What other sayings or phrases can you think of?
  6. “Sour grapes” is also referred to in Ezekiel 18:1-3. Find a commentary and determine how the phrase was used there.
  7. Underline the prepositional phrases.
  8. Put a box around the nouns. Why is Fox capitalized?
  9. Highlight the verbs.
  10. Which words describe the nouns you underlined? Those would be adjectives. What is the word sour when used in the phrase sour grapes?
  11. Which words describe the verbs you highlighted? Those would be adverbs.
  12. Write the fable from dictation. (You may want to break this up and have your child write a paragraph at a time on various days.)
  13. Look at the original and correct any errors in the dictation. (It is usually best to focus on one or two skills — grammar or spelling or punctuation — instead of red-lining the entire work.)
  14. Add any misspelled words to your weekly spelling list, using your favorite spelling method to review the words.


Further Help

A Strong Start in Language by Ruth BeechickBeechick Basics
This book starts by pointing out that YOU are an effective language teacher. Think how much your child has already learned! Emphasizes the natural way of learning language including guidelines for all language components at each level and sample lessons.  Also sold as part of The Three Rs.

Idioms for Kids
Find common idioms and their meanings.

Eye on Idioms
Interactive from ReadWriteThink that walks the student through the analysis of seven different idioms.

Daily Grammar Archive
Simple grammar help or review.

Beechick Basics
We highly recommend books by Dr. Beechick. She helps parents become familiar with the “language” of teaching, build self-confidence, learn to rely less heavily on “the book,” and teach their children in a more natural way.