Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Lion and the Mouse (The)
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


This lesson uses fables to explore the idea of kind deeds and helping others in turn, using fables. Reinforces that a kind deed is never wasted and demonstrates that kindness is related to good citizenship. Increases listening comprehension and the use of critical thinking skills.


One Thirty-Minute Class Period


The learner will:

    • rely on imagination for pictures instead of actual illustrations.
    • discuss how people can help one another (even if smaller and younger).
    • suggest some characteristics involved in becoming a good citizen.


  • copy of the fable The Lion and the Mouse (see Bibliographic References) to guide oral retelling


In the story "The Lion and the Mouse," the mouse accidentally awakens and upsets a lion. The lion felt kind and decided to let the mouse go. The mouse promises to repay the lion one day. The lion laughed, thinking what could a mouse do for me. Later, the lion became caught in a trap. When the mouse heard the lion roaring he came and quickly chewed through the ropes to set the lion free.

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Have you ever done something nice for another person? Do you think you can help someone who is bigger, stronger, or older than you? The fable, The Lion and the Mouse, tells how this happened.

  • Set the stage by explaining that this story will be told orally rather than read. Students will use their ears and imagination since there are no storybook pictures to look at.
  • Show pictures of a mouse and a lion and help students compare and contrast them. Describe the savanna habitat and show a picture if possible.
  • Tell the story to the class and help them discuss it when you are finished. Ask:
    What happened to the mouse?
    What happened to the lion?
    What is a trap?
    How did the mouse free the lion?
    Why couldn't the lion free himself?

  • Ask students to describe the lesson the story conveys. Relate the moral of the story to good citizenship.
  • Guide discussion to other kind deeds the children may have done or seen. Ask, as good citizens, what kind deeds they could do.


Have the children name other animals, making two lists as they brainstorm. Have the children suggest how the animal pairs could help each other. What could you do, as a good citizen, to help someone in an unsafe situation? Have the children draw a picture of the lion and the mouse or two other animals helping each other. Label each picture with their description of "helping."

Bibliographical References:

Lesson Developed By:

Pamela McIntosh
Detroit Public Schools
Woodward Elementary School
Detroit, MI 48208


Philanthropy Framework:


Viveca, Teacher Albion, MI10/13/2007 6:47:39 PM

(The positive aspect of using this lesson was) the message was appropriate for my class and easy to understand. The use of the story The Lion and The Mouse was good to use.

Laura, Teacher Albion, MI10/13/2007 6:49:59 PM

(The positive aspect of using this lesson was) comparing 2 different books. They enjoyed that. They also realize they can help even though they are small or young.

Amy, Teacher Albion, MI10/13/2007 6:51:53 PM

(The positive aspect of using this lesson was) it taught the students that different animals/people who have nothing in common can help each other.

Laura, Teacher Albion, MI10/13/2007 6:54:45 PM

(The positive aspect of using this lesson was)talking about how we can help others (adults) even when children are smaller. They related it to grandparents and elderly. I was happy they made the connection.

Anita, Curriculum RAJKOT, India1/8/2013 7:27:09 AM

This story helps the teacher guide students in seeing that strong persons should never underestimate the weaker person, because one day they can help each other.

Submit a Comment

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.