Making Old Stories New

In this unit, students compare and contrast events and characters in multiple versions of The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. 



Unit 4

1st Grade

Unit Summary

This unit is focused on two classic fairy tales: The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. With each fairy tale, students are first exposed to a classic version, familiarizing themselves with the basic plot and lessons. Then students explore the ways authors change setting, characters, and plot while still maintaining the overall essence of the classic story. Some of the changes the authors make reflect the nuances of different cultures and environments, while others are made for entertainment and humor. Either way, students will explore the idea that different authors can use their own perspective and culture to shape the stories they write or retell. By reading multiple versions of the same classic fairy tale, students will also be able to grapple with the bigger lessons of each tale—the importance of not talking to strangers and the importance of respecting others’ property and privacy. Over the course of the unit, students will be challenged to think about how each of these unique themes is portrayed and how in each different version of the fairy tale the characters may learn the lesson in slightly different ways. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with others in the sequence, will help students see the power of storytelling and how simple stories can be changed and improved based on an author’s ideas and preferences. 

In reading, this unit builds directly onto the reading strategies from previous units. Students will continue to be pushed to be inquisitive consumers of text, asking and answering questions about characters, setting, and plot as they listen to and engage with a text. Students will also continue to work on retelling stories and including key details. Similar to previous units, students will continue to think deeply about characters and setting and how the details an author includes in the illustration and text help a reader better understand both. Because most of the focuses for this unit are a repeat of similar focuses from earlier in the year, students should be pushed to a much higher level of rigor and understanding than in previous units. One new focus of this unit, however, is on comparing and contrasting the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. Students will be asked at multiple points to use information they have learned about key events, characters, and setting to compare and contrast different versions of the classic fairy tale. Students should be pushed beyond just superficial comparisons across the different stories.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.

Essential Questions

  • What does it take to solve a problem? 
  • Why might two people solve the same problem differently? 

Writing Focus Areas

Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Write complete sentences.
  • Include details that describe “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why.”
  • Use conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so.”

In this unit, students continue to work on using complete sentences to respond to a text. In particular they work on using the conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so” to show more nuanced thinking and ideas in response to the text. They also learn how to use precise words to show “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why.”

Narrative Writing Focus Areas

  • Write narratives with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Include details about what happened with each event. 
  • Use temporal words to signal event order. 

In this unit, students continue to work on writing narratives by writing their own version of The Three Little Pigs. 

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Build on others' talk in conversation by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. 
  • Use specific vocabulary. Use vocabulary that is specific to the subject and task to clarify and share thoughts.

In this unit, students continue to work on engaging with the thinking of others. Students continue to focus on building on others' talk in conversations, with an emphasis on carrying on conversations through multiple exchanges. The focus areas and discourse in this unit align with Tier 2 of the three tiers of academic discourse and all rows of the Academic Discourse Rubric (K-2). See the Teacher Tool on Tiers of Academic Discourse to help support students with the focus areas for this unit.



anticipation bully cunning discouraged equipped frightened hastily hoarseness intelligent kindly outsmart persistent pleasant resourceful scoundrel sly stereotype suspicious wretched

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 4, view our 1st Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

  • Retell the plot of Little Red Riding Hood and the lesson learned.
  • Retell the plot of The Three Little Pigs and the lesson learned.
  • Identify two to three key facts about wolves.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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Unit 3

Being a Good Friend


Unit 5

The Power of Reading