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

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  • Three Billy Goats Gruff: Students will examine language in three different versions of the traditional "Gruff" tale. These will be compared and contrasted through Venn diagrams. Each text will be introduced, examined, and contrasted in a different lesson.
  • The wolf in children's books: Students will explore the ways wolves are represented in children's stories. They will decide if the wolf is a protagonist or an antagonist in the story. They will also attempt to determine if these representations are scientifically accurate. The first in a two-part lesson.
  • The Frog Prince: Compare and contrast: This lesson can be used with numerous pieces of literature, films, or sound material to develop viewing and listening skills and the students' ability to compare and contrast. One of the richest sources is in the area of fairy tales and folktales. This an especially good source if you can find a modernized version in recorded form to contrast with the more traditional written form. I have used the "Frog Prince" because of this factor and because it was part of the 4th grade language arts reading unit.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of the lesson the students will be able to do a comparison and contrast of two versions of Little Red Riding Hood.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour


  • Lon Po Po by Ed Young
  • Two circles about the size of a 9-inch paper plate cut from construction paper for each child (I like to use different colors for each circle.)


I have found that this lesson works best if I have done two previous lessons. First, I read the traditional version of Little Red Riding Hood. I have the students sequence the story and make big books as a small group activity. The next day, I read Lon Po Po and do another sequencing activity, this time having individual students list events in order.


  1. Read the story Lon Po Po to your class (if available read individually). Show the class a model of a Venn Diagram on the board. Label the circles Lon Po Po and Little Red Riding Hood.
  2. Have the students explain how they think you should label the area that both circles (stories) share. Explain to the students that a Venn Diagram is a graphic organizer that helps them to compare and contrast. Today they will be comparing and contrasting different parts of the versions of Little Red Riding Hood. Give the students a few examples of details from the books (Which book had a wolf? This detail needs to be written in the middle. How many children were in Little Red Riding Hood? This detail should be written under Little Red Riding Hood as one child and Lon Po Po as 3 children.)
  3. When you feel the students have an understanding of a Venn Diagram, pass out two circles to each child. Have them overlap so they have a model of a Venn Diagram. Have students paste the circles together. Remind the students to label the two circles. Using a black crayon, outline the space shared. (If you are short of time, you can prepare the Venn Diagrams prior to the lesson.) Remind the students to think of story elements when they are comparing and contrasting.
  4. Allow the students time to complete their individual Diagrams.


After the students have had time to complete their diagrams, have each child come up and put one detail in the class Venn Diagram on the board. This is an excellent opportunity to see if they understand and have appropriately placed details. As a follow- up activity you may want to have the students write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two versions using their Venn Diagram.

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

        • Grade 2
          • 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.
        • Grade 3
          • 3.RL.9 Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).
        • Grade 4
          • 4.RL.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Read a variety of texts, including:
      • fiction (short stories, novels, fantasies, fairy tales, fables).
      • nonfiction (biographies, letters, articles, procedures and instructions, charts, maps).
      • poetry (proverbs, riddles, limericks, simple poems).
      • drama (skits, plays).
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.02: Identify and discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, concepts and ideas within and across selections and support them by referencing the text.