We're learning to write fables as part of our initiative on the narrative this year. It's been fun to be able to concentrate on improving one main genre, and the students love narrative!
We've been using SOLO taxonomy maps and rubrics too. We used a rubric to self assess our confidence sequencing a narrative. We used a compare and contrast map to work out that a fable is just a subset of the larger narrative genre.
Here is the starter the children used - it was a fifteen minute writing exercise to finish the morning and I said I'd publish the best versions here:
A tortoise wanted to go on a long trip. Two ducks offered to take her. They gave her a stick to hold in her mouth, and told her to hold on tight. The ducks took an end of the stick each. Then they flew into the air with her. The tortoise was so pleased that she called to the people below, "Look at me! I'm queen of the air!"
... But when she talked, she let go of the stick and fell heavily below. The moral is, do not fly without a seat. - Alicia
...But then, like all cartoons, she dropped straight to the ground like a rock. As she fell she thought that her life would flash by but it didn't and suddenly the ducks swooped down and caught her and then they flew away - but it was sadly hunting season. Moral: never fly with wild ducks in hunting season and without a seat on a plane or a pilot or a co-pilot. - Phoenix
...Just then she could feel herself falling from the sky. She tucked back into her shell and "Bang!" she was dead. It was sudden death. The funeral was the next day. They were there but suddenly the ducks saw a tortoise - oh, that was the dead tortoise's family. Everybody felt sorry for that family except for the tortoise herself up in tortoises' heaven. Moral: never talk when you are in the sky holding on to a stick. - Christopher