Learning to compare/contrast is an important skill for young readers and some of the best tools to teach this skill are fairy tales and fables. Authors often write their own versions of popular fairy tales and fables. You can find many different fairy tale interpretations on iStoryBooks.co and the iStoryBooks app.
One of our favorite iStoryBooks fables is The Boy and His Gummy Bears. This story is based on Aesop’s fable “The Boy and the Filberts.” As you teach the lesson to students, you will want to read both stories.
Introduce students to both stories by talking about what it means to be greedy. Being greedy means you are selfish and want more of something. Encourage students to share examples of when they or someone they know showed signs of being greedy.
Read The Boy and His Gummy Bears along with your students. As students read through the story, encourage them to predict what will happen next. For example, what will happen when the boy tries to fit too many gummy bears in his hand?
Read “The Boy and the Filberts” with students. You can find a free copy of the fable online or you may be able to find an narrated version of the story on YouTube. Again, as students read through the story, encourage them to predict what will happen next.
After reading both stories, ask students what was the same about both stories. Tell students when you describe what is the same between two stories, you are comparing. Students may note that both of the main characters were greedy. They may also note that both of the characters were boys.
Next, ask students what was different about the stories. Tell students when you describe what is different between two stories, you are contrasting. Students may note that one character wanted nuts while the other wanted gummy bears. They may also note that there were more characters in the first story.
Explain to students that even though the stories had some differences, they both had the same moral (or taught the same lesson. Give students a chance to guess what that lesson was before stating the moral of the story: Greed causes trouble. Ask students to share some ways that greed has caused trouble in their own lives.
Extending the Activity:
Have students write their own story with the same moral as The Boy and His Gummy Bears and The Boy and the Filberts. Take some time to read their stories aloud in class and compare and contrast them with the original stories.