Online English Literacy Exercises

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You can practice Online English Literacy by reading poetry, and determining the main idea of each piece.  


Shown below is an original, contemporary retelling of two of Aesop's Fox Fables, in the form of rhyming verse.  

Which expressions are idiomatic?  

Which words do not really appear in English dictionaries?  

Try to determine the moral of each story without looking.  


Scroll down for links to more poems and stories.




The Fox and the Crow

by Aesop and Judee Shipman



A fox saw a crow perched high in a tree

happily holding a mouse in her beak.

Knowing her better than she knew he

the fox began to speak:


"So lovely and fine are your shiny black feathers!

Your ample breast is puffed with glory!

I wish I could describe you better

but this is a children's story.


"I'm sure your voice is perfect, too,

in keeping with your stunning features.

Surely, that would qualify you 

as Queen of Charming Creatures!"


The blushing crow began to sing

with pride, satisfaction, and passionate mirth.

But as she did, the dead mouse slid

from her beak, and fell to earth.


The fox snatched the mouse and hurried away

and quietly enjoyed his snack.

The heartbroke crow, she cried all day,

but the fox did not come back.





Moral:  Never trust a flatterer.




The Fox and the Grapes

by Aesop and Judee Shipman



A fox fixated on a cluster of grapes

suspended from a vine

"I," said the fox, "will snatch those juicy

treats and make them mine!"


The fox jumped up into the air

as high as foxes jump,

But fell to earth without the grapes

and landed with a thump.


Again, the fox leaped in the air.

Again, he fell, and landed

hungry, tired, worse for wear,

grapeless, empty-handed.


Finally, the fox gave up

and said with all his power,

"Those tiny, useless, withered

good-for-nothing grapes are sour!"




Moral: It is wise to stop wanting what we know we cannot have.




More Online English Literacy Training


SHORT STORIES for improving Online English Literacy.



AESOP'S RHYMES - More from Aesop's Fables reworked into contemporary rhyming verse.  



CONTEMPORARY POETRY



POEMS FROM EVERY STATE Improve Online English Literacy by reading poems about the state you live in. This collection really capture the mood of geographically themed poetry.




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