“The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” By Jon Scieszka
Writer’s Craft: Craft of Text Structure (Conversation/Journal Text)
6 Traits of Writing: Ideas, Voice
Rationale: I chose this book because it is very funny. It is one of my favorites. Every child is familiar with the original story of “The 3 Little Pigs.” “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” is a great book to use to teach point of view and the craft of text called conversation or journal text. It is also a great of example of ideas and voice from the 6 traits of writing.
1. The students will identify the text craft used in the story.
2. The students will compare and contrast the original “3 Little Pigs” story to “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.”
3. The students will generate ideas for their writing based on the story, “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.”
4. The students will rewrite a classic children’s story from a different character’s perspective.
Time: Three 45 minute periods
Grade Level: 2nd - 5th grade
Anticipatory Set: You have heard the saying, “there are two sides to every story.” Have you ever been on a trip and then heard your brother or sister retell a story about an event that happened? When you heard it, you may have been thinking, “that is not the way I remember it happening.” The story we are going to read is a perfect example of two ways of telling the same story. You may have heard the story “The 3 Little Pigs,” but you have never heard it told by the wolf!
Prior Knowledge: Can you tell me the story of the 3 Little Pigs? What order do the events happen? Summarize the story for me. This book is a different version of that story. It is not told by the pig though, it is told by the wolf. Do you think the wolf will have a different version of the story? Look at the front cover. What do you notice? What does the cover remind you of? It kind of looks like a newspaper article. Who is reading the paper? Do you think this is an important detail?
Read as a Reader: Read the story aloud to the students.
After the story:
Were your predictions correct? Did the wolf tell the story differently? How did his story differ from the original story? Compare and contrast the two stories using a venn diagram as a class. What did you like about this story? Which story do you like better? Which one do you think is more accurate, or really happened? What made you laugh? When we laugh out loud at a story we say the writer has good voice. Voice is when you are able to connect with the writer and feel what that characters feel. When a story affects our emotions it is because the writer has effectively used the trait of voice.
Reread as a Writer: I am going to read the story again to you. This time I want you to pay attention to how the writer writes. What does the writer do to create voice in his story? What craft do you see him using within the text? The story is written like the wolf and the reader are able to hear and speak to one another. The wolf actually responds to what he anticipates the reader to be thinking or saying. It is kind of like a journal entry. The writer has chosen to write as if he (the wolf) were having a conversation with you. Is this effective? Did you feel like the wolf was really talking to you?
For Example . . .
“I’m the wolf. Alexander T. Wolf. You can call me Al. I don’t know how this whole Big Bad Wolf thing got started, but it’s all wrong. Maybe it’s because of our diet. Hey, it’s not my fault wolves eat cute little animals like bunnies and sheep and pigs. That’s just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks would probably think you were Big and Bad, too.”
Writing Practice: Could you use this writer’s craft in your own writing? The author took a classic story in children’s literature and retold it from a different character’s perspective in a conversational journal craft. This story is also a great example of the ideas trait. What stories could we rewrite from a different character’s perspective? Let’s brainstorm some ideas and write them in the ideas section of our writer’s notebook.
Assessment: The students will add ideas to their writer’s notebook. They will also rewrite a children’s story from a different character’s point of view. Students will try to infuse the voice trait into their writing by using the conversational journal craft. They could continue to add to their ideas notebook examples of “real” stories from their lives that could be written from a different person’s point of view.