"The Pig in a Wig," written by Alan MacDonald and illustrated by Paul Hess, is appropriate for pre-K through third-grade students. You can hook your students with a pre-reading activity, keep them engaged with a follow-along activity, check for further understanding with a post-reading activity and allow for creative growth with an enrichment activity. You can adjust these "Pig in a Wig" story activities to tie them in nicely to your overall teaching unit or lesson plan.
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You can engage your students from the start with an interesting, educational and comical pre-reading activity. Gather photos or create your own pictures of pigs wearing different clothing. Post these around your classroom before showing the children the book. Ask them to discuss what is wrong with these pictures. Do pigs wear clothes? Do pigs need clothes? If pigs were going to wear clothes, what would be the best clothing for them to wear? Follow up by educating your students with some pig facts that are appropriate for the kids' age and grade level.
You can introduce the book to students by showing them the cover, discussing it and telling them a bit about the author and illustrator. Ask them to listen closely while you read. Explain that you want them to be ready to retell the story to you after you finish reading it. After you finish reading the book, quiz your students orally about the sequence of events that take place in the story.
For your post-reading activity, ask your students deeper level thinking questions to generate a higher level discussion. For example, why would the lambs want to pick on the poor pig? What made the pig feel better about herself? Is bullying ever acceptable? Have you ever been picked on by someone else? How did it make you feel? Have you ever picked on someone else? Was that the right thing to do? Does hair make someone beautiful? What is real beauty?
Have students draw, write or act out their version of this story. Ask them to think about the real message of Alan MacDonald's book and to think of a positive message to convey with their own stories. Give them sample titles to choose from such as, "The Dog on a Log," "The Fish in a Dish," "The Goat in a Coat" and "The Gnat in a Hat," or let them generate their own rhyming animal titles.
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