The Farmer and the Snake (Aesop Fable)

Lesson Plan


(Choices, Accountability, Drug Awareness)


Preparation and Supplies:

  1. Pace off 32 feet 9  ½ inches in the classroom so you can show students how big a python can be. 
  2. Yarn, scissors, measuring tape
  3. Bulletin board materials



          Ask students to share what they know about snakes.   Use a jointed wooden snake or  a rubber snake to get attention.   Accept any information students offer.  Add any other information you wish from the following list.  Make sure that the discussion includes the information about poisonous snakes.


Sneaky Snake Facts:



            Tell the story of  The Farmer and the Snake  in your own words.


Discussion After Story:


            “This story made me think of something that happened to me.  One day I was trimming a small bush in my front yard.  I saw that my rose bush needed trimming.  Now my leather gloves were somewhere in the garage and I didn’t want to bother to go look for them.  ‘I will just be careful,’ I said to myself.  ‘There is enough room between the thorns that I can hold the stems and it will work.’  I began to trim my rose bush.   What do you think happened?   [Students will tell you that you probably got all scratched and had thorns in your fingers.] 

Right.  It didn’t work.   I knew what kind of a bush I was trimming before I began.  I shouldn’t have been surprised when I ended up with scratches on my hands and thorns in my fingers.  What other kinds of situations can you think of when someone ‘knew what the dangers were before they began?’  (Discussion could include smoking, drugs, trespassing, playing in dangerous areas, playing on a busy street, stealing on a dare, etc.)  When someone mentions drugs and smoking, I repeat the fact that of the 2700 kinds of snakes in the world, only 400 are poisonous and less than 50 species are really dangerous to people. Discuss the idea that prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs are not usually harmful if you follow directions given by your doctor and on the label.  Illegal drugs and  can be really dangerous. 





Snake Bulletin Board

  1. Prepare bulletin board space.  Caption might be:  “Look before you step.  Think before you act.”  You might choose to include the poem “The Snake” by Jack Prelutsky or “Boa Constrictor” by Shel Silverstein.
  2. Make crayon resist snake pictures or folded snakes for the bulletin board.


Crayon resist pictures

  1. Draw and color snake with wax crayons.  Make sure you color darkly.
  2. Paint over paper with stripes of blue, purple and black tempera paint (which has been thinned).  Wet brush and blend the colors slightly.


Folded snakes

  1. Take two 1” wide strips of paper.  (Construction paper or newsprint or scratch 


  1. Staples strips of paper together at right angles.
  2. Fold first one strip and then fold the other strip to create an “accordian” folded strip of paper.  Add more strips as needed to make it longer.
  3. Color and cut out a head and glue or staple it to one end of the snake.


How Long is a Snake?


Snack Idea

            Rope licorice



Curriculum Connections:


  1. Drug Awareness
  2. Snake Unit
  3. St Patrick’s Day – more ideas can be found in Celebrations, Caroline Feller Bauer, H.W. Wilson Company, 1985.
  4. Halloween
  5. Math – measuring


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