"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?": A Comparison in American Culture

This lesson analyzes how contemporary values and attitudes are reflected in literature.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Analyze the major goals, struggles, and achievements of the Progressive Era, including attacking racial discrimination, child labor, big business, conservation, and...
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that refer to significant characters and situations found in...
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text.
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
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Learning objectives: 

Students analyze an early 20th century version of the Three Little Pigs to determine how contemporary culture and values affect a story.

Essential and guiding questions: 

What does a book tell us about the people who wrote it and the people who read it?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • Give each group a copy of a contemporary version of The Three Little Pigs. Ask them to compare and contrast the values portrayed with those in L. Leslie Brooke’s version.
  • Show students The Children’s Object Book, published in the 1880s, available at http://read.gov/books/object-book.html. Discuss the changes in technology that have occurred in the past 130 years. Assign each student a page and challenge them to create a similar illustration for the objects of today.

Helpful Hints

Materials Used:
Library of Congress primary sources: