Three 3rd-4th Grade Stories - UNOi Internacional
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Three 3rd-4th Grade Stories

by Elaine Gallagher      (In response to our reader’s request, Elaine now offers us reading aloud stories for third through sixth grades, starting with 3rd and 4th). These stories definitely are NOT intended to be used as a quiz, homework, or class assignment! READING ALOUD is a stimulating technique to promote oral listening and spoken […]

Autor: UNOi

Fecha: 5 de noviembre de 2013

Elaine Gallagher 03 cegby Elaine Gallagher     

(In response to our reader’s request, Elaine now offers us reading aloud stories for third through sixth grades, starting with 3rd and 4th).

These stories definitely are NOT intended to be used as a quiz, homework, or class assignment!

READING ALOUD is a stimulating technique to promote oral listening and spoken fluency for children of all ages. DAILY reading aloud, for all ages, is our goal. The same story can be read several times during a week. The students actually enjoy hearing them over and over, because the tale will begin to make more sense, and fluency builds

 (Eager and apt readers, may also read these stories by themselves.)


STORY: “The Ugly Duckling
General Topic:  “City and Country”
ART: Ideas follow the story.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Topics follow the story.

 NOTE: Teachers: You may want to read to the students the original, classic story of  “The Ugly Duckling”.

 Vocabulary for fluency: barn, country, farm, fence, field, grass, lake, pond, town, chicken, cow, duck, duckling, horse, sheep, bird, cat, dog, fish, have to, has to, in, on, under, in front of, behind, next to, ugly, swan, egg, hatched, odd-looking.

 The Ugly Duckling

            Once upon a time, there was an egg that cracked open in a field on a farm in the country, far from town. Out popped an ugly duckling.  He was odd-looking.

            The barn on the farm had many kinds of animals, but there were none that looked like the ugly duckling. On the farm there were chickens, cows, ducks, horses, sheep, birds, cats, dogs, and even fish in the large pond.

            The farm was big and beautiful, except for the ugly duckling. Of all the other eggs that hatched open, the baby ducks were cute, and all alike.  But the ugly duckling was different.  Everyone laughed at him. He walked funny.   He could not swim as fast as the other baby ducks. When he was next to the other ducks, it was easy to see that he was different.  He would hide so they could not see him.

            The ugly duckling ate bugs and bread that the farmer gave to him.  He would not leave his hiding place.  The farmer told the ugly duckling, “Don’t worry. You will not always be ugly. When you grow up, you will be handsome and beautiful.” 

            But the ugly duckling did not believe the farmer.

             After three months passed by, the ugly duckling saw the farmer coming with food and water.  He shyly moved towards the farmer who was now his friend.

             “Wow!” exclaimed the farmer.  “Look at you!  Look at you!”

            The ugly duckling went to the pond to see his reflection in the water.  He did not see himself. “What is wrong, Farmer?  I am not here. I do not see myself.  I see another beautiful bird in my place.  What has happened? ”

             The farmer smiled. “You have grown up.  You are not an ugly duckling anymore. You never were a duck. Your egg got mixed in with duck eggs.  You are a swan.  A swan is the most handsome and most elegant bird on my farm.”

            “Look at you,” exclaimed the farmer. “You are not the ugly duckling.  You have changed into a beautiful, graceful swan.  You are the most beautiful bird on my farm.” 

            “Thank you, Farmer, for being my friend all this time.  I have learned a good lesson.  I will never make fun of anyone.  I will be fair and kind to everyone so no one will feel sad as I did.”

            The ugly duckling was not ugly any more.  He walked to the pond and began to swim, proudly and smoothly. The ducks said they were sorry for saying he was ugly.  They told the swan that he was gorgeous. They promised that they would be kind. 

            The ugly duckling, now a beautiful swan, slowly swam away.  He was happy and he was proud.


Note to Teachers: 

  1. Art: You can have students make a sequence chart, showing pictures in chronological order of the 4 principle parts of the story, from when the egg hatched to when the swan was beautiful and proud.
  2. Emotional Intelligence:  Ask students if they have ever felt “ugly”….How does it feel?  Can they talk about what it means to be attractive….popular…..friendly…….??? Ask if they think the story could happen to people???  (beginning            as ugly and then, with time, becoming  attractive and proud)????  Give examples.


 STORY: “ Pauline, The Parrot Who Talked Too Much
General Topic: “Animal Homes”
ART: Ideas follow the story.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Topics follow the story.

Vocabulary for fluency: forest, jungle, river, parrot, sleeping, flying, monkey, do, don’t, elephant, gazebo, rain forest, smooth, gorgeous, exotic, too, to, two.

