Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What Makes a Pig Squeal?

Chris Carey
Orange County Schools


This activity is a fun way to generate small or large group conversation among groups of students and the teacher. Many children live in urban and suburban settings and do not have opportunities to learn about pigs and their hooves.


The student uses basic conversation strategies (including but not limited to asking questions to clarify or get information, taking turns, raising hand to speak, staying on topic and conveying a message, facing the speaker).


-Pig story and Observations Checklist
-See attached PowerPoint file
-Computer with TV hook-up


1. Gather materials for activity.
2. Have a printed copy of the observation checklist to mark individual student behaviors.
3. Add student names to the observation checklist
4. Print out the story to share with students or set up a computer with PowerPoint and pig story file to project for the students


1. Discuss with the class how pigs get their nails/hooves trimmed. Depending on the ability levels of the class, this discussion can take place in a couple of different ways. Some grouping options include reading groups, work groups, or one large group.

2. Tell the students they will be listening and viewing a story about a pig having her hooves trimmed. (See PowerPoint presentation in the attached file.)

3. Tell the students that after the story, they will be discussing what they saw.

4. Options for sharing the story might include printing out the story from the PowerPoint slides and reading aloud to the class or showing the PowerPoint on a projector.

5. Tell the students that we will now be having a discussion where they will ask questions, take turns raising their hands to speak, speak only about the topic, and convey a message.

6. Lead a discussion in small or large groups with the students, asking them to discuss what they learned from the story and to ask related questions.

7. As students respond in the following ways, record a mark for each response on the Observation Checklist.
ˇasking questions to clarify or get information,
ˇtaking turns,
ˇraising hand to speak,
ˇstaying on topic and conveying a message,
ˇfacing the speaker


Criteria: All students will participate in one or more ways in the conversation by exhibiting several of the following: asking questions to clarify or get information, taking turns, raising hand to speak, staying on topic, and conveying a message, facing the speaker.

Evidence: Observation Checklist with students' names and behaviors to exhibit. Teacher checks off behaviors as students exhibit them.


Have students make a list of other animals that have hooves.
Have students compare and contrast the size of different adult animal hooves. I did not find any acceptable websites that had usable pictures for this activity. Encyclopedias or other classroom resources may have appropriate drawings or photos.

Web Links

Web supplement for What Makes Laura Squeal?
Hoofed Animals at the Fort Worth Zoo

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