K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Related pages

  • Comparing and contrasting Little Red Riding Hood stories: This lesson will introduce the Venn diagram to students. They will read two versions of the story "Little Red Riding Hood" and list details from each in separate diagrams.
  • Story tellers and poets: Students will examine the style, purpose, and organization of folktales and poetry in order to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of both genres. With this knowledge, students will use the word choice and repetition of traditional folktales to transform them into modern poetry.
  • Comparing and contrasting careers: This lesson for grade six will help students understand comparing and contrasting. Students will conduct career surveys with adults and will use the results to create Venn diagrams.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • compare language used by different authors.
  • create simple Venn diagrams to show comparison.
  • use higher level thinking skills to discuss character behavior and relate to own experiences.
  • explore elements of a story (beginning, middle, end…) and express their understanding through the arts.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

3 hours


  • Three Billy Goats Gruff (Two different book versions)
  • Three Billy Goats Gruff puppets (Can be made by children after hearing story as an added art activity)
  • Dry erase board, chalk board, or chart paper for diagrams


  • Visit a goat farm, observe, describe and learn about goats
  • Read simple factual books on goats


Day 1

  1. Teacher reads classic version of Three Billy Goats Gruff. Children discuss the question: Was there a lesson in this story?
  2. Children respond verbally then through writing and drawing to the question: How would you have treated the goats if you were the troll? Why?
  3. Place the first book and the puppets in the drama center. Let children model the proper use of the puppets to act out the story at another time during the day before opening the center. Allow 4 children at a time to be in this center.

Day 2

  1. Read version 2 of The Three Billy Goats Gruff to the class.
  2. Have the class verbally compare and contrast version one to version two of the story: Draw a Venn Diagram on the board or chart. List story elements that are the same (as children say them) inside the intersection of the circles. Then list the story elements that are different in the opposing circles outside the intersecting area--one version listed on one side one on the other.
  3. Place book version two in the drama center next to version one (readers familiar with the story are often recruited by puppeteers to read some of the narration).

Day 3

  1. Reread the children’s favorite version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
  2. Have the children listen for descriptive story language that helps them imagine things in the story and point out these phrases after the reading.
  3. Have the children write their own versions of The Three Billy Goats Gruff using story board pictures and/or writing.


Anecdotal observations or notes on the children’s use of story language and their ability to respond to and analyze story elements during writing, class discussions, and drama center work.

Supplemental information


Exploring simple traditional tales in this way has really helped my children understand the elements of stories.

They develop a sense of ‘ownership’ in the story after hearing it several times and seem freer to experiment with story dialogue both verbally and in their writing.

As a follow up you can try other tales that come in threes such as The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears…

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Literature

        • Grade 1
          • 1.RL.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
          • 1.RL.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
        • Grade 2
          • 2.RL.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
          • 2.RL.9 Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 1

  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.06: Discuss authors'/speakers' use of different kinds of sentences to interest a reader/listener and communicate a message.