Three Little Pigs: The Wolf's Story
About the Book
Text Type: Fiction/Fantasy
Page Count: 16
Word Count: 741
This retelling of the The Three Little Pigs is told from the wolf's point of view. Readers will sympathize with the homeless, freezing wolf as he suffers a cold and can't stop sneezing. Illustrations support the text.
About the Lesson
Targeted Reading Strategy
- Use the reading strategy of self-monitoring
- Compare and contrast this retelling with the classic story
- Understand paragraph formation
- Identify descriptive words and the nouns they describe
- Book -- Three Little Pigs: The Wolf's Story (copy for each student); classic version of The Three Little Pigs
- Chalkboard or dry erase board
- Self-monitor, compare and contrast, descriptive words worksheets
Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)
Content words: delirious, desperate, frostbitten, inherited, modern, ordeal, quaint, sapped, sturdy, unconscious, vegetarian, village, swine, familiar, pity, scurried, pleaded, teetered, misunderstanding
- If possible, read a classic version of The Three Little Pigs prior to this lesson.
- Ask student volunteers to recall the story of The Three Little Pigs. Discuss the plot, as well as the point of view from which the classic version is written (the pigs' point of view).
Preview the Book
Introduce the Book
- Give students a copy of the book and have them preview the front and back covers and read the title. Have them discuss what they see on the covers, offering ideas as to what kind of book this is and what it might be about. Have students predict what they think will happen in the story.
- After introducing the book and building some background, invite students to continue previewing the book.
Introduce the Strategy: Self-monitor
- Model self-monitoring by introducing the question, Does this make sense?
- Think-aloud: When I'm unsure about something I'm reading, I pause to reread the sentence, or sentences, and think about whether or not they make sense to me. Since I know good readers do this, I'm going to pause after every pages to ask myself whether the material makes sense. If I come across points or words that don’t make sense, I'll go back and reread to see if I can figure them out.
- Explain that by practicing the self-monitoring strategy, students learn to check their understanding of content in text. Remind students that when a word or section of the book becomes difficult, they should slow down, look at the illustration, and continue on to the end of the sentence or paragraph. They should then go back and reread the sentence or paragraph, making sure they understand what they have read.
- As students read, they should use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.
Introduce the Vocabulary
- Remind students of the strategies they can use to work out words they don't know. For example, they can use what they know about letter and sound correspondence to figure out the word. They can look for base words, prefixes, and suffixes. They can use the context to work out meanings of unfamiliar words.
- Model how to apply word-attack strategies. Have students find the bold word inherited on page 3. Tell students that they can look at the letter the word begins with and then use what they know about syllables and vowels (one vowel sound per syllable) to sound out the rest of the word. Tell students to first look for a clue to the word's meaning in the sentence. Explain that they will not always find a context clue in the sentence containing the unfamiliar word, but that other information in the paragraph or elsewhere in the book might explain the meaning of the word. Model how they can use the glossary or a dictionary to find the word's meaning. Have a volunteer read the definition for inherited in the glossary. Have students follow along on page 3 as you read the sentence in which the word inherited is found to confirm the meaning of the word.
- Preview other vocabulary words, such as delirious, quaint, and ordeal, in a similar fashion before students begin reading.
- For additional tips on teaching word-attack strategies, click here.
Set the Purpose
- Have students read the book to find out what happens to the wolf in this version of the story. Remind students to stop and reread words or sections of text that don't make sense.
- Guide the reading: Have students read to the end of page 8. Remind them that saying the words aloud, even at a whisper, will help them listen to the words and ensure that they make sense. If students finish before everyone else, they should go back and reread.
- When they have finished reading, direct students to page 7.
- Think-aloud: The first time I read about the wolf getting frostbite, it didn't make sense to me, so I read the section again. The second time I read it, I noticed the words snow whirled into a white cloud. Then I looked at the illustration, and I noticed the white cloud of snow freezing the wolf's ears. After rereading the section and looking at the illustration, I understood that the wolf's ears were getting extremely cold and I was confident that I understood what the author wrote.
- Ask how self-monitoring by rereading and looking at the illustrations helps readers to decode words and make sense of the reading material. Ask students to share examples of how they practiced self-monitoring while reading.
- Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to monitor themselves as they read by stopping periodically to reread and ask themselves, Does this make sense?
Tell students to make a small question mark in their book beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.
Reflect on the Reading Strategies
- Ask students what words they marked in their books. Use this opportunity to model how they can read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
- Have students share any questions they had while they were reading. Discuss how self-monitoring helped them stay actively involved in the reading process and helped them better understand and remember what they read.
- Have students complete the self-monitor worksheet to show how they used the strategy of self-monitoring to help them understand and remember what they read.
Teach the Comprehension Skill: Compare and contrast
- Discussion: Ask students what they think the author's purpose was for writing the book and what they thought of this version of The Three Little Pigs.
