by Joseph Jacobs
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 Boy Who Cried Wolf
- 620-560 B.C.
The classic fable of a sheep herder boy who lies and pays the price.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and ask students to compare the forms of the two fables. Do they use a similar narrative structure to set up the story and set forth the morals of their respective tales? What do you make of the inclusion of a wolf in both fables? Do you think the wolf represents something more? Is it the same thing in both texts?
Stress for Success
- Alison Pearce Stevens
In this article, Science News for Students explores the ways that stress can be both harmful and helpful in our daily lives.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “Stress for Success” and ask students to compare the themes and messages of the two pieces. How do they build upon and inform one another in terms of the question of how fear, stress, or pressure can motivate people? Do you think the two pieces agree with each other? In the fable, how are the actions of the third pig described? Is he able to escape the fate of the others by being cool and rational, or is his success due in some part to his anxiety about the danger the wolf presents? How might “Stress for Success” help you to better understand this or any other part of the fable?
Little Red Riding Hood
- The Brothers Grimm
In the Grimm brothers’ version of the classic folktale, “Little Red Riding Hood,” a young girl disobeys her mother and strays from the path on her way to her grandmother’s house, resulting in an unfortunate encounter with a wolf.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “Little Red Riding Hood” and ask students to compare the themes and characters of the two fables. How are the wolves similar in each story? How are they different? Who is more clever – the third pig or little red riding hood – and why? What do these fables teach children?
Arriving at Emerald City
- L. Frank Baum
In this excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends arrive at the Emerald City where they plan to meet Oz.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “Arriving at Emerald City” and ask students to discuss how fear motivates the characters’ actions. Why does the pig avoid leaving his house with the wolf? How does this compare to why Dorothy agrees to put on the glasses? Have you ever let fear control your actions?
- JonArno Lawson
In JonArno Lawson’s poem “Humpty Dumpty,” a speaker describes Humpty Dumpty’s attempts to avoid getting injured by hiding underneath a chicken.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “Humpty Dumpty” and ask students to discuss how the characters of the two texts attempt to take control of their own safety and protection. How do the attempts of the three little pigs compare to Humpty Dumpty? How do the characters of both texts try to take control of their futures?
The Cave That Talked
- Jyoti Singh Visvanath
In Jyoti Singh Visvanath’s retelling of “The Cave That Talked: A Tale from the Panchatantra,” a jackal tricks a hungry lion and avoids being eaten.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “The Cave That Talked: A Tale from the Panchatantra” and ask students to discuss how the characters in the two tales avoid danger. How do the actions of the third pig compare to the actions of the jackal? What do students think the characters have in common?
- Naomi C. Rose
In Naomi C. Rose’s short story “Yeshi’s Luck,” a boy learns that you can’t always tell what is bad luck or good luck.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “Yeshi’s Luck” to provide students with another folktale. Ask students to discuss how the messages of these two folktales compare. How do the pigs in “The Three Little Pigs” attempt to control their fate? How does this compare to the actions of the characters in “Yeshi’s Luck”?
What Good is the Big Bad Wolf?
- Linda Zajac
In the informational text “What Good is the Big Bad Wolf?” Linda Zajac describes the important impact that wolves have on other species in their habitat.Pair “The Three Little Pigs” with “What Good is the Big Bad Wolf?” to provide students with the fairytale that is discussed in the text. Ask students to discuss how the wolf is portrayed in each text. Why do students think that wolves have often been portrayed negatively? How could learning more about wolves help change people’s opinions about them?