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Lon Po Po, a Red-Riding Hood Story From China by Ed Young is on the list of Caldecott Winners. The haunting illustrations are done with watercolors and pastels. This book and the Lon Po Po lesson plan offers the opportunity to compare and contrast Young’s version with the original Red-Riding Hood tale.
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1. To compare and contrast two stories
2. To put events in sequence of how they occurred
3. To observe where China is compared to where you are
4. To identify cultural differences
5. To create different outcomes in a story
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Read Both Versions
First read the standard version of Little Red Riding Hood. I chose one retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, also a Caldecott Honor winner. This author follows the original Grimm’s version. The wolf eats grandmother and Red-Riding Hood but the hunter saves them by opening up the wolf. The illustrations are done with care to minimize violence. Then read Lon Po Po with the students gathered close by so they can appreciate the artwork.
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Use a Graphic Organizer
Use a graphic organizer made of two overlapping circles. On the left side list only the things that happened in Lon Po Po. On the right side list the things that happened in Little Red Riding Hood. In the area where the circles overlap, list the things both stories had in common.
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China and Cultural Differences
Find China on a globe or world map. Show China in comparison with where you are. Other countries have different languages and customs. These are called cultural differences. It is good to learn about the ways of other people. Differences are not bad they are just different. In China, a grandmother is often called, “Po Po”. Lon Po Po means Granny Wolf in Chinese. What do you call your grandmother?
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Sequence of Events
light colored or white construction paper
dark colored marker
Write each statement on separate sheets of paper.
1. Mother went to visit grandmother for her birthday.
2. Three sisters stayed in the house with the doors locked.
3. A wolf knocks on the door saying that he is “Po Po”
4. After awhile the girls let the wolf inside the house.
5. The wolf blows out the candle when he enters the house.
6. Shang says, “Po Po, your foot has a bush on it.”
7. Shang says, “Po Po, your hand has thorns on it.”
8. Shang offers to get some gingko nuts for the wolf.
9. The girls go outside and climb a tree to get the gingko nuts.
10. Shang tells her sisters that Po Po is really a wolf.
11. The wolf comes outside looking for the girls.
12. The wolf gets in a basket so the girls can pull him up the tree to get the gingko nuts
13. The girls pull the basket up to the treetop.
14. The girls drop the basket and the wolf dies.
15. Mother came home with food for the girls.
Mix the cards up and pass them out to students in your class. Instruct them to come up when they have the card that fits in the sequence of events. Each student should read the card to the class and see if the others agree that the card is in the correct place. Do this activity again so all students will have a chance.
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Small Group Activity
Little Red Riding Hood and Lon Po Po are different in several ways. Arrange your students in small groups and instruct them to “rewrite” a familiar fairy tale. The main idea should stay the same but change some of the details.When presenting to the class each member of the group should say at least one way that their version is different. Here are some stories to use:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Hansel and Gretel
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The Lon Po Po lesson plan allows your students to compare two versions of a classic tale. Students will have fun creating their own versions of some favorite fairy tales, too.
Caldecott Books: Lon Po Po Lesson Plan
Many Caldecott books remain classics for decades. It's fun to share books with your little ones that you remember reading as a child. Each book has opportunities for a variety of follow-up activities. Get the most out of these classic Caldecott books.