by Rudyard Kipling
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.
The Three Questions
- Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a famous Russian author, perhaps best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In this short story, a king looks for three answers to three questions in order to make himself a better ruler.Pair “The Three Questions” with “The Elephant’s Child” and ask students to discuss the nature of questions in these pieces. Does this questioning help or hurt the protagonists?
How Boots Befooled the King
- Howard Pyle
In this folktale, a wise king offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to whomever can make a fool out of him.Pair “The Elephant’s Child” with “How Boots Befooled the King” and ask students to discuss the protagonist of each story. How do they succeed, even though no one else believes they will?
The Wright Brothers: Air Pioneers
- David White
Learn about how two American brothers beat the odds, inventing and building the world's first successful airplane in this biographical text.Pair “The Elephant’s Child” with “The Wright Brothers: Air Pioneers” and ask students to discuss how both treat the theme of resilience. How does curiosity fuel resilience, and by proxy, success?
Play, Play Again
- Ellen Braaf
In the informational text “Play, Play Again,” Ellen Braaf discusses why animals play and how it might benefit them.Pair “The Elephant’s Child” with “Play, Play Again” and ask students to discuss how the elephant’s curiousity is an example of ‘play’. What are the results of the baby elephant indulging in his curiosity? Do students think that Rudyard Kipling is commenting on the importance of curiosity and play in young animals? Why or why not?
- Rudyard Kipling
A young mongoose faces dangerous foes in order to protect the people he cares about.Pair “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” with “The Elephant’s Child” and ask students to compare the characters in each story. How do the cobras act differently from the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake? How does Rikki-tikki compare to the Elephant’s child?
- Lewis Carroll
In Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Crocodile,” a speaker describes a crocodile in the Nile River.Pair “The Elephant’s Child” with “The Crocodile” and ask students to discuss how the crocodiles in each text lure in their prey. How do both texts portray crocodiles? How do students think the two authors would advise readers about interacting with crocodiles?