Explore cultural and geographical aspects of China through literature.
- Discuss the story of Little Red Riding Hood
- Read and listen to a Chinese version of this tale
- Discuss the similarities and differences
- Compare and contrast the two stories with a T-chart
Now that students have a basic understanding of the day-to-day life in China, I like to engage them in the literature of the Chinese culture. We read many fictional stories, but I always create one lesson around Ed Young's Lon Po Po. This is a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. There are many differences and the students love to notice the changes to this version.
- Try to get enough copies of Lon Po Po so that only two students are sharing a book, but if not, get copies for groups of three.
- Make a class set of the Fairy Tale Comparison T-Chart printable.
- Make a class version of the T-chart on chart paper with markers.
Step 1: Gather the students on the carpet or in a group area. Review what they learned about Chinese culture in the Comparing American and Chinese Lifestyles Lesson Plan. Tell them that yesterday they looked at a lot of informational books about China, but there are also a lot of fictional stories from China. Today, they will read a Chinese story similar to one that they already know.
Step 2: Display Red Riding Hood by James Marshall. Ask how many students know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. If you have time to read the story, read it, but if not, take a quick picture walk through the story. Flip through the pages and have the students tell you the story in their own words.
Step 3: Display Lon Po Po by Ed Young. Tell the students that this is the Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. Instruct them to pay careful attention to the story and note the similarities and differences.
Step 4: Divide the class into groups of two or three and distribute the copies of Lon Po Po. Have students carefully read the book, studying the illustrations and following the text while you read aloud to the class.
Step 5: As you read the story, stop to ask if they are noticing any differences between the two stories. Model your thinking, by thinking out loud some of the connections you make to the American version.
Step 6: When you finish the story, distribute the Fairy Tale Comparison T-Chart printable and display your chart version. Work as a class to fill in the comparisons between the two stories. Ask for any additional comparisons that the students noticed.
Ask students to bring in fairy tales from home that are from another culture. There are so many out there, you'll be surprised what you find.
Finish the Fairy Tale Comparison T-Chart printable.
Ask questions of yourself and the lesson:
- What went well?
- What didn't?
- Did the students have the prior knowledge of Little Red Riding Hood to help them?
- Were all learners able to comprehend Lon Po Po and the comparisons?
- How could you change the lesson to better suit the needs of your class?
Ask and monitor for understanding during group discussions.