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Using Picture Books Draws Interest
As a middle school teacher, I am constantly looking for ways to enhance understanding of basic reading and writing skills. In my experience, using picture books, such as The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, is a great way to draw interest from students while teaching them necessary skills. My students love picture books, and Scieszka’s retelling of “The Three Little Pigs” happens to be one their favorites.
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This activity is designed to teach point of view. It can be used for elementary or middle school students as an introduction to point of view or for review purposes.
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Reading the Story
Listen to the audio version of the classic fairytale “The Three Little Pigs.” Have your students fill out the first set of discussion questions at the end of this page. Read the story aloud. Have your students fill out the second set of questions over this story. Allow your students to trade papers and check their answers.
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Point of View Notes to Teach
First Person - the story is told from the perspective of a character in the story. He or she uses words like, “I,” “me,” and “we.” Examples: The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Second Person - the story is told from your perspective, making you (the reader) a character in the story. The author uses words like, “you” and “your.” This is the rarest point of view used in literature. Examples: Choose Your Own Adventure series by Edward Packard, R.A. Montgomery, and various other authors
Third Person - the story is told from an outsider’s, person not in the story, perspective. The author uses words like, “they,” “he,” “she,” “it,” or “them.” Examples: “The Three Little Pigs,” Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
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Question & Answer Over Point of View
After listening to or reading The Three Little Pigs, answer questions 1-5.
Read or listen to The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs next. Answer questions 6-10.
1. Who is telling the story The Three Little Pigs?
2. From what point of view is The Three Little Pigs told?
3. What word(s) if any told you it was told from that point of view?
4. Why do you think the author chose to tell it from that point of view?
5. How would the story change if it was told from a different point of view?
6. Who is telling the story The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs?
7. From what point of view is The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs told?
8. What word(s) if any told you it was told from that point of view?
9. Why do you think the author chose to tell it from that point of view?
10. How would the story change if it was told from a different point of view?
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Practice with a Game of Point of View
After the lesson, play Point of View Ball.
Students need to sit on top of their desks.
Begin by holding a beach ball and explaining that the students will pass it around to each other and answer questions over the story or point of view.
Remind them that they must make eye contact with the person holding the ball and that they cannot talk if they do not have the beach ball in hand.
I typically throw in an additional rule about talking, saying that if they talk and do not have the beach ball, they are automatically out of the game.
Throw the beach ball to one of your students and ask him/her a question over the story or point of view. If he/she answers correctly, they stay in the game. If he/she answers incorrectly, he/she is out and sits in the chair.
The ball goes to the next student and the process is repeated until time runs out or only one student remains on his/her desk.
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The End Result
Teaching point of view using Scieszka’s picture book will yield to higher understanding of point of view and how authors use it to enhance their stories. Use this activity as an introductory piece, or as a review. Your students will love it!
- Classroom experience.