Discussing "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs"

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SWBAT describe the characters, setting, and key details in the story and help the teacher record the details on a circle map.

Big Idea

Today we are diving into the story and discussing it in detail. We are going to know the story well so we can compare and contrast with another story on our Day 3 lesson.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

     I love comparing and contrasting two stories that are similar.  This is why you'll also see my Multicultural Cinderella  Unit as well as my Goldilocks Units on comparing and contrasting.  When we compare and contrast the adventures of the characters in two different stories, we are addressing standard RL1.9. One reason why we teach comparing and contrasting is to notice the similarities and differences between two approaches on the same topic or story line so we can better analyze and understand each individual approach. 

     But before we can even start comparing and contrasting our two stories, we first have to dig deep into each story on its own.  We need to know each story well.  Otherwise, we won't be able to compare and contrast the two stories effectively.  Today we are getting to know "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" well.  Students will be answering questions and talking to their partners about certain aspects of the story. This addresses standard RL1.1.  As the students are answering my questions, I am expecting them to use evidence from the text in their answers.  They really have to be specific by describing exactly what is happening with the characters, settings, and major events in the story.  When they begin to cite text evidence they are addressing standard RL1.3. If they don't tell me the key details in the story, then I won't consider their answer correct.  I hold really high expectations for my students.  This book also is told from the wolf's point of view.  We are  going to be talking about how the author structured the story so we can see the wolf's side of the story. I will be pointing out clue words and vocabulary to show the students that the wolf is the story teller. When we talk about who is telling the story, we begin to set the foundation for our students understanding what perspective is in future years.  This addresses standard RL1.6.

     For today's lesson, you will need the book "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka.  You will also need to download the list of questions I have for you to ask Questions to Ask For 3 Pigs Stories.  This way, you won't have to flip flop back and forth on the Smartboard slides.  You'll also need the Smartboard Three Pigs and Wolf Compare and Contrast or Activboard Three Pigs Compare and Contrast lesson so you can write details on the circle map. 

Reading and Discussing the Story

20 minutes

     I love to switch groups and partners on a daily basis.  I really believe my students benefit from working with lots of different people. I've included several resources for you here: PartnerPickingCards, fun ways to group students, and sorting sticks, so you can group your students in different ways.  We are always switching up how we pick partners so my students don't get bored with one system. 

     After my students were partnered up, I had them sit on the floor next to each other in front of the Smartboard. I said, " You have 20 seconds to determine who will be Person 1 and who will be Person 2." Then  I started by stating the objective and giving them an overview for what we were learning this week.  I said, " This week we are going to read two different 3 Little Pigs Stories and we are going to compare and contrast those stories.  Today we will read one of those stories.  I will ask you questions about the stories and you are going to describe the characters, setting, and major events by telling me the details in the story. Then we are going to record our information on a circle map."

     I had to read for quite some time before I could stop and ask a question.  I read all the way to page 14.  Then I stopped and said, " My question is What happened after the wolf sneezed the straw house down? Person 1 -  you will get to speak and Person 2 you will be the listener. Remember you need to speak in complete sentences. Go." 

     After partners had discussed the details, I continued on.  I read to page 18.  After reading that page I said, " My question is What made the house of sticks come down? Person 2 - You are the speaker this time and Person 1 you are the listener.  Remember you need to speak in complete sentences. Go."

     We continued on in this manner, reading and stopping to ask and answer questions along the way. Person 1 and 2 would take turns being the speaker and listener.  The remaining questions were: 

  • What did the wolf do with the pig that lived in the house of sticks? 
  • Did the pigs have any help keeping the wolf away? 
  • Why did the wolf say when he was in jail? 
  • Who is telling the story in this book?
  • How did the wolf feel throughout the story?
  • What happened to the wolf at the end of the story?


I have a video here Discussing Our Story As Partners - Day One 3 Pigs . Partners are discussing the story together.  This may give you an idea of what discussion might look like in your classroom.

Answering Questions and Recording the Details on a Circle Map

15 minutes

     After the students were done discussing the story with their partners it was time to record the information on our circle map.  I opened up my Smartboard lesson and turned to slide 7 where the circle map was.  By discussing these questions again all my students benefit from hearing the details in the story one more time.  It just gives everyone the opportunity  for the story to "sink in". If your students are ready at this point for more independence, you may give them this opportunity to record the answers to the questions in partners or on their own.

     I started asking the following questions:

  • What happened after the wolf sneezed the straw house down? 
  • What made the house of sticks come down?
  • What did the wolf do with the pig that lived in the house of sticks?
  • Did the pigs have any help keeping the wolf away?
  • Why did the wolf say when he was in jail? 
  • Who is telling the story in this book?
  • How did the wolf feel throughout the story?
  • What happened to the wolf at the end of the story?

     You will notice that on the question sheet I have the teacher recording the answers to each question in a different color.  There is a method to my madness.  When we get to the day 3 lesson we will make a double bubble map.  The bubbles are the same color as your answers.  The students will correlate which piece of information needs to go in which bubble on the circle map. 

    Once I asked the questions, I called on students to answer.  I would ask the rest of the group, " Do you agree? Do we need to add anything?" And then I would record the answer in the appropriate color.  I have a video of our class discussion here Discussing Our Story as a Class - Day One 3 Pigs  for you to view.


5 minutes

     I have always struggled with the closure parts of my lessons, so I've really tried to work on that this year.  I found some ideas on the internet and done some great closures with my Facebook and Twitter Posters.  But ...... I'm getting bored with those.  So I found another resource with over 40 different ways to do a closure.  I decided to try #24 on the list - the 5 W's.  It's a simple closure really. 

     Partners looked at each other and each got a turn to explain the 5 W's of the book - who, what, when, where, and why.  It's a closure that really ties in with the RL1.1 standard of asking and answering questions about the key details of the story, and it's quick and to the point.  Just how I like my closures to be. I have included the list of closure ideas for you here (40 ways to leave a lesson) if you struggle with closures just like I  used to.