Book of the Week: The Three Little Pigs

Every Monday, I highlight a book from our school bookroom along with lesson plan suggestions. I hope you find this useful, and please leave a comment with any suggestions or additions!

The Three Little Pigs, by James Marshall

I’ve had this book traveling back and forth from home and school for weeks now, and I suppose it’s high time I featured a lesson for it. Especially because my David Weisner author study has been receiving a number of hits, and because Marshall was featured multiple times in an excellent post about Brian Selznick’s recommended children’s books.

See a video version here:

If you’re looking to go old-school with your traditional stories, you might want to see the minilessons for The Three Billy Goats Gruff. You might also want to rummage around for the James Marshall version of Cinderella that should be in the SFA mentor text bag for Egyptian Cinderella.

There is a CAFE menu included with this mentor text, and I’ve highlighted these as suggested lessons:

  • Retell the story. Students might be tempted to retell a story using their own prior knowledge. Talk about the importance of reflecting what the author wrote — yes, prior knowledge is a powerful tool for comprehension, but it’s important in a retell to share what the author wrote using proof from the text.
  • Recognize literary elements (plot). This might be a good book to open a discussion about similar plot patterns found in books. This lesson on The Rule of Three seems pretty rad.
  • Abundant easy reading. Look! It’s a new strategy! Somehow, having this as a menu item seems to validate what reading experts have been saying for a while now: it’s important for kids to read books that are at their instructional level, yes, but the majority of reading should be happening at 98-99% accuracy. Holy cow! Anyway, maybe your students are loathe to give up their favorite stories.  I know my kids can’t be pried away from Geronimo Stilton and Babymouse, and I don’t think it’s my job to do so, as long as they’re also choosing books that do challenge them.

Please add any lessons or supplemental materials to the book bag so future teachers can utilize your good thinking!

Comments and constructive feedback are always welcomed. Please let me know if these lessons were useful in your class!


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