The Texas Tortoise and the Jackrabbit

4th Grade Activity for South Texas - Teacher Directions


The Texas Tortoise


The Jackrabbit is not a rabbit,
but a hare.


Students rewrite "The Tortoise and the Hare" using Texas as the setting.


The Texas tortoise and the jackrabbit are both inhabitants of the South Texas Plains. The jackrabbit is actually a hare and not a rabbit. Just as in the old Aesop fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare," we have the main characters living right here in Texas. Instead of ancient Greece, however, ours live in a land of thick brush, shrubs, prickly pear, and the palms and citrus trees of the subtropical Rio Grande Valley. Share the original Aesop fable with students.


Language Arts: Composition, Plot, Setting, Characters, Oral or Dramatic presentations

Student Preparation:



  1. After sharing the original story of "The Tortoise and the Hare," have students individually or in groups rewrite the story with the Texas Tortoise and the Jackrabbit with the South Texas Plains setting.
  2. Discuss the change in characters and setting, brainstorm similarities and differences with students as a pre-writing activity.
  3. Allow for two or three class periods for students to complete the writing process.
  4. Have students illustrate their stories.

Additional Activities:

Allow students to share their stories in an oral presentation or a dramatic presentation, particularly those who worked as a group on their story.

Activity developed for TPWD by Vicki Almour.

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