Begin with a discussion about fables with students. Pass out the specific stories by La Fontaine that correspond with the grill work by Mary Callery. Begin by working with students to have them interpret the stories. What lessons is La Fontaine trying to teach through his Fables? You can also give some background information to students, telling them that these are similar to French nursery rhymes that many school children grow up learning. Show students pictures of Mary Callery’s Fables of La Fontaine, as well as corresponding images of lithographs by Marc Chagall. Discuss the Fables and the imagery with students. Contrast the lithographs by Chagall with the sculpture of Mary Callery: how are they similar, how are they different? Do they think that one is more effective for communicating the ideas in the fables? Discuss how each artist creates or doesn’t create a sense of movement; while Chagall’s pieces are kind of somber and still, Callery’s sculpture is very lively and full of movement.
Students will get to write and illustrate their own stories with a moral. Begin by talking to students about a basic lesson they think is important. Have them invent a story that teaches that lesson. Encourage students to create an imaginative story that uses conventions such as personification, similes, and/or metaphors. You can also use the lesson to teach poetry and rhyming. For each of their short stories, students can create an illustration. Will their painting or drawings express movement or appear very still like Chagall's? What imagery will they use to capture the main idea of their stories? Compile and bind the stories to create the Fables of Class xxx.