How to write a fable

To write a fantastic fable, let’s review what we already know about fables:

  • In fables, the animal characters often talk and act like people.
  • Most often, the main character makes a mistake that helps him or her learn a lesson.
  • Fables usually end with a moral, which is a statement that sums up the lesson in the story.

Examples of popular fables are “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” and “The Fox and the Grapes.” 

If you are interested in learning more about fables and reading a few good ones, check out these links:

Big purple - Click image to download.


Now, let me show you how I would write my own fable!  

Owl bows - Click image to download.

I am going to use a Fable Planning Sheet:

  • My title will be:
  • My characters will be:
  • Here are the steps in my plot:
  • The moral of my fable is:


I am not sure what my title will be yet, so I will figure out my characters and plot first.  I want to write a fable about a bird and a worm.  I’ll write that in the “Characters” section.  Next, I’ll think about the plot, and write down the events in the “Plot” section.  First, the bird sees the worm in a garden.  The bird wants to eat the worm.  The worm says, “Don’t eat me! I taste terrible!” The bird believes what the worm says. So the bird flies away to look for another worm.  Can you tell what the mistake was? Can you guess what the lesson, or moral, is? I will write it in my “Moral” section. It is “Don’t believe everything you hear.”  Based on my fable, I want my title to be, “The Bird and the Worm.”

Now, before you begin to write your fable, here’s a few morals that you might want to use in your fable:

  • A good friend is a treasure
  • Don’t waste your food
  • Always tell the truth
  • Let your actions speak for themselves
  • Look before you leap
  • Fair weather friends are not worth much
  • Slow but steady wins the race

Bird artist - Click image to download.

When you write your own fable

  1. Think about what animal you would like to use as a main character in your fable. 
  2. Decide what other animals you would like to include.  What will be the problem in this fable?  Will a character be tricked or make a silly mistake? 
  3. Introduce the characters and the setting (where the story takes place) in the beginning of your fable.
  4. Explain the problem in the fable. Use specific details to make your writing interesting.
  5. Finally, write the ending.  You can decide if the problem gets solved or not. 
  6. State the moral of your fable.
  7. Choose a title for your fable that gives your readers a clue on what or who this fable is about.
  8. Re-read your story to make sure it makes sense, and that it has all the necessary parts of a fable.

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