updated March 19, 2017
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your second grade year. Enjoy!
Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library
for Class 2
Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for Animal Fables.
FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!
Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum
Other Helpful Links
Books to Buy
There is only one book which I recommend for you when teaching this block, but I make this recommendation VERY STRONGLY! Sieglinde de Francesca has
written the authoritative book on how to teach the fables in
Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach.
This is an AWESOME book and if you want just one book for the Fables block, this is definitely it! It's easy enough to find free versions of Aesop's fables online, since they are all in the public domain, but this book will tell you HOW to present them and gives a wide variety of concrete suggestions for working with the stories.
In fact, Sieglinde de Francesca writes in the back of her book Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach
the following very good advice for all elementary and middle school ages:
"You will find, no matter what subject you are teaching, that there are basic elements to creating a truly holistic lesson plan for the whole child. These include:
Discover ways to apply these elements to the lessons you teach and you will see how alive they become, making teaching and learning a joy. Do be creative and above all, have fun!"
Teaching to the head, heart, and hand
- Creating an organic rhythm in the lesson
- Conveying a sense of reverence for the material
- Including some form of ritual in the lesson
- Reviewing work from the previous lesson
- Introducing at least one new thing with each lesson
- Rendering the material in an artistic medium
Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach
Teaching with the Fables as: Extended Tale, Poem, Illustration, Play, Puppet Show & Natural Science Lesson
(If you do want a collection of Aesop's fables, I like the one by Ann McGovern.) Consulting clients have full access to my Lending Library; contact me if you'd like to borrow either of these books.
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
I have taught this block many, many times. My most recent experience, in September 2016, was with teaching this to a group of
7 and 8 year olds in our homeschool co-op. I recommend three stories a week for this block, and doing either 3 or 4 weeks. Find photos of our work on my blog.
Here was our pacing and our stories (see my blog post for lots of pictures):
Day One: Before beginning the first story, have each child create a hollow egg using wet felting techniques (use real raw eggs as the foundation, so that children are gentle
while felting, and then cut a small zigzag with sharp
scissors and slip the egg out). Hear "The Milkmaid" from Borrowed
Feathers and Other Fables. Act out story using a basket which you can balance on your head and the felted eggs.
Day Two: Add story to MLB. Hear "The North Wind and the Sun" from Borrowed
Feathers and Other Fables. Act out story using a basket of large playsilks.
Day Three: Add story to MLB. Hear "The Crow and the Pitcher" from
Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach. Act out story using shadow puppetry, a vase, and pebbles.
(Set up a large plain white sheet with a bright lamp sans lampshade placed behind it. Have the child
sit between the sheet and the lamp, so that the lamp is behind him or her. Have the audience sit on the other side of the sheet. Place a clear glass vase partially filled with water in front of the child's hand and provide a large bowl of
pebbles or marbles. As the child pinches a marble between thumb and fingers, it will appear to be the beak of a crow. Place pebbles in the vase
until the water level rises high enough that the "crow" can sip it.)
Day Four: Complete the block beeswax crayon drawing of the story from de Francesca's book (or do it as a watercolor painting). Add story to MLB.
Hear "The Fox and the Grapes" from Aesop's Fables.
Act out story outside using Spiel und Holz "Grasper" wooden baby
toy high in a tree to represent the grapes.
Use fox finger puppet and a large green playsilk to act story out as a lap puppetry.
Day Five: Add story to MLB. Sew fox finger puppets using red felt and Suzanne Down's Around
the World with Finger Puppet Animals wolf pattern.
Day Six: Hear "The Ant and the Grasshopper" from The Ant
and the Grasshopper by Amy Lowry Poole. Model ant from Arthur Auer's book using modeling beeswax.
Day Seven: Illustrate story by drawing with white chalk on black paper to create ants using negative space, a la Amy Lowry Poole. Add
story to MLB. Hear "The Bear and the Bees" from
Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach.
(Previously, when I did this block with a middle school student, she needle felted a bear and then she needle felted a series
of bees and added tissue paper wings using the pattern in The Nature Corner.
She then hung the bear and a large swarm of bees chasing him
from a long branch, thus creating a mobile. You could do this with a younger class by making the brown bear yourself and then having them wet felt little
bees, wrap tiny conifer cones in yellow and black wool roving, or use the "catkin" bee instructions in The Nature Corner.)
Brown bear needle
felting patterns are in Wild and Tame Needlefelt Animals, page 62 OR
Little Felted Animals, page 46.
Day Eight: Add story to MLB. Hear "City Mouse, Country Mouse" from City Mouse, Country Mouse and two more mouse tales from Aesop.
Work collaboratively to draft a poem for two voices for "The Bear and the Bees." Here is our finished poem! (PDF) Writing one together will give them confidence with this new style.
Have students make
mouse stick puppets (2 wooden spoons per child plus have available construction paper, glue, scissors, yarn, colored pencils). I suggest you write which puppet is which and
the initials of the child who made them on the inner curved surface of the spoons so they can keep them straight while telling the story. While puppets are drying, draw a "set" on the chalkboard
with white chalk. Perform the story with students sitting on the floor or on a stool below the chalkboard.
Then each child writes a poem for two voices for "City Mouse, Country Mouse."
Day Nine: Add story to MLB. Hear "The Fox and the Stork" from Aesop's Fables.
Act out story using two shallow plates, two tall narrow vases, and a set of chopsticks.
Day Ten: Add story to MLB. Hear "The Tortoise and the Hare" from The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinckney.
Illustrate and act out the story by making a moving picture from Making Picture Books
with Movable Figures by Brunhild Muller. Glue finished picture in MLB as illustration. Glue in a small envelope containing the loose animal pieces, perhaps below the summary of the story or on the inside back cover of the book.
We ran out of time to do "The Lion and the Mouse" but it is easy to do this later in the year as a beeswax modeling lesson (from
Learning About the World Through Modeling: Sculptural Ideas for School and Home by Arthur Auer) or a watercolor painting lesson (from
Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach).
I also read The Fox That Wanted Nine Golden Tails as a read-aloud story during one of the weeks of this block.
Below are the notes
from my other versions of this main lesson block:
Blog posts from 2017 as I adapted the Fables block to be a week-long Spring Break Camp:
The completed 2015 Animal Fables and Puppetry main lesson block (pdf)
And some blog posts from 2015 as I developed that Fables block:
The 2010 version (blog posts):
The 2006 version: Fables Unit (pdf)