por Maude Barrows Dutton
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- 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 “Yeshi’s Luck” with “The Poor Man and the Flask of Oil” and ask students to discuss how the characters in the two stories suffer from bad luck. Why does Yeshi’s father think there is no such thing as good or bad fortune? Do students think that the Poor Man would agree with Yeshi’s father? Why or why not?
The Fox, the Hen, and the Drum
- Maude Barrows Dutton
In Maude Barrows Dutton’s retelling of the fable “The Fox, The Hen, and the Drum,” a greedy fox hunts for his dinner.Pair “The Fox, The Hen, and the Drum” with “The Poor Man and the Flask of Oil” and ask students to discuss the themes of the two folktales. How do the Fox and the Poor Man want more than they originally have? What is the result of this? How do the lessons of the folktales compare?
Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World
- Thornton W. Burgess
In Thornton W. Burgess’ fable “Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World,” a narrator describes several animals’ search for the best thing in the world.Pair “The Poor Man and the Flask of Oil” with “Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World” and ask students to compare the themes of the two stories. How does the poor man express wanting more than he already has? How do his desires compare to the animals’ search for the best thing in the world? What would have happened if the characters in the two stories had simply been happy with what they had?
The Buddha and the Four Truths
- Anne-Marie Reidy
In the informational text “The Buddha and the Fourth Truths,” Anne-Marie Reidy discusses the origins of Buddhism.Pair “The Poor Man and the Flask of Oil” with “The Buddha and the Four Truths” and ask students to discuss the source of people’s suffering. What causes the Poor Man in the story to lose his oil? How could the Four Truths have helped the Poor Man avoid his suffering?