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Teaching with Mentor Texts

Comprehension Skill: COMPARE and CONTRAST


Whenever I model a new skill, I like to connect it to something the children know quite well.  The tale of Little Red Riding Hood is known by most youngsters. Before reading Lon Po Po by Ed Young, I have the children briefly retell the main events of what happens in Little Red Riding Hood. With that in mind, I ask the children to look for ways today’s story is similar as well as how it is different.

For the first reading, we read the story all the way through. During the second read, we stop and identify the differences. This is a good time to record the children’s ideas on chart paper or on a graphic organizer. Finally, we identify similarities between the two versions of the tale.

Here are some more variations of popular fairy tales that can be used for additional practice of comparing and contrasting.

Cinderella from Mexico

A Cinderella story from Mexico was retold by Tomie dePaola titled Adelita.


true story of 3 Little PigsJon Scieszka retells the story of The Three Little Pigs through the wolf’s point of view. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! is a favorite of ours.


the-wolf-who-cried-boy cover

This version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf has the main character a young wolf who is craving a boy for dinner. It is another enjoyable tale that makes learning how to compare and contrast interesting and memorable.

Hi! I'm Alison

My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist with over 30 years teaching in elementary classrooms. My goal is to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement and academically sound. You can expect to find teaching tips to boost your confidence and grow your learners. You don't have to do this alone! I'm the support you've been looking for. I'm so glad you are here!

About the Literacy Garden

When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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