How The Children Became Stars – Fables and Folk Tales

How the Children Became StarsHow the Children Became Stars is a collection of 52 fables and folk tales from all over the world. The folk tales provide important morals and life lessons, and help foster an understanding of other cultures. Each folk tale has an activity at the end, which makes it perfect for classroom or home-school use, and with 52 tales to choose from, it can easily integrate it into a weekly curriculum.

The collection of international stories comes from a wide range of different cultures, including African, Aboriginal, Chinese, Japanese, European, Native American, Greek, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist tales, among the diverse range of fables and folk tales.

Each activity is short, thought provoking, value driven, and capable of being extended or shortened, and worked on alone or as a group.

Each story is approximately one to three pages of text, making them also the perfect length for reading as a bed time story. The activities can be skipped or used as points of discussion, thus leaving children something wonderful to think about overnight. 

Written by Aaron Zerah

Sample text of the Fables and Folk Tales, with Activities, 

from How the Children Became Stars:

Chapter One

How Turtle Helped Make the Earth


In the beginning, everything was dark. There was no sun, no moon, no stars in the sky. There was water everywhere and it was running very fast.

Two creatures came from the north on a small boat Turtle and his friend. Then a rope made with feathers came down from the sky and, climbing down the rope, came Begins-the-Earth.


He went right over to the boat and stepped in. His face was covered and could not be seen, but his body was bright like the sun.

Turtle asked, “Brother, can you make some dry land for me, so I can come out of the water sometimes?”

Begins-the-Earth turned to Turtle and said, “You want dry land; where am I going to get earth to make dry land?”

So turtle spoke up. “Tie a rock to my left arm. Then I’ll dive down to the bottom of the water and get some.” Turtle jumped into the deep water.

Turtle was down at the bottom of the water for six years. When Turtle finally came to the surface, all the earth he had gathered had been washed away by the water. He had just a little bit left under his nails.

Begins-the-Earth took a stone knife and scraped this little bit of earth from under Turtle’s nails. Then he put it in his hand and rolled it into a ball the size of a pebble.

Begins-the-Earth kept looking at the pebble. Four times he looked at it and in that time the ball had grown to be as big as the world.

The earth was now dry land and there were big mountains all around. That is how Turtle dove into the water and helped make the earth.

– Traditional Native American Story


How Turtle Helped Make the Earth

Sharing Activities


Together go outside, touch the earth, and scoop up a handful of earth. Put all the earth together in one bowl or flower pot. Plant a few quick-growing seeds (wheat, alfalfa, or sunflower are excellent) in this earth and water them every day.


What Turtle did was hard and very courageous. Draw or paint a picture about how Turtle helped make the earth.


Draw or paint a picture about something you’ve done that was difficult or courageous.


Turtle helped make the earth by making an extra special effort. Think about one thing you can do to make an extra special effort to help someone today.


When your seeds have fully sprouted, share what you most enjoyed about helping things to grow in the earth.


Continue Reading online here:

About Aaron Zerah

From early childhood, Aaron has had faith that the world could come together in peace. His parents, both Holocaust survivors, showed (and continue to show) him the power of acceptance and love and the way to live in joy.

An Interfaith Minister for nearly 25 years, Aaron is the founder of the Interfaith Seminary and a leading figure in the global Interfaith movement. He has spoken at the historic Parliament of the World’s Religions, the U.N. and a host of houses of worship.

Aaron is has several other non-denominational spiritual books, 365 Spirit, A Time to Mourn, and Every Day Is a Blessing, and a historical novel entitled Joseph in the Land of the Mizraim, which are available on his website. This is his first children’s book, which is part of a series called “Spirit Storyooks” we hope to have more available soon.

Aaron currently lives in the lovely town of Sechelt, British Columbia (near Vancouver) with his teenage daughter, Sari, who is the delight of his life.

More Fables and Folk Tales can be found on FKB here:

Brothers Grim

Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales fables and folk tales

Hans Christian Andersen


If you are looking for more children’s spiritual books, check ouot our Spiritual Category, if you are looking for more traditional folk tales for children, try the Fables and Folk Tales Category


