by Florence White Williams
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.
- Howard Pyle
In this humorous old folktale, a man must deal with the desires of three tricky rogues. However, he overcomes their tricks with a plan of his own.Pair “Master Jacob” with “The Little Red Hen” and ask students to compare the characters of Mrs. Hen and Master Jacob. Who taught their lesson better? How did they persist through various challenges? How are the characters of the farm animals in “The Little Red Hen” similar to or different than the rogues in “Master Jacob”?
The Crow and the Pitcher
- 620-560 BCE
In this fable of Aesop, a thirsty crow is desperate for a drink of water.Pair “The Crow and the Pitcher” with “The Little Red Hen” and ask students to compare the characters of Mrs. Hen and the Crow. How do both characters respond to challenges? How do the themes of these texts compare?
- Hans Christian Andersen
Born in the center of a tulip and stuck forever at a small size, Thumbelina faces many challenges because she is so different from others around her.Pair “Thumbelina” with “The Little Red Hen” and ask students what the little red hen and Tiny have in common. How do both characters overcome obstacles in their stories? Both Tiny and the red hen encounter many other characters in their stories. What roles do these others characters play? Why did the authors choose to have them encounter many others along their journeys?
Of Feathers, Fat, and Freezing
- Donna DeVoe DiFolco
In the informational text, “Of Feathers, Fat, and Freezing,” Donna DeVoe DiFolco discusses how chickadees are able to survive freezing temperatures.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “Of Feathers, Fat and Freezing” and ask students to discuss what is required for the birds to survive in the two texts. What aspects of “The Little Red Hen” do students think are based on facts?
The Sign of the Cat
- Sandra Havriluk
In Sandra Havriluk’s short story “The Sign of the Cat,” a boy’s grandmother opens their home to people who were left jobless by the Great Depression.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “The Sign of the Cat” and ask students to discuss the characters of the Little Red Hen with Chet’s grandmother. What are the similarities and differences between these two characters? What would the grandmother have said about the Little Red Hen’s decision to keep the bread to herself?
The Water of Life
- Howard Pyle
In Howard Pyle’s “The Water of Life”, a king abuses his power by asking a faithful servant to complete difficult tasks for him, hoping to win the love of a princess.Pair “The Water of Life” with “The Little Red Hen” and ask students to compare the experiences of characters in each story. What led to the success of the servant and the Little Red Hen in each text? What led to the downfall of the others? Could the outcomes have been different in either story if the characters’ had changed their actions? Why or why not? Students should support each characteristic with evidence from each text.
The Sheep and the Pig
- Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
In “The Sheep and the Pig,” retold by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, a sheep and a pig look for a place to build a home.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “The Sheep and the Pig” and ask students to discuss how both texts emphasize the importance of helping out. Why do the sheep and the pig always ask “What can you do to help?” before allowing another animal to live with them? How does this compare to the Red Hen’s refusal to let anyone have the bread she makes?
What is a Fable?
- Barbara Radner
In the informational text “What is a Fable?” Barbara Radner describes what a fable is and provides examples of fables.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “What is a Fable?” and ask students to discuss how “The Little Red Hen” is an example of a fable. How do both texts explore how fables use different stories to teach similar lessons? How does the fable of the tortoise and the hare discussed in “What is a Fable?” compare to “The Little Red Hen?
The Little Girl Who Would Not Work
- Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
In the fable “The Little Girl Who Would Not Work,” retold by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, a little girl would rather play than work.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “The Little Girl Who Would Not Work” and ask students to discuss how both stories show how hard work pays off. What do the animals in “The Little Girl Who Would Not Work” get for all of their hard work? How does this compare to what the Little Red Hen gets after all of her hard work? How do you think this could encourage the little girl to continue working?
- Ghanian Folktale
In the Ghanaian folktale “Lazy Anansi,” a spider refuses to help his friends and experiences consequences.Pair “The Little Red Hen” with “Lazy Anansi” to provide students with another fable about the importance of helping out. How do the animals in “The Little Red Hen” and Anansi fail to help out? What consequences do the animals and Anansi suffer because they don’t help out?