- Introduce and model the skill: Review or explain what it means to compare and contrast two things. Explain that to compare means to examine for similarities--to look for how the two things are the same. Explain that to contrast means to examine for differences--to look for how the two things are different.
- Discuss with students the plot of the classic story of The Three Little Pigs. If necessary, read the original story aloud. Point out that there are things about the two stories that are alike (the three pigs are brothers, the three pigs build homes made out of different materials), and there are things about the stories that are different (the wolf wants to eat the pigs in the classic, while the wolf is a vegetarian in this version).
- Model how to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two versions of the story. On the board, draw two circles side by side that overlap in the center. Above the left-hand circle, write The Three Little Pigs, and above the right-hand circle, write The Three Little Pigs: The Wolf's Story. Review or explain that on a Venn diagram, comparisons or similarities are listed where the circles overlap. The remainder of each circle is used to write the differences between the two things, each under the corresponding title.
- Check for understanding: Ask students to compare the endings of the two tales, starting with what they have in common (the three pigs survive, the three pigs end up in the brick house). Write student responses in the center section of the Venn diagram. Have students contrast the endings of the two tales (the wolf crawls down the brick fireplace and lands in a scalding pot of water, the weasel rescues the wolf and nurses him back to health). List student responses under the appropriate title.
- Independent practice: Give students the compare and contrast worksheet. Have them share their answers aloud when they have finished working independently.
Grammar and Mechanics: Paragraph formation
- Review or explain that when writing, authors create many paragraphs within a book. A new paragraph is created when the author chooses to begin writing about a new idea. The author then begins on a different line, and the new paragraph is either indented or set apart with extra space.
- Have students turn to page 6. Ask them if this book separates paragraphs using indentations or extra spacing (extra spacing). Ask students how many paragraphs are on the page (two). Ask them to tell the first two words in the first paragraph (Not far). Ask them to tell the first two words in the second paragraph (When winter). Ask how they know where the second paragraph begins (there is extra space before it).
- Have students turn to page 10. Ask how many paragraphs are on this page (four). Ask what the first two words are in the second paragraph (Please, oh). Ask how they know where the second paragraph begins (there is extra space before it). Ask them to tell the first two words in the third paragraph (The two). Ask how many words are in the last paragraph (two). Ask what the words in the last paragraph are (Achoo! Achoo!).
Check for understanding: Have students turn to page 11 and tell how many paragraphs it contains (three). Ask students to circle the first word in the first paragraph (His). Ask them to circle the first word in the second paragraph (Their) and the first word in the third paragraph (When). Check individual student responses for accuracy.
Word Work: Descriptive words and the nouns they describe
- Review or explain that adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. An adjective tells which one, how many, or what kind.
- Tell students that this story is rich in descriptive words. Write the following sentences from the story on the board. Read the sentence aloud, then have students hold up the same number of fingers as there are adjectives in the sentence (2, 1, 4).
Once there lived three little pigs.
He built a sturdy house.
In the cold, damp forest lived a poor, old wolf.
- Have individual students come to the board and circle the adjective(s) in each sentence. Then have them underline the noun that each adjective describes. (Sentence one: three and little are circled, pigs is underlined; sentence two: sturdy is circled, house is underlined; sentence three: cold, damp, poor, and old are circled, forest and wolf are underlined.) Point out that in the third sentence, two different nouns are described (forest and wolf).
- Check for understanding: Have students work in pairs to reread page 6 and find all of the adjectives on the page. Discuss the results as a group, identifying the nouns that each adjective describes.
- Independent practice: Have students complete the adjectives worksheet. Read and discuss the correct answers once all students have finished working independently.
Have students use the inside back cover of their book to write adjective along with the definition of the term (a word describing a noun or pronoun that tells which one, how many, or what kind) in order to help them remember the terminology.
- Allow students to read their books independently or with a partner. Encourage repeated timed readings of a specific section of the book. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book.
- Give students their books to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.
Extend the Reading
Review the plot of another classic tale, Little Red Riding Hood, or read the story aloud. Have students write a new version from a different perspective (Little Red Riding Hood: The Wolf's Story). Remind students to use what they know about paragraph formation and to write at least four paragraphs in their story.
Social Studies Connection
Discuss the topic of homelessness and the organizations in place to help those who are without a home. Point out the empathy displayed in the weasel's efforts to save the homeless wolf and the neighbors' help to build him a new home and plant a garden. Relate this to real-life situations, and ask students what they might do to help people less fortunate than themselves.
Monitor students to determine if they can:
- consistently and successfully self-monitor their understanding of text as they read and to complete a graphic organizer
- accurately compare and contrast the events in this retelling with a classic version of the story in discussion and to complete a worksheet
- correctly identify new paragraphs in the text
- recognize descriptive words and the nouns they describe in text and to complete a worksheet
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