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
- 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 whoor whatthe man envies.
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.
- Summarizing.Of whom and of what is the laborer
envious throughout the tale?
- Analyzing. What happens to the laborer's greed
as the story progresses? Find examples to support your answer.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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