Paired Texts > The Elephant and the Crocodile
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In this classic fable by Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller, a tiny mouse proves to a powerful lion that she is greater than she seems.Pair “The Lion and the Mouse” with “The Elephant and the Crocodile” and ask students to compare the themes of the two fables. How do the animals in the two stories help each other? Why does the Lion originally think so little of the Mouse? How does the Mouse prove himself to the Lion? How do the Elephant and Crocodile prove themselves to each other?
In "The Sparrow's Quest," Elizabeth Laird retells the story of a sparrow that searches for the most powerful thing on earth.Pair “The Sparrow’s Quest” with “The Elephant and the Crocodile” and ask students to discuss the attempts of the characters in each fable to find out who, or what, is the most powerful. How do the characters go about answering this question? What do they find out about themselves by the end of the two fables?
In the informational text "Flopping Frogs," Pamela Brunskill explains why the tailed frog belly flops.Pair “The Elephant and the Crocodile” with “Flopping Frogs” and have students think about how animals’ differences help them survive. What does the Lion teach the animals in “The Elephant and the Crocodile”? Is it better for a frog to hop, like many frogs do, or belly-flop, like the tailed frog? How does being different help animals survive?
In "The Dentist and the Crocodile," a dentist gets a surprise from a strange patient.Pair “The Elephant and the Crocodile” with “The Dentist and the Crocodile” and have students compare the skills of the crocodiles in both texts. How are the crocodile in “The Elephant and the Crocodile” and the crocodile in “The Dentist and the Crocodile” both “wise and clever”? How do you think the dentist would feel if an elephant was his patient, instead of the crocodile? As a creative extension, write a poem in a similar style to “The Dentist and the Crocodile” that uses an elephant as the patient instead of a crocodile.
In "From Sap to Syrup," Laura Sassi describes how Native Americans learned to make syrup by observing red squirrels.Pair “The Elephant and the Crocodile” with “From Sap to Syrup” and ask students to discuss how both texts show that all animals have useful qualities and strengths. What useful qualities do the elephant and the crocodile have in “The Elephant and the Crocodile”? What useful qualities do the squirrels have in “From Sap to Syrup”? Using what you learned about red squirrels from “From Sap to Syrup,” how would a red squirrel have gotten the steel helmet to the lion? Would a red squirrel work well with the elephant and the crocodile from “The Elephant and the Crocodile”? Why or why not?