Three Billy Goats Gruff
Tug of war children's story - a fable Tug of War – a fable - Turtle wants to be treated as an equal by the bigger animals, can he prove to them that he is worthy of being treated as an equal? Sample Text from Tug of War Turtle was small, but he talked big. He loved to boast that he was friends with the biggest animals in the jungle. ...
Bulli and the Tiger - Bulli is a little girl growing up in a bamboo-weavers’ community. Bulli finds her father troubled and discovers the bamboo suppliers threatened to raise the rates and put their whole village in jeopardy. Bulli looks for other ways of finding bamboo, and ends up facing the legendary tiger! Will the villagers find another way? Shalini ...
Jumping Mouse – A Native American folktale - Once there was a small mouse with a big dream. He wanted to go to the far-off land. Along the way, he meets some interesting characters, helps many in need, and completes a magical transformation. This story follows with vocabulary and questions including reading comprehension, think and share, and topic-based. Jumping Mouse is a Native ...
The Smile – Inuit Fable - In the harsh Arctic winter a girl, her family, and her dog struggle to survive. When her parents go in search of food the girl has a dream and resurrects the village landmark which in turn brings them good fortune. The book is adorned with gorgeous Inuit inspired art. Terms in the book: inunnguaq – ...
More Classic Tales – CKLA Supplemental Reader Grade 3 - Core Knowledge Foundation is back with more classic tales, this time tailored for Grade 3 reading levels. This classic tale compilation features The Frog Prince, The Fisherman and his Wife, Rumpelstiltskin, The Queen Bee, Rapunzel, Hanzel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, The Magic Paintbrush, The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackel, and A Christmas ...
Robin Hood – Mashed Myths - A tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men like you’ve never heard it before. King Prince John and the Sheriff are trying to capture Robin Hood with some not very cleverly disguised traps, and Robin Hood continues to rob from the rich and give to the poor but with some entertaining twists. MASHED MYTHS ...
Goat, Dog, and Cow – A fable - Have you ever wondered why dogs run after cars, goats run away from them, and cows just stand their ground? This book will tell you why. Sample Text from Goat, Dog, and Cow Goat, Dog and Cow were great friends. One day they went on a journey in a taxi. They reached the end of ...
The Magic Mirror - The Magic Mirror – A witch puts a curse on the village children, only Sam and Soy, brother and sister, are free from the curse. Sam must find the magic mirror to defeat the witch and bring it back within 3 days. Sam and Soy meet many mysterious creatures along their journey. Will Sam and ...

Check Out More Chapter Books:


See more books with moral lesson below


Three Billy Goats Gruff
children's human rights ebook I Know My Rights – Explaining, Celebrating, and Creating Awareness of Children’s Human Rights - We are re-releasing this beautiful book for the upcoming celebration of International Human Rights day. In I Know My Rights, Menaka Raman explains in a clear and no compromises way what children’s basic human rights are. The poignant book includes a child-friendly version of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child and advice ...
The Fox Who Wanted to Fly - The fox sees the birds, bees, and bats, and greatly desires to fly – will perseverance win? Sample Text: One night, Fox told her kits a bedtime story. It was the tale of a fox. This fox wanted to fly. Her kits said they wanted to fly. They said, “Flying looks like fun!” Let’s listen ...
Odd One Out – An anti-discrimination story for elementary school age children - Psychedelic seal is not like all the others – he doesn’t blend in like the other seals, not only is he in danger to the world at large, he gets teased by the other seal pups. Learn about how psychedelic seal learns to triumph in spite of his differences and even because of them in ...
Walk with Gandhi - An enlightening text on the life of Gandhi, containing enlightening snapshots of Gandhi’s life, with lots of questions for reflection, making it very suitable for school use – social studies, history, art, or English. The Haiku, images, and text reflect the remarkable life of Mahatma (‘great soul’) who brought freedom to India through non-violent protest. ...
The I-Forgot Kid - A poignant tale of a child’s first speech on stage – a much anticipated moment of excitement, which turns into a haunting experience. The little girl who was teased and bullied grows up to help prevent the same actions at the school she works in resulting in long-term change. The story ends with a potent ...
What Happened to the Shawl? Buddhist parable - What Happened to the Shawl? Buddhist parable – A monk approaches Buddha in need of a new shawl. Before he gives it to him Buddha delves deep into the situation of what happened to the old shawl. A story of reduce, reuse, recycle. Sample Text from What Happened to the Shawl? Buddhist parable One day, ...
Human Values Foundation Stories on Values 2018 Edition – By children for children - Stories on Values is an endearing and beautiful collection of short stories written by children, as selected entries from the Human Values Foundation’s annual Stories on Values competition. This is the Stories on Values 2018 edition. The Human Values Foundation has kindly made these available to republish here so as to reach a wider audience ...
Human Values Foundation Stories on Values 2016 cover Human Values Foundation Stories on Values 2016 Edition – By children for children - Stories on Values is an endearing and beautiful collection of short stories written by children, as selected entries from the Human Values Foundation’s annual Stories on Values competition. The Human Values Foundation has kindly made these available to republish here so as to reach a wider audience with these endearing and important lessons. More details ...

Sponsored Links:

Note – if you sign up through these links, it doesn’t cost you any extra, but FKB receives a small donation, which helps us with our project to buy more FREE Hardcopies   for kids who need them

All our posts are checked by Grammarly, the FREE online grammar checker (We still receive a donation even if you only sign up for the free account :-):

Spread the love

Comments 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *