Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How the Pig Got a Curl in His Tail

Ann Nichols


The students listen to a retold story from my childhood, They demonstrate comprehension using visual and concrete materials to retell the story.


The student increases comprehension by rereading, retelling, and discussion.

The student retells specific details of information heard, including sequence of events.

The student identifies the story elements of setting, plot, character, problem, and solution/resolution.


-Pink pipe cleaners
-Copies of the story (see associated file)
-Computer capable of showing PowerPoint
-Small empty plastic soda bottles (for Extension)
-Pink felt (for Extension)
-Fabric glue (for Extension)
-Corks (5 per child-for Extension)
-Pre-cut pig puppet faces (machine available at media center)
-Paper bags (size-to fit child's hand)
-Silver glitter
-Chart for poem


-Become familiar with PowerPoint presentation in the Associated file.
-Duplicate student story copy in the associated file.
-Pre-cut pig faces from construction paper to glue to paper bags to be used at home when students retell the story to their parents.


This lesson provides an opportunity for the students to identify a main idea or essential message from a story. It allows them to demonstrate the ability to sequence events and use strategy to comprehend text.

1. Introduce the story by explaining the importance of being unselfish. Ask students for examples.

2. Tell the story and/or do PowerPoint presentation. Be sure to become familiar enough with the story that you can add drama. (Story text is in the associated file.) Point out the words on the slides and make sure students know what they mean. (The PowerPoint slides contain many moving graphics so you should preview it before using it in your classroom.)

3. At the appropriate time, sprinkle silver glitter (over a trash can) to perform -magic.-

4. Use pink pipe cleaner to convey the ending. Curl it around a pencil.

5. Make paper bag pig puppets with students. Have them answer questions about the story such as: Why was the fairy crying? Who came by first? Why didn't he help her? How do you think that made her feel? etc. Include higher level thinking questions such as: What was the problem? Which characters were being selfish? How did the pig solve the problem? Could this story have taken place somewhere else? etc. Then pair students and have them retell the story to their partners. Circulate and listen as children are retelling.

6. Send home student copies (see attached file) of the story with a note asking parents to have the children retell the story to them. Tell students to use their paper bag pig puppets to retell the story to their parents. Attach a pink pipe cleaner to the story so that children can create the -tail.-


Observe children as they listen to the PowerPoint presentation. Watch for actions that indicate good listening skills. Listen as the children retell and discuss the story in their own words. Students should be able to tell the main idea, explain the problem, list the events and characters in sequence, and retell the ending. Students should be able to answer the oral questions about the story. They should also be able to use the vocabulary in the printed copies such as 'mane', 'feathers', 'thorns', etc. Students who have difficulty retelling the story may need to view it again. You may need to offer guiding questions and clues as they rewatch and listen to it. Allow time for them to retell the story listening for the criteria listed previously.


When a farm unit is studied, read the poem, -Down on the Farm.- For Christmas gifts to parents, make piggy banks from small, clear plastic soda bottles. Pink felt can be used for the ears, corks for the feet and nose, and pink pipe cleaners for the tails. Prior to glueing on items, an adult should make a slit in the bottle so that it can be used as a piggy bank.
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