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The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors: Rising to the Challenge

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors” by Drew Daywalt is one of my very favorite read-aloud books because of the fun and humorous storytelling.  The book shows the origin of the game “rock paper scissors” and the battles between these objects.  Kids laugh out loud at the action-packed humor and love the epic battles…and I'm sure you will too!  Kids gobble up the hilarity of the story, which leaves you in a great position to open up conversations about friendships, problems solving strategies, good sportsmanship, and more.

The fun, yet dramatic storytelling will keep your kids engaged. The clever wordplay will keep them thinking and also really teach an important lesson; we learn how the game of “rock paper scissors” came about but also see that each character rises to the challenge and winning isn't always everything.

Skills to teach with “The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors”:

  • Characters
  • Character development
  • Theme
  • Inferences
  • Setting
  • Personification
  • Growth mindset
  • Retell
  • Problem/solution

5 Favorite “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Activities

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors” will quickly become a favorite…and probably bring some epic rock, paper, scissors battles among your students. But it also leads to some really fun and meaningful activities and discussions that you can have with your students. Get ready to have some great conversations with your students about friendships, learning from your losses, good sportsmanship, being challenged (in a good way) by those around you, using our own talents to shine, and allowing others to do the same, and also celebrating victories. 

Here are some of my favorite activities to do after reading the book.

1. “Rock was still unsatisfied.”

Rock thought we would be pleased after battling clothespin and winning, but he was still not satisfied. Students may relate to Rock and understand how Rock feels. There may be times we feel like we really want or need something, but then it is not all that it has cracked up to be. The feelings of disappointment may be difficult to explain, but students can empathize with Rock's feelings and write about a time that they were unsatisfied with an outcome.

2. “But the battle had been too easy.”

Throughout the story, Rock is confident in his abilities to duel. He is looking for a challenge, as he understands his strengths. Sometimes it is difficult or feels awkward to point out our own strengths; but speaking about being confident will help students appreciate their own talents as much as they do other’s.

Students can write about something that makes them feel confident. Exploring their own strengths will help them realize their talents and build their confidence.

3. “And so with a heavy heart, Paper departed.”

Paper wins the battle, but is still unhappy. This is a great time to discuss how winning is not everything, there are many times that a “win” in life does not bring us the happiness that we think. Does winning always mean a battle or a game? There are so many great opportunities to discuss sportsmanship and Paper's win is one of them.  Is winning everything? How can you be a gracious winner? How can you accept losses in life?  What helpful strategies can you use to help when you feel defeated?

Students can write about why winning isn't everything and their feelings about winning as well as losing graciously.

4. “And so Scissors traveled seeking out a challenger.”

Just as we can feel confident with our talents, we can also teach students to accept and learn from things that challenge us.  We should not shy away from something when it gets hard.  You can discuss strategies to use when you feel frustrated by challenges and how to apply these strategies to push through when things are difficult. Some students may enjoy the feeling of a challenge, just as the characters in the book do; but some may feel frustrated and discussing strategies to use when we are faced with a challenge will help students when those occasions arise.

Students can write about something that is challenging for them and how they feel when they are challenged.

5. “I hope you're wearing your battle pants.”

One of my very favorite activities when reading “The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors” is creating your own “battle pants.” Students can decorate their pants with words, pictures, phrases, etc. that describe them.  It is a fun “get to know you” activity that students will love to share…and the pants turn out so cute too! It makes a fun display as well as a fun activity to get their “battle pants” ready by describing themselves and all of their talents.


The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors” is such a fun book to share with your students. Your students will laugh out loud, you will have the chance to read in your very best WWE announcer voice, and everyone will be rooting for their favorites.  This hilarious book gives us so many great lessons to share with students: friendships, sportsmanship, growth mindset, and more.  You and your students are sure to mark this as a new favorite, for sure!

I hope you and your students love it!

You can grab a free one-page guide for using this book in your classroom here:

You can find more of my favorite read-aloud books HERE.

And read more about why I think reading aloud is so important HERE.

You might like this blog post about self-love.

Check out all of my favorite read aloud books and grab free guides for reading aloud HERE.

You might also like to read more about these books:

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Happy Teaching!

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