Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Classic Post: Using Paired Texts to Meet Common Core ELA Standards—with FREE download!

This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright that originally ran in September 2014. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Hi! It's Lesley again, with another blog post about using paired texts. I've loved doing this series of blog posts, because it has introduced me to this great series of books, Story World Real World, which pairs fiction and nonfiction books on related topics. The fairy tale fiction books are great to use as a familiar taking-off point for the content of the nonfiction topic.

Through the units I've designed to accompany these books, I've been able to integrate ELA common core standards RL.1, RL.1.3 RL.1.5, and RL.1.7, as well as RI.1.4, RI.1.5, and RI.1.6. You can find the standards written out at many sites online. I use CoreStandards.org.

Today, my fiction focus is on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

This is a fantastic story to use to review the comprehension skill of sequencing. The events of the story happen in a clear-cut sequence that make it easy for the children to summarize the story. Summarizing a story helps the child understand the story because he or she has to wade through the fluff and just get down to the bare bones. If you've ever listened to a six-year-old tell a story, you know how hard that is for him or her to do!

To help out with the sequencing and summarizing, I developed these cards:


And this sequence chain:


After reading the story, the pictures are placed in the sequence chain in the order they happen in the story. Once the pictures are in order, the child can then summarize the story with the help of the pictures.

As an added practice, or as an assessment of sequencing and summarizing, I have two items I can use. I have a printable and a tabbed booklet condensing the story even more into a beginning, middle, and an end. 

You can see how all these activities are a great way to reach the reading literature standards in the common core.

In my next blog post, I will share how I tied Goldilocks and the Three Bears to the nonfiction story Too Hot! Too Cold! Just Right!

Thanks for joining me today! I hope to talk to you again soon.


Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.


For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  Goldilocks Retelling and Sequencing Packet Download