Here are a collection of one-page short stories and questions suitable for ninth grade Japanese students studying English. These are a part of Aesop’s Fables. It is all bundled together with MP3s on Archive.org.
- The Ant and the Grasshopper. ODT & PDF.
- The Astrologer. ODT & PDF.
- The Girl and the Snake. ODT & PDF.
- The Mother and the Wolf. ODT & PDF.
- The Tortoise and the Hare. ODT & PDF.
- The Travelers and the Purse. ODT & PDF.
- The Wolf and the House Dog. ODT & PDF.
- Two Travelers and a Bear. ODT & PDF.
- Slide Show Story Rubric. ODT & PDF.
One-page stories are great because students can read them in ten or twenty minutes. Finishing many short stories is rewarding because it feels like real progress: I read five stories! This helps build motivation for reading more in the future. Of course, it’s important to have interesting stories, and to match them to your students. For long reading, err on the side of simplicity. You can prepare two stories, and if students finish the first one too soon, assign them the second one.
Aesop’s Fables are over two thousand years old. We don’t know who wrote (or said) the originals. The adaptations here are ones I wrote, because I couldn’t find anything else that was the right length, level, and freely licensed. Like most of my materials, these stories are under the Creative Commons Attribution license so that you can modify them to best fit your students’ needs. The illustrations here were drawn by Milo Winter for The Æsop for Children (1919).
You can do a slide show project using any of these stories. Suppose you already read the story and some speaking practice with it. Put students in groups of three or four. Each group gets a story and takes or draws eight or more pictures depicting the story. If it’s a human-based story, taking photographs is ideal; if it’s animal-based, drawing pictures might be better. They then overlay audio on top of the pictures, which produces a slide show story. Watch the slide shows together with the class, and use the rubric to evaluate them. Ideally, students should evaluate their own slide shows.