Little Red Riding Hood

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SWBAT identify the similarities and differences in two stories or characters.

Big Idea

Surprise students with another version of Little Red Ridinghood. This lesson is sure to engage the entire class.


5 minutes

 Common Core Connection and Introduction

This lesson allows students to analyze Little Red Ridinghood's experiences across different versions of her story.  The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard 9 states that the students need to analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches of the authors. So, I approach Little Red Rindinghood's experiences from the author's craft side of things. I might say, "Why did the author choose to show Little Red Ridinghood begin a victim in both texts? (It is the basis for the central message, don't trust everyone.) In order to develop this standard I like to use a variety of complex text and allow my students to read from a broad range of high quality literature. I often select text that is a little over their lexile for the read aloud.  This helps me expose students to rich vocabulary and extend their thinking skills.

Lesson Overview

We compare Little Red Ridinghood from I Read to You and You'll Read to Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, which is a poem, to Little Red Ridinghood by James Marshall in the guided practice. We are comparing how the author has crafted the story in different ways and discussing why the author chooses to keep certain things consistent in both text. So, the guided practice allows students to compare two versions of a story, and the partner work is about comparing characters in two different stories.  I felt like my students needed exposure to comparing two versions of a story, but maybe are not ready to practice this with a partner. Comparing two different characters makes the task more narrow, and helps the students focus in on one thing to compare.

I begin this lesson in the lounge area and then we do many Transitions.  Students are seated in collaborative heterogeneous groups.  The groups are assigned by me, promote peer collaboration, and each person is given a title.  One student is the peanut butter and one is the jelly.  This is fun, but it allows me to give specific directions to certain students. For more information about my partnering strategy, click here: Peanut Butter Jelly Partner.

Opening Activity

I play the song "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.  Then the students tell their partner the story of Little Red Ridinghood. I am just assessing how familiar each student is with the original story. Then, I explain that there are many versions of some fairy tales and we are going to compare the poem to a book about Little Red Riding Hood. I say, "Today we are going to compare Little Red Ridinghood's experiences in the book and the poem. Then you will compare the experiences of two fairy tale characters of your choice."


Guided Practice

20 minutes

I read the class two Little Red Riding Hood texts. The students will work with the partner (Talk to Partner Strategy) to compare the stories on their own Venn diagram.  Each pair will get one piece of paper so it is important to explain that they have to take turns writing.  After about ten minutes I ask the students to give me ideas to write on the model in front of the class.  I ask other students to agree or disagree as we generate ideas.  They always have to provide evidence to support their thinking.  We work hard to fill up the venn diagram (Red Riding Hood Venn).

Questions I ask my students to generate text-based discussion:

  • What happens that is the same? (I add to the middle of the Venn diagram.)
  • What happens to Little Red Ridinghood that is different in each story? (I add to the each side of the Venn diagram.)
  • Why did the author choose to show Little Red Ridinghood as a victim in both text? (The author wants to keep the central message the same.)

Partner Work

20 minutes

The students will work with the partner to compare Red Riding Hood to another character of their choice.  The pair will get one piece of paper so it is important to explain that they have to take turns writing.  Prior to writing I remind my students to reference the one on the board when working.  As a brainstorming activity we also create list of fairy tale characters on the board. (Pinocchio, The Boy: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Cinderella, Cinder Edna, Jack and the Bean Stalk:Jack)

I allow them 10 minutes to work, but I walk around and help every group get going.  Then the groups read their comparison to the other group at the table.   I allow them ten more minutes to add to their work.  I think sharing in the middle of group time helps students generate ideas from their peers.

Some possible questions:

  • How are the characters experiences the same or different?
  • What happened to the original Cinderella that also happened to Cinder Edna?
  • Why do you think the author's kept that event the same? (They want to keep the same central message.)

Student Reflection

5 minutes

I like for my students to work on their speaking and listening skills during their reflection time. Incorporating presenting as a routine also provides students with motivation to do an excellent job on their work and model for their peers. 

I say, "Criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor hands in your laps talking no more. Look at the speaker in the eyes. Think about what they are saying." I select one or two students to read their work to the class.  I encourage students to add to or build on what their peers say.  I try to promote discourse and get my students to evaluate their peers work in a positive way. I often model by saying, "I like the way you did ____."


5 minutes

I ask students to tell their peers what they learned today about how compare a character's experience. I share what I heard several students say.  I ask the learners to restate the objective.We chant, "I can compare experience of characters". I think this helps my students remember the lesson goals.  Students repeat this, tell a friend, and then say it with me.  Telling a friend makes it personal and repetition builds memory.  This is also a way I model speaking in complete sentences.