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- 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 “Teacher Tamer” and ask students to discuss how both stories explore the theme of revenge. How do Master Jacob’s reasons for seeking revenge compare to Gregory’s? Do students think that Master Jacob or Gregory are justified in their revenge? Why or why not?
- Gary Soto
In Gary Soto’s short story “Seventh Grade,” a boy tries to impress a girl on his first day of seventh grade.Pair “Seventh Grade” with “Teacher Tamer” and ask students to compare Victor and Gregory. What makes both boys change their minds about their teachers? Compare the impact the teachers made on the boys. What does the reader learn about Victor’s teacher, and how can that be compared to what Mrs. Wessex tells her mother? Were you surprised by the revelations the teachers made? Why or why not?
What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything?
In Avi’s short story “What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything?”, a boy hopes to learn the cure to unhappiness from a beggar he meets.Pair “What Do Fish Have to Do with It?” with “Teacher Tamer” and ask students to compare the themes of these two stories by Avi. How do both stories show characters reaching out to someone struggling during a difficult time? How does the beggar respond to Willie’s kindness? How does this compare to Mrs. Wessex’s response to Gregory’s kindness? What do you think Avi is suggesting about treating others?