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Short Stories with Morals for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching kids to be moral people does not have to be a pedantic or dull process. This lesson offers ideas about short stories you can use to teach kids some of the morals you really want them to learn.

Reading Stories with Morals

Are you interested in helping your children or students learn more about important values and morals? Maybe there are specific lessons you want to teach them, or maybe you just want to help them think through and develop their own moral system. Either way, reading stories with morals can be a wonderful supplement to this journey.

When you read stories with morals, you have an opportunity to talk about your own belief system with children while simultaneously helping them develop their own. Reading stories with morals can also be great for children's reading comprehension, since they will often have to think critically and make inferences to derive the moral from a good story. The stories in this lesson are all literary but also incorporate important morals for kids to think about.

Short Stories With Morals

Here, you will find titles, authors, and summaries of stories with morals that kids will enjoy.

Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus

The moral of this story is that it is important to be patient. Leo is a tiger who disappoints his father by taking a really long time to learn anything, but his mother advises that they must simply wait. Finally, after a long time and in a wonderful surprise, Leo catches up to his peers. Children will delight in the message that everything happens in its own good time, and simple, amusing animal illustrations make a wonderful supplement to the text.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig

This story contains the moral that family is a very important part of life. Sylvester the donkey wishes for many things and does not necessarily appreciate what he's got. His wishes end up turning him into a giant rock, and his parents are deeply sad without him. Eventually, a surprising turn of events helps Sylvester transform back into a donkey and reunite with his family, and they all vow to appreciate one another from now on.

Oliver Button is a Sissy, by Tomie dePaola

DePaola teaches the moral that gender should not dictate what people are or how they act. Oliver Button loves to dance, and he is mocked by others for not being into traditional 'boy' activities. Eventually, though, his excellence at dance and persistence in spite of mockery make him the star of the show. Children will love the simple illustrations and the reminder that being who they are is more important than adhering to social norms and stereotypes.

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