Little Red Riding Hood Story Study
Little Red Riding Hood is a classic childhood story and was a great one for a preschool story study. This is a great early literacy activity that can be used to address story structure, authors and illustrators, oral retelling, comparing and contrasting, and many other useful skills.
To get started, gather several copies of a Little Red Riding Hood (our list is below) and some simple Little People or Finger Puppets (here's a cute Little Red set).
Little Red Riding Hood Versions
Little Red Riding Hood by Dubravka Kolanovic
This is a very traditional version of little red riding hood that we happened to already own. Any simple version of the story will do, but it is helpful to have a couple traditional versions when doing a story study. 2+
Little Red Riding Hood by Mara Alperin
This is another traditional version except for the ending. We liked that the clever grandma gets away and is part of rescuing Little Red in this adaptation. 2+
Little Red Riding Hood by Jerry Pinkney
Pinkney is great at putting his own subtle little marks on traditional tales. There are some small differences in the story that were fun to contrast with others and Little Red is depicted as African American in these illustrations. 3+
Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy
This is my favorite version of Little Red Riding Hood. The main character is particularly spunky in this version. 2+
Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf by Rachael Mortimer
This is another fun alternative version wherein the wolf isn't so big and bad, rather she is sweet and little and prefers fairy tales and pink polka dots to trapping and eating little girls. 2+
Lon Po Po : A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
In this Chinese telling of Little Red, the mother leaves to visit grandmother (Po Po) and a wolf comes to visit the children left behind at home pretending to be their Po Po. I think it is the dark, watery illustrations that make this story seem more frightening than the more lightly illustrated American versions. It is interesting to compare and contrast. 4+
Little Red Writing by Joan Holub
This wins the award for most original version of little red riding hood. A classroom of pencils are assigned the job of writing stories to share with the class and Little Red Writing decides to write an adventure. She imagines quite the tale where she ultimately encounters the Wolf 3000, a pencil sharpener, that has eaten the principal. Filled with lessons about the parts of a good story and types of words, creatively adapting the traditional tale, and illustrated by the delightful Melissa Sweet this is the perfect addition to an early elementary school classroom. 5+
Activities for After You Read:
Compare & Contrast Versions
*Discuss the roles of the author and illustrator.
*Chart differences between versions of the story. Some things we kept track of include; what food Little Red has in her basket, what Little Red picks along the way, Mama's warning to Little Red, and how the story ends.
The characters in a book are a crucial element of the story. Little Red Riding Hood has five traditional characters; Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, Mother, Grandmother, and Woodcutter.
Start by listing these characters on a piece of paper. I wrote them horizontally across the paper to leave space under each name. Then we wrote some things that we know about the character. My four year olds needed a little prompting (ex. What kind of person is __?" or "Describe how __ looks.") but we came up with a great list of character qualities and descriptors.
Read a couple of different versions of Little Red Riding Hood and encourage them to pay attention to how the illustrator drew the characters. Have a conversation about it and compare different illustrations. Then offer each child a piece of paper and some drawing materials to draw one of the characters. Have them pick a character and pretend they are the illustrator. They get to make all of the decisions about how that character looks. When everyone is finished, invite them to tell everyone about the character they drew.
Various Versions of Little Red Riding Hood (see suggestions below)
Small People or Finger Puppets
After reading, discussing, and retelling the story, this became a quiet time activity. I put the Little People characters we used to retell the story during group time in a basic with a basic version of the story. I introduced our twins to the basket during group time and then they took turns with it during Quiet Time that week.
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