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Updated 9/16/02.

Sample Activity

The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs is a fairy tale familiar to most young children. The characters gain experience in solving problems and making choices, some good and some not so good. The story contains lines that young children love to say over and over, such as Little pig, little pig, let me come in, Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin, and Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in. Many versions of the story are beautifully illustrated by many artists. Find one you like and read the story. This story lends itself easily to a study of wind.

Teacher's Role
Provide a space large enough for children to build the pigs' houses. This area could be located temporarily in the music center if "Three Little Pig" songs are also being used. Read the story and keep copies of the book in the reading center. Discuss with the children the types of materials that could be used to build the houses. Have a variety of building materials such as unit blocks, foam blocks, and hollow blocks available for the children to use. Some teachers use appliance boxes as pig homes and have children bring in sticks and straw to glue to the boxes. Sponge paint to depict bricks for the brick house.

Outcomes
When participating in this activity, children will

  • learn that the story of The Three Little Pigs has a beginning, middle, and end;
  • begin to recognize the sequence of events that take place in the story;
  • acquire an interest in reconstructing the story or inventing a story of their own;
  • explore the building materials to create the pigs' houses;
  • apply their own rules as to how strong the houses they have created are and how powerful the wolf is;
  • construct their own understandings of key components of the story;
  • investigate how strong some building materials are'
  • compare their thinking about story elements to that of others;
  • make comparisons about what else could "blow a house in," such as a hurricane or tornado;
  • apply their learning in new ways by incorporating their building knowledge to new projects;
  • be able to predict the sequence of events in other stories based on knowledge gained from these activities.
Materials Needed
  • Story of The Three Little Pigs
  • Variety of building materials, blocks of different types
  • Songs about The Three Little Pigs
  • Props, such as puppets or masks
Procedure
Set up a dramatic play area for reenactment of the story. Read the story, The Three Little Pigs, to the children. Encourage children to join in saying or signing the repetitive phrases. Distribute props to encourage children to participate in the story. Stimulate their interest in building the houses and reenacting the story.

Adaptations
  • Use signing as you read the story and sing along with the music.
  • Place Velcro strips on building blocks.
  • Create houses on the computer.
  • Use Discover:Switch or TalkPad to program the repetitive phrases from the story so nonverbal children can participate.
Computer Software Applications
Software titles that enable children to build with geometric shapes: Macintosh or PC compatible
  • Gryphon Bricks (Gryphon)
  • Millie's Math House (Edmark)
  • Blocks in Motion (Don Johnston)
Related Activities
  • Create pig and wolf masks from paper plates, crayons, markers, glue, and craft sticks.
  • Provide straw, sticks, and small stones as collage and construction materials so children can create pig houses. Children can be encouraged to verbally compare and contrast the variety of textures of the materials. Provide descriptive words like rough, smooth, bumpy, scratchy.
  • Blow on the materials and see which material blows away the easiest and which material takes the most "huffing and puffing" to blow away.

Listen and move to Greg & Steve's "The Three Little Pigs Blues." It's a lively tune, so be sure to provide plenty of space in the music area for moving to the rhythm of the music.