Pauline, the Parrot who talked too mu

            Pauline was a beautiful parrot with long, smooth, feathers  of red, and yellow,  blue, and green.  All the animals in the pet shop where Pauline lived in her huge cage said that Pauline was the most gorgeous parrot they had ever seen. The monkey, the puppies, and the pet rabbits admired Pauline because she was so beautiful.

            You may know that parrots can live to be 100 years old, so they can be pets for a very long time.  Pauline was 35 years old, young for a parrot.  She was so pretty.  People who came into Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop loved to look at her.                             

            When Pauline was flying, her beautiful feathers showed their colors: red, and blue, and yellow, and white. Pauline’s best friends were Emily, the elephant, who lived in the field behind the pet shop, and Tomas, the turtle.  Tomas had a very large area outside, with water from a small river.  It was almost like a jungle. 

            Pauline, Emily, and Tomas were friends for 30 years. Parrots and elephants and some types of turtles live a very long time, many, many years. 

            Pauline, Emily, and Tomas had met at Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop when they were young, and they stayed friends all  these years.

            Emily came to the pet shop when she was only 5 years old.  Her mother had been a circus elephant, but retired to go back to the jungle. The circus did not want a 5 year old baby elephant without a mother, so they gave her to Mr. Timothy, who owned a pet shop for exotic animals.  Mr. Timothy hoped that a nice family would buy Emily, but no one did. She ate too much so was very expensive to keep. Mr. Timothy decided he would not sell her to a zoo.  He wanted her to be free.  “I do love Emily. I will keep her”, thought Mr. Timothy.  That’s why Emily is still at the Exotic Pet Shop.

            On Saturdays and Sundays, Mr. Timothy allows people to ride Emily. They pay one dollar for 10 minutes on Emily’s back.  She loves the people, and she loves the red and gold blanket on her back.  She looks very elegant! 

            Another animal living in Mr. Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop is Tomas.  He is a very big turtle.  He grows every year and is still growing, even though he is 41 years old.  Tomas came to live in the Exotic Pet Shop when he was 11 years old. He lived on the edge of the small lake in the Mr. Timothy’s huge garden.

            Tomas was given to Mr. Timothy when his owners moved to Alaska to work on the petroleum pipe line.  Alaska would be too cold for Tomas.  His human family wanted him to be safe and happy, so they gave him to Mr. Timothy who would take good care of Tomas.

            Tomas was happy at the Exotic Pet Shop.  He had his friends, Emily, the elephant, and Pauline, the parrot. He also had Mr. Timothy who took good care of him.  Tomas

kept growing, bigger, and bigger, and bigger every year.    

            Tomas ate very little food. Mr. Timothy fed Tomas five flies, 10 mosquitoes, a big spoonful of dried fish eggs mixed with water, and some lettuce.  That was what Tomas ate in 3 days. He spent time sleeping quietly, not moving for many hours each day.

            The opposite was Emily.  She was difficult to care for and expensive.  She needed a lot of water to drink and to bathe in.  She ate 2,000 pounds of food every week, grass and vitamins. 

            Another exotic pet living in Mr. Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop is Pauline, the gorgeous parrot, who has lived at the Exotic Pet Shop for 25 years.  She got there when she was 10 years old. She had had 10 different owners when she arrived at the Exotic Pet Shop. No one wanted to keep her. She had one bad habit.  Many parrots nip and bite people.  Not Pauline.  She gets close to people, and wants them to pet her feathers and tell her she is beautiful.  Pauline is not shy or mean.  She is friendly.  She likes people. 

            If Pauline is beautiful, doesn’t bite people, is clean, eats only a little food each day,  why don’t people want to keep Pauline?

            Why? Sad to say…Pauline talks too much.  She only is quiet when she is sleeping.  During the day and night, she never shuts up. If a phone rings, she’ll yell over and over again, “Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!”

             If someone rings the doorbell, she’ll shout, “Come in. Come in Come in! Come in!”

            If a woman walks by, Pauline will whistle at them and say, “Hi beautiful!  Hi beautiful!  Hi beautiful!”

            When a man walks by, Pauline will call out, “ Hey handsome…hey handsome…hey handsome!”

            If an animal walks by, Pauline says, “You are ugly.  You are ugly.  You are ugly!”

            In her cage, she is even noisier, talking for 7 or 8 hours.

            Why does Pauline talk so much?

            Pauline is sad that she is not with her friends outside.  She wants to be with Emily and Tomas.  She only sees them when her cage is put outside for a few hours on nice, sunny days. When she is with Emily and Tomas, she is quiet because she is happy to be near them.

            But when she not with them, she says the same thing 5 or 10 times, over and over.

            Now you know why no one wanted to keep Pauline.  She talks too much! 

            Poor Pauline.  She wants people to love her. And they do love her, but she talks too much!  She tries NOT to talk, but the words just come out!

            Mr. Timothy didn’t know what to do. 

            Finally, he had a wonderful idea to help Pauline!

