I'm a Changed Pig
Students compare and contrast traditional fairy tales with fractured stories, and write personal narratives, all with an eye for author purpose.
- Grades: 3–5
- Unit Plan:
About this book
Students will write a personal narrative as a response to the fractured fairy tale, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. In the narrative, they take the point of view of the pig in order to describe their personal journey that has led them to become a kinder, gentler pig.
- Compare and contrast the classic fairy tale with the fractured story.
- Complete a graphic organizer.
- Write a personal narrative following the steps of the writing process.
- Publish their completed narrative.
- Collection of fractured fairy tales
- The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig or another similar tale that features role reversals between the villain and the heroes
- Personal Narrative Organizer (PDF)
- Paper and pencils
- Coloring materials, such as crayons, colored pencils, and markers for publishing
Set Up and Prepare
- Gather a large number of fractured fairy tales for students to explore. Use books from your own collection along with those from the school and/or public library. Keep these books out during the entire unit for students to read independently and for them to refer to as models during the writing lessons. To generate the greatest interest, provide a wide variety of fractured classic tales, including versions of Cinderella, The Three Bears, The Three Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood.
- If you have not done so already, preview the Online Activity: Fractured Fairy Tales & Fables. Author Jon Scieszka will take you on a tour of some of his favorite fractured fairy tales to help you build your background and get your creativity flowing before the unit begins.
- Copy the Personal Narrative Organizer (PDF) for each student.
- Have paper, pencils, and art materials available for use.
Step 1: Begin the lesson by asking students to recall the names of some of their favorite fairy tales. After generating a brief list, ask students what all fairy tales have in common.
Step 2: Ask students to summarize one of the classic fairy tales, The Three Little Pigs. Afterwards tell students to keep that story in mind as you read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.
Step 3: Following the story, discuss it with the class. Compare and contrast it with the classic tale. Talk about the main difference (role reversal). Draw a T-chart on the board or on chart paper entitled Big Bad Pig’s Character Traits. Label the left side of the chart Before and the right side of the chart After. Have students list the pig’s personality traits before the flowers changed him and after. Keep the T-chart available for Day Two.
Step 4: Review the premise of the story. Tell students that the main character underwent quite a dramatic change in personality and discuss what some of those changes were. Refer to the T-chart from Day One as needed.
Step 5: Distribute the Graphic Organizer for Personal Narratives (PDF) to each student. Explain and model how it should be completed. Allow students time to complete the organizer. Afterwards students may begin to write their narrative using the graphic organizer as an aid. Have students complete at home if necessary. Remind students to write with voice and any other writing traits you may be highlighting.
Step 6: Ask the students to edit their own Personal Narratives and that of at least one more student. Have a brief conference with each student regarding their paper before they proceed to publishing.
Step 7: Students complete and publish a final draft of their paper. Discuss different ideas for publishing, such as a paper decorated like a house of flowers or a circle designed like a wrecking ball.
Supporting All Learners
Students with limited English proficiency, along with less mature readers, may not understand the concept of satire or irony that is often present in fractured fairy tales. Take the time to explain the author's purpose and the meaning that is intended.
Provide students with the materials and money to build a better stronger house for the wolves. Have them work in small cooperative groups to draw out a plan and design a home. Let students know the materials they will have to use are sugar cubes, toothpicks, craft sticks and glue. Give each group an imaginary amount of money to work with along with a budget. Using home building store circulars and/or calling/visiting home building stores in the area, students can figure out the cost of items such as windows, doors, bathrooms, etc. After calculating costs, students may find that they have to revise their original plans. Have students make a model of the finished house to share with the rest of the class.
Inform your parents in a note or through your class newsletter whenever you begin a new unit in language arts. If you like ask parents to help either in the classroom or at home to help proofread student papers before publishing.
- Complete a graphic organizer
- Write a persuasive essay using the steps of the writing process
Did you have a wide enough variety of fairy tales? Are they any titles you would like to add to your collection for next year? Did you provide adequate time for each step? Did you brainstorm enough ideas together? Did you model enough for students to complete the assignment independently? Were all learners able to complete this lesson successfully? What would you do differently next time to improve this lesson?
- Were the students able to understand the author’s intent?
- Were the students able to compare the pig’s behavior before and after?
- Did students complete the graphic organizer correctly?
- Were the steps of the writing process followed?
- How well did students work together on revising and editing? Were they offering constructive suggestions?
- Was the finished product quality work?