The moral of a story is the principle or lesson it teaches. Although many stories have subtle morals, clearly defined moral lessons are almost always contained in fables, myths and storybooks for young children. If you're going to be writing a story for children, or if your child is writing a story, you could start out with an idea for a moral and build the story around it.
Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover
One idea for a moral to write into your story is "Don't judge a book by its cover." This means that appearances can be deceiving, and you shouldn't base your opinion of someone on how they look. What's more important is what people have inside and how they behave. In a children's story, this could be expressed by having a character who looks mean or scary but turns out to be kind and good. Or the story could include a character who looks beautiful but is uncaring and selfish.
Look Before You Leap
"Look before you leap" is a saying that means make sure you're aware of what you're about to get yourself into. This moral was expressed in Aesop's fable, "The Fox and the Goat," which was written in ancient Greece. However, it is still just as relevant today, as it's important for children not to be too trusting and to make sure they know what they're doing. If using this moral as a basis for your story, write about a character who gets in trouble because he doesn't think before he acts.
One Good Turn Deserves Another
Another idea for a story moral is "One good turn deserves another." This is an important lesson, because it teaches children to treat others as they wish to be treated, and that by doing good deeds, good things will come back to them. It also teaches the benefits of working together, as it suggests that if you work with someone to do her a favour, she will work with you to return the favour. You could write a story where the main character selflessly helps another person and later has someone help her in return.
You Are Known by the Company You Keep
"You are known by the company you keep" is an idea for a moral to put in your story. This lesson is important for children to learn, as it means that if you have bad or inappropriate friends, people will judge you based on opinions of your friends and their actions. This can help to encourage children to choose a good set of friends and not associate themselves with people they wouldn't want to be like. Depict this moral in a story by writing about a good character who has bad friends. People stop trusting him because of the actions of his friends.
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- Santa Clara University; Moral Literacy: The Virtue of The Book of Virtues; Mirian Schulman