            What do you think Mr. Timothy is going to do?

            First, he built a round gazebo for Pauline in his big back yard where Emily and Tomas are most of the time.  He put plants, food trays, and water dishes in the gazebo. He put screening on the gazebo so Pauline could not fly away, and so other birds would not bother her.

            He added a big mirror so that Pauline could see herself and talk to herself without bothering the humans.

            When Mr. Timothy finished making the gazebo, he brought Pauline there in her cage.  He opened the cage, and let her fly freely into the huge gazebo.  Pauline never had so much space!

            Now, inside the gazebo, she could fly and be safe. Pauline was so very happy!  She had a new home!  She could see Emily and Tomas every day! Pauline felt safe and comfortable, and not alone. She didn’t talk too much anymore…just enough so people would say, “Let’s see if we can get that parrot to talk!”

            Pauline, and Emily, and Tomas all looked at each other and smiled! They were all so very happy!



  1. Art:  The children can work in teams organizing a rain forest scene for a background, and then and drawing, coloring/painting, cutting, pasting, various animals of the rain forest, including, of course, many parrots. The use of various media (tissue paper, colored paper, paints, colors) plus making two and three-dimensional art projects, will help to make the scene top quality. 
  2. Emotional intelligence: Why do you think Pauline talked so much? Do you know someone who talks too much? How do others treat them? How should we react to people   who talk too much? Do you think that if we understand WHY we do something, it is easier to improve our  behavior?  Discuss.        


STORY #3:George, the Tallest Giraffe
General Topic: “The Food I Eat”
ART: Ideas follow the story.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Topics follow the story.

Vocabulary for fluency: apple, cake, candy, cheese, chocolate, egg, fruit, grapes, milk, bananas, I’d like, some, any, lunch, tall, taller, tallest, strange, supposed to be, heavy, light (adjective, opposite of heavy), elephant’s trunk, miss, missing, missed

George, the Tallest Giraffe”         

            George was a tall, tall, tall giraffe. He was taller than his mother.  He was taller than his father.  He was taller than anyone he knew. He was even taller than the biggest elephant, but he wasn’t as heavy.  He didn’t have a trunk like an elephant, but he had a tall, tall, tall neck.

            George was embarrassed at how tall he was. His mother told him, “George, giraffes are supposed to be tall.” But George wanted to be shorter.  George had the longest neck, and the tallest legs of his whole village. “I’d like to be shorter,” said George.

             When he went to the movies, nobody behind him could see the movie. He ate chocolate candy, and he shared with his friends, but he was so unhappy because he was so very tall.

             Even at home, he had to sleep on the floor.  The beds were too short, even though they were special giraffe beds. They were too short for George.

            He was tall, and giraffes are supposed to be tall, as his mother had told him, but he was unhappy. George decided that he was going to go for a long, long walk to see if he could find any other giraffe taller than he.

            So he left home, and left a note for his mother so she would not worry. “Dear Mother, I am going to the next village to see if I can find another very, very ,very tall giraffe. If I do, I won’t think I am so strange.”

            George walked a long, long, long time. He passed three villages but he saw no giraffes taller than he.  He decided he would go home. He was missed his family and he was tired.

            All of a sudden, he heard a strange sound. “Cheep, cheep, cheep”.  He looked and saw on the ground a little baby bird. “Help me, help me”, said the little yellow bird. “I fell out of my nest and can not fly.  I am too little. If I can not get back in my nest, a cat might eat me.”

            “Where is your nest?” asked George.

            “Up in that tree.  No one can reach it because it is too high.  I have been here since morning and no one can help me,” said the scared little bird.

            George looked way up He saw how high the tree was. George smiled.

            “Why are you smiling?” asked the little yellow bird. “I fell out of the tree.  I can not get back up in the tree because I am a baby bird and can not fly…..and you are smiling. I do not understand.”

            George said, “I was always sad I was very, very tall. I was the tallest giraffe in many villages. Now, I can be useful. I can pick you up and put you back in your nest.”

            Carefully, with his mouth, George picked up the little yellow bird, and put him back in the tree. 

            “Oh, thank you! Thank you!” exclaimed the bird.

            George felt so happy. George was never sad again.  He was proud and happy to be the tallest giraffe because he knows “Giraffes are supposed to be tall.”


Note to Teachers: 

  1. Art: You can have the students make a tall giraffe by teaching them how to join several pieces of paper together, and drawing the neck, which could be 3 pieces of paper long.  Attach the neck with tape to the body and head, resulting in a tall, tall giraffe. They can color their giraffe to complete it. 
  2. Emotional Intelligence: talk about feeling different, feeling unwanted.  Discuss what happened in the story.  When did the giraffe discover that he was supposed to be tall? What experiences can help us feel better about ourselves?  Discuss…and share your experiences with the students.  You are their role model.