Please join us for a FREE Shared Inquiry discussion of “Nail Soup,” a Serbian folktale as told by Nada Ćurčija-Prodanović. In the story, reprinted below, a hungry soldier—with an old woman’s unwitting help—is able to make a hearty soup starting with “a pot, an iron nail, and some water.”

Discussions will take place:

  • November 18, 2021, 4:00–5:00 p.m. central time
  • November 22, 2021, 3:00–4:00 p.m. central time

With the excellent facilitation of an experienced Great Books trainer, we will investigate questions like:

  • At the end of the story, why does the old woman have “angry eyes” as she watches the soldier eat the nail soup?
  • Why does the soldier call the old woman “granny”?
  • Why does the old woman tell the soldier she doesn’t have any food?
  • Why does the soldier tell the old woman he can make soup from a nail?

Discussing these questions as a group will help us unlock shades of meaning in the story that we might not see by ourselves. You will discover how the interpretations of your peers enable you to consider facets of the story you previously might not have considered—and your own interpretations of the story will help others the same way.

After participating in the discussion, you will readily see the benefits of this method for your students! Be sure to read the story at least two times before discussion.

Special Bonus: Sample Lesson Plans for “Nail Soup”

You can download specially written lesson plans for “Nail Soup” to use with your students (the story is suggested for use with grades 2 and 3, but you can expand the range at your discretion). These lesson plans include:

  • Prereading options that help introduce students to the story’s content
  • First reading with sharing questions
  • Second reading with Note!, Move!, and Share! options
  • Shared Inquiry discussion prompts, including focus and cluster questions
  • Additional sessions that include drawing and writing activities