Exploring the World through Story

Exploring the World through Story is a secular world literature curriculum for grades K-8, integrating literary analysis, writing, and memory work. Click below to start exploring, or download EWS Samples All Levels.

Folktales (Grades K-2)

Exploring the World through Story, Level A

Level A: Fables and 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. 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.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level B

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 discover how geographers divide the globe with lines of latitude and longitude.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level C

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. By the end of the year, students will be able to identify twenty world regions and important countries in each.

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Exploring the World through Story, Levels A-C

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

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Wisdom Tales (Grades 3-5)

Exploring the World through Story, Level D

Level D: Wisdom Tales 1

In Level D, third graders read wisdom tales from the Hindu, ancient Egyptian, and Jewish traditions in beautifully illustrated children’s editions. Guided oral narrations, copywork, dictation, and varied composition activities support student writing. Students master literary terms and cultural information through memory work.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level E: Wisdom Tales 2

Level E: Wisdom Tales 2

In Level E, fourth graders read wisdom tales from the Buddhist, Christian, and ancient Greek traditions. Students practice paragraph formation with dictation and varied writing activities. Memory work helps them learn key literary terms and cultural information.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level F

Level F: Wisdom Tales 3

In Level F, fifth graders read wisdom tales from the Islamic, Norse, and Chinese traditions. Dictation passages and scaffolded composition activities support student writing. Students master literary terms and cultural information through memory work.

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Exploring the World through Story Bundle, Levels D-F

Bundle: Exploring the World through Story, Levels D-F

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Heroic Tales (Grade 6)

Exploring the World through Story, Level G Unit 1

Unit 1: Gilgamesh and Mwindo

In Level G, sixth graders explore what it means to be a hero. The first of the three units in this level introduces Gilgamesh and Mwindo as students learn how to expand a simple paragraph into a three-paragraph comparison essay.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level G Unit 2

Unit 2: Beowulf and Popol Vuh

In Level G, sixth graders explore what it means to be a hero. The second of the three units in this level introduces Beowulf and the Popol Vuh as students learn how to expand a simple paragraph into a three-paragraph contrast essay.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level G Unit 3

Unit 3: Mulan and Antigone

In Level G, sixth graders explore what it means to be a hero. The last of the three units in this level introduces Mulan and Antigone as students learn how to expand a simple paragraph into a three-paragraph compare-contrast essay.

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Exploring the World through Story, Level G

Bundle: Exploring the World through Story, Level G, Units 1-3

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Classical Epics (Grade 7)

Exploring the World through Story, Level H Unit 1

Unit 1: Iliad and Mahabharata

In Level H, seventh graders explore the themes and structure of classical epics. The first of the three units in this level introduces the Iliad and the Mahabharata as students learn how to write a four-paragraph essay.

Exploring the World through Story, Level H Unit 2

Unit 2: Odyssey and Ramayana

In Level H, seventh graders explore the themes and structure of classical epics. The second of the three units in this level introduces the Odyssey and the Ramayana as students practice writing four-paragraph essays.

Exploring the World through Story, Level H Unit 3

Unit 3: Aeneid and Shakuntala

Coming in Summer 2024. In Level H, seventh graders explore the themes and structure of classical epics. The last of the three units in this level introduces two stories based on earlier epics, the Aeneid and Shakuntala, as students practice writing four-paragraph essays.

Rascals & Rogues (Grade 8)

Exploring the World through Story, Level I Unit 1

Unit 1: Robin Hood

Coming for the 2025-2026 school year.

Exploring the World through Story, Level I Unit 2

Unit 2: The Water Margin

Coming for the 2025-2026 school year.

Exploring the World through Story, Level I Unit 3

Unit 3:  Journey to the West

Coming for the 2025-2026 school year.

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