The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

Written by: Jon Scieszka

Illustrated by: Lane Smith

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Have you ever considered the story of the Three Little Pigs from the wolf's point of view? Well, you're about to read all about it in this amusing version of the classic story. Talk about the cover and how this story could be different from the original. Ask questions like:

What do you see on the cover?

What does the cover look like? Why do you think it is a newspaper?

Who do you think A. Wolf is?


Activate Prior Knowledge

Ask your child to summarize the traditional version of the Three Little Pigs, and discuss how the characters are portrayed. Ask your child, "How would you describe the three little pigs in the real story? What about the wolf? How do you think this story will be different? How will it be the same?"


As You Read

Vocabulary Building

Allow your child to stop the read-through if s/he has any questions about the story or any words that are used. You may choose to discuss different idioms like "WOLF'S HONOR" and "DEAD AS A DOORKNOB" and explain what they mean given their context.


Make Connections

Make the story more engaging and meaningful by asking questions that connect the story not only to the original, but to the real world and your child's life as well. Compare and contrast different parts with the original, asking how certain parts are perceived in different ways depending on the version. Also, talk about the practicality of the characters' choices. For example, when A. Wolf goes to the first pig's house, he comments on how foolish it is for a house to be built entirely out of straw. Ask your child, "Why isn't it smart to make a house out of straw? What would happen if it rained or was super windy?" Also connect to your child's life by asking questions like, "What would you have done if you were the wolf? Why would you have done that?"


After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

Discuss the story and gauge your child's comprehension with questions like:

Did you like this story? Which do you prefer: this story or the original?

Why do you think A. Wolf wrote this story?

Do you know another story that has a wolf and a grandma?

How could the wolf have prevented all of this? (Covered his nose and mouth when he sneezed, went to the store for some more sugar, etc)

 Extended Learning Exploration

Can You Make A Wolf-Proof House?

Source: Sewing School

Supplies: sugar cubes, "smart" craft sticks, dominoes, gumdrops, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, and anything else you want to try and build a house out of (optional: blowdryer)

Work with your child to construct a house that can withstand A. Wolf's mighty sneeze! The instructions are simple: create houses using different materials and see which ones are the most stable. Your child will have a blast creating different houses and seeing them blow down or stand strong!


Writing Exercise

Re-write another fairytale where the villain is misunderstood. First, brainstorm a list of some other fairytales and determine who the villain or bad guy was in each. How could they have been misrepresented like A. Wolf? Make your story super silly and talk to your child about the necessary components of a story: a beginning, a middle and an end. Also discuss concepts like point of view (your story should be told by the point of view of the villain).