Exploring the World through Story

Level A: Fables and Pourquoi Tales

Exploring the World through Story, Level A

In Level A, you’ll share classic fables from Aesop and pourquoi (“how and why”) tales from around the world with your Kindergartner. By the end of the year, students will have explored stories from more than a dozen different cultures, and they will be able to name and locate all of the continents and world oceans.

View a Sample Learn More

Level B:
Trickster Tales

Exploring the World through Story, Level B

In Level B, first grade students meet famous trickster characters from around the globe while expanding their knowledge of world geography. African and African-American tales take center stage this year. Students discover how geographers divide the globe with lines of latitude and longitude.

View a Sample Learn More

Level C:
Wonder Tales

Exploring the World through Story, Level C

In Level C, second graders dive deep into the world of wonder tales, with a mix of classic stories from the European fairy tale canon and tales of imagination from every corner of the globe. By the end of the year, students will be able to identify twenty world regions and important countries in each.

View a Sample Learn More

Bundle: Exploring the World through Story, Levels A-C

Exploring the World through Story, Levels A-C

Buy all three levels and save!

Quidnam Press is teaming up with The Bookish Society to offer online classes for EWS Levels A-C. Classes begin in August 2021 and run for a full school year. Visit The Bookish Society for more details.

Exploring the World through Story introduces children to the wonder of words and the diversity of human cultures through the study of world literature.

In the primary grades—K-2 or ages 4-8—students enjoy folktales from around the world, gaining both cultural literacy and an understanding of basic narrative forms. Simple geography readings, map/globe work, and memory work round out the program, helping students put the stories in context. Detailed teaching notes and schedules make it easy for you to teach literature and geography to your children, even if you have never taught these subjects before.

Forthcoming levels for the elementary grades (3-5) and for middle school (6-8) will build on the foundation laid in the primary levels, preparing students to study world literature in high school and beyond.

EWS Level A: Fables & Pourquoi Tales

In Level A, you’ll share classic fables from Aesop and pourquoi (“how and why”) tales from around the world with your Kindergartner. Detailed lesson plans explain how to introduce the tales and list new vocabulary and comprehension questions for you. You’ll also find suggestions for optional leveled readers and picture books that help children build the background knowledge that is so crucial to reading comprehension. Short geography readings, map/globe explorations, and foundational memory work are included. By the end of the year, students will have explored stories from more than a dozen different cultures, and they will be able to name and locate all of the continents and world oceans.

EWS Level B: Trickster Tales

In Level B, first grade students meet famous trickster characters from around the globe while expanding their knowledge of world geography. African and African-American tales take center stage this year. Students learn the art of oral narration, a foundational skill for writing, while simple copywork sentences reinforce written language conventions, including spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Students review the previous year’s geography work and then expand on it, learning about latitude and longitude as well as neighboring countries.

EWS Level C: Wonder Tales

In Level C, second graders dive deep into the world of wonder tales, with a mix of classic stories from the European fairy tale canon and tales of imagination from every corner of the globe. Students develop their oral narration skills with a combination of prompts and comprehension questions as they learn to identify narrative structures and compare literary themes across cultures. Copywork gradually increases in length and complexity as students become more adept at handwriting and familiar with mechanics and usage. After reviewing the memory work from previous levels, students identify geographical regions within the inhabited continents and memorize one key country in each region.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is EWS?

Exploring the World through Story is a secular world literature curriculum for grades K-8 that introduces children to the wonder of words and the diversity of human cultures. Levels A-C are currently available. The elementary levels (grades 3-5) are planned for the 2022-2023 school year, and the middle school levels (grades 6-8) for 2023-2024.

What is the suggested age range and grade for each available level?

Level A: Ages 4-6 (Kindergarten)
Level B: Ages 5-7 (1st Grade)
Level C: Ages 6-8 (2nd Grade)

Can I teach students of different ages together?

Yes, within reason. The stories increase in length and complexity as the levels progress, but children within a year or two of the suggested range can still benefit from the program. You may want to modify the narrations and copywork in Levels B and C for younger students.

What books do I need to teach EWS?

A list of the required books and supplies is included in the free curriculum sample for each level. Links to samples appear in the description boxes for each level of the curriculum.

What will the elementary and middle school levels cover?

Levels D-F, for grades 3-5, will explore wisdom tales from a wide range of world faith traditions, both historical and contemporary. All stories are approached from a secular perspective with an emphasis on their cultural and literary importance. Levels G-I, for grades 6-8, will introduce students to classics of world literature with age-appropriate abridgements, adaptations, and retellings.

Will the geography memory work continue in the elementary and middle school levels?

No, but all the information you need appears in the world geography section of my memory work guide, Living Memory. I also recommend Heather Alexander’s A Child’s Introduction to the World as a geography resource for elementary-age students. If your students enjoy online or app-based learning, visit Seterra for hundreds of geography quiz games. They also have free printables!

Does EWS teach writing?

Although the writing activities in EWS reinforce elementary composition skills, the program does not replace a dedicated writing curriculum. For expository writing instruction in the elementary grades, I recommend Susan Wise Bauer’s Writing with Ease series, and EWS aligns broadly with the skills taught in that curriculum.

What books do you recommend for preschoolers to prepare them for EWS?

You can download a free PDF list of my favorite books for preschoolers.

My kids have fallen in love with folktales. Where can I find more of them?

Get thee to the 398.2 section of thy local library! This is where folktales, fairy tales, and fables are shelved. August House Publishers, which specializes in storytelling resources, features many titles for children. If you are looking for Asian tales, check out Tuttle Publishing’s beautifully illustrated Children’s Favorite Stories series. The World Folklore Series from Libraries Unlimited is outstanding, if somewhat expensive, so you may want to check your local library. And do pre-read; some volumes in this series include culturally authentic but intense stories that are more appropriate for mature readers.

Can I teach EWS in my classroom or homeschooling co-op?

I would be delighted to talk with you! Please contact me to discuss licensing.

How can I learn more?

The Good Enough Homeschool podcast has an episode dedicated to EWS.