Teaching Children's Literature

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis

Finn McCool: And The Great Fish

Bibliographic Information:  Bunting, E. (2010). Finn mccool and the great fish. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.

Accelerated Reading Level: 4.0

Synopsis: What would you do if you spotted a friendly giant in Ireland!? This traditional folktale is portrayed using colorful illustrations spread across the entire page. Hearing whispers from his neighbors that he wasn’t terribly smart, Finn decided to seek more wisdom.  In order to gain wisdom Finn must catch and eat a special fish from the river, but after looking into the fish’s eyes he did not want to sacrifice it.  From a cut on his thumb, Finn ends up soaking in the wisdom from the fish and is able to help seek the needs of Ireland.

Rationale for Classroom Use:  Identifying morals from folktales and fables is often difficult for students.  This traditional literature could stimulate discussion in the classroom regarding what the intended lesson of the story is suppose to be.  Afterwards, students can formulate an opinion letter about whether they feel that they would have eaten the fish full of wisdom or have sent it free as Finn did.

Common Core Connection:

RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

W.2.1 Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g.,because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.


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This entry was posted on June 18, 2013 by in Beginner Readers/ Early Readers and tagged , , , .

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