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Lesson Plans

Use this Lesson Plan with the following health topic or with other relevant content from the textbook:
  • Growth and Development

Cross Curriculum Lesson Plan: Language Arts
Student Resource: "The Magical Stone," (an adaptation of a folktale from India)
Media Type: Folktale/Myth


After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the impact of emotions on a person's mental and physical health.
  • Recognize that feelings and emotions are neither good nor bad, and that how we deal with them has a direct impact on our health.
  • Explain how learning to set realistic goals is an important developmental task on the road to maturity.

Introducing the Lesson

Say aloud, "The grass is always greener on the other side." Ask for a show of hands of students who are familiar with this proverb. Ask a volunteer for a paraphrase (e.g., envy of what others have or possess can cloud our perceptions and judgments). Remind students that envy, like all other feelings, is neither good nor bad. Rather, it is how people act based on this feeling that can impact their health.

Create a bridge to the selection by adding that students are going to read a tale about an envious person filled with self-pity who learns a valuable lesson. Motivate the class by reading aloud the first paragraph, and ask students to guess who—or what—the man envies.

Teaching Strategies

As a folktale, "The Magical Stone" is a myth. That is, it uses events and descriptions beyond the realm of possibility to convey its message. You may want to explain that feature of the genre before students begin. This will prevent them from dismissing the tale as silly or unrealistic.

After students have completed the reading, you may either use the following as class discussion questions or assign them as individual or group work.

Follow Up

  1. Summarizing.Of whom and of what is the laborer envious throughout the tale?
  2. Analyzing. What happens to the laborer's greed as the story progresses? Find examples to support your answer.
  3. Analyzing. The laborer at different points in the story shows other feelings besides envy. Identify some of these feelings, citing the events that cause them.
  4. Synthesizing. In literature, irony is a contradiction between what a character says and what the reader knows is actually true. What is ironic about the statement in the folktale "I will want for nothing ever again"?
  5. Critical Thinking. Consider the statement "The laborer grows and matures as a result of his adventure." Decide whether you agree or disagree with this statement. Support your answer with details or information from the folktale.
  6. Extending. Describe in your own words the lesson the laborer learns by the end of the tale about goal setting and about life in general.

Integrating Literature and Health

As a folktale, "The Magical Stone" teaches us about one emotion that can have a negative impact on a person's mental and/or physical health. Other such emotions include anger, guilt, fear, and hatred. Choose one of these emotions and think of a story in which characters deal with that emotion. Discuss with classmates how the characters reacted and what they learned.

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