Laura Numeroff is the author of "If You Give a Pig a Pancake," which is one in a series of children's books. In each book, an animal is given a food item and then increases its demands until the story returns full circle to the original food item. Sequencing and retelling activities are commonly studied in early elementary and preschool classrooms but many other activities align with the story, as well. Using sequencing and retelling activities for early elementary and preschool students, "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" can become a favorite literary staple of your classroom.
Mix pancake batter from scratch to practice ingredient measurement with your students. Focus on recognizing fractional amounts from the measuring utensils. Use a portable griddle to cook the pancakes and squirt the batter onto the griddle in the shape of the letter "P." Shapes are commonly learned in preschool and younger elementary classes, so reinforce the knowledge by creating a scene from "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" using shapes cut from construction paper. The pig, for example, may be created with a circle head, body, eyes and snout and triangle-shaped ears and placed next to an oval pancake with a square of butter.
Gather the students in a circle in an open area of the classroom and begin a story in Laura Numeroff's style. Have one student begin the story by choosing a favorite animal and an object. The children must then take turns building the story by adding their own sentences. The story, just like Numeroff's, ends as it began, with the snake, turtle or puppy given the original object. Encourage students to draw an image of an animal and items that begin with the same letter sound to illustrate their own story idea.
Doing their own dramatic presentation of the story can help students recall its events and put them in order. Draw or trace images of the scenes and characters from the book. Color and laminate them onto a piece of card stock. Allow students to retell the story on their own in a play-like manner and review their knowledge of the story steps. You can also encourage children to create a paper plate pig mask by painting the paper plate pink, cutting out the eyes and gluing paper facial features and ears to the mask. Glue a thick wooden craft stick for holding the mask and give each student a turn to be the pig from the story.
Artistic projects allow students to create their own versions of the central character in the story. Create a batch of pink play dough from powdered drink mix by combining 3 tsp. of cream of tartar, 1 cup of flour, 1 envelope of unsweetened powdered drink mix and 1/2 cup of salt in a large saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp. of cooking oil to the dry mixture and stir over medium heat until it begins to look like dough, in approximately eight minutes. Have the children make their own pigs from the pink play dough. You can also make a toilet paper roll into a pink pig by painting the roll pink and allowing it to dry or covering it with pink construction paper. Draw a pig face and four legs on a piece of pink construction paper, cut them out and glue them to the roll. Cut out a circle and glue it over the end of the toilet roll. Coil a two-inch long piece of pink pipe cleaner around a pencil. Poke one end of the pipe cleaner in the end of the roll for the tail.
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