Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Rest of the Story

Farica King
Santa Rosa District Schools


Using a short story as a writing prompt, students use background knowledge to predict ideas, give rationale for predictions, and confirm predictions as the story progresses. Students also complete a cooperative group writing assignment.


The student predicts ideas or events that may take place in the text, gives rationale for predictions, and confirms and discusses predictions as the story progresses.

The student uses prereading strategies before reading (for example, a KWL or skimming text headings, bold type, and other text features).

The student makes predictions about purpose and organization using background knowledge and text structure knowledge.

The student discusses the meaning and role of point of view in a variety of texts.

The student uses a prewriting strategy suitable for the task (for example, brainstorming, using a graphic organizer, listing ideas).

The student proofreads writing to correct convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation, using dictionaries, handbooks, and other resources, including teacher or peers, as appropriate.


-Student writing folders/daily journals
-Scieszka, John. [The True Story of the Three LIttle Pigs]. New York :Viking Children’s Books. 1991.
-KWL chart per group of 3-4 students (associated file)
-Overhead transparency for recording class KWL chart
-Overhead marker pens
-Writing prompt (associated file)
- Copies of other fairy tale stories (such as -Cinderella-, -Goldilocks and the Three Bears-, -Sleeping Beauty-, -Snow White-, etc.)
-Writing checklist (associated file)
-Scoring rubric (associated file)
-Cooperative worker rating list (associated file)
-Computers/printing capabilities for student use (word processing program is necessary)


1. Obtain a copy of [The True Story of the Three LIttle Pigs] by Jon Scieszka (1991) Viking Children’s Books, New York.
2. Obtain copies of a variety of children’s fairy tales.
3. Download KWL Chart; one copy per group.
4. Create overhead transparency for class KWL Chart.
5. Create overhead transparency to be used for recording predictions.
6. Download writing prompt; one copy per group.
7. Become familiar with all literature used in this lesson.
8. Download writing checklist and rubric; one copy per student.
9. Download cooperative worker rating list; make copies for students.
10. Ensure computers/word processing materials are ready for student use.
11. Place student writing folders/journals in easily accessible area.


Day 1 (55 minute class period)

(Prior to the beginning of class, distribute writing folders/journals to students)

1. Introduce the selection [The True Story of the Three LIttle Pigs]. Gain students’ attention by drawing them into discussion regarding prior knowledge of the fairy tale. Discuss the cover illustration, prior knowledge of the story, author’s point of view, etc.

2. Present objectives of the lesson to students. Discuss the importance of using background knowledge when making predictions as to the content, purpose and organization of the reading selection. Also discuss the author’s purpose and point of view.

3. Using background knowledge of the text, have students record three predictions regarding the reading selection in their daily writing journals (one prediction for each of these topics): content, purpose, and organization of the selection.

4. Provide a KWL chart for each group. Allow approximately 5 to 10 minutes for cooperative groups to discuss and list “What They Know” about the selection.

5. Discuss aloud the “What They Know” ideas from each group. Record responses on the overhead KWL chart.

6. Next, have students discuss “What They Want to Know” in their cooperative groups. Allow approximately 5 to 10 minutes for groups to discuss and list ideas from the discussion time on their KWL chart.

7. As a class, discuss aloud the “What They Want to Know” ideas from each group. Record responses on the overhead KWL chart. Remind students to record information they learn in the “What We Have Learned” section of the group chart as we progress through the lesson.

8. Before beginning the reading portion of the lesson, have students share their predictions regarding the purpose and content of the writing. Record these predictions on the overhead transparency.

9. Begin reading the selection, [The True Story of the Three LIttle Pigs]. Stop periodically and have students provide predictions about forthcoming events in the story. Have students provide rationale for their predictions. Discuss these predictions as a class.

10. Record these predictions on the overhead.

11. Continue reading the selection. Stop and have students verify or reject predictions based upon the text read.

12. Continue reading the selection, following the same process throughout the story. (The illustrations in this story also provide a wonderful opportunity for students to use graphic representations as a source for predicting content and purpose.)

13. At the conclusion of the story, discuss content, purpose and organization of this selection.

14. Provide about five to ten minutes for the cooperative groups to complete their KWL chart. Have students complete the “What We Learned” section of the chart.

15. Discuss aloud the “What We Learned”’ portion of the KWL chart. Record student responses on the KWL overhead transparency.

Day 2 (55 minute class period)

16. Next, discuss how the author’s point of view affects a text, using -The True Story of the Three Little Pigs- as the primary example.

17. Following the discussion on point of view, provide each cooperative group with the writing prompt (download sample). Also provide each group with one children’s fairy tale book.

18. Instruct each group to create a short story based on their fairy tale selection. Each group, however, must retell their story from another person’s point of view. (For example, retell the tale of -Cinderella- from the stepsisters’ point of view, etc.) Determine the length of the story you wish for the students to create and let them know this in advance. (Three to five paragraphs are adequate for this activity.)

19. Students should read the story first before beginning prewriting activities. Students, as a group, select the prewriting strategy they wish to use (brainstorming, graphic organizer,etc.).

20. Use a basic checklist (attached file) to check for: brainstorming, graphic organizers and prewriting strategies in each group. Use this checklist as you “conference” with each group during the writing portion of the activity. Assess the needs of the students during this time. Use the checklist (downloaded from attached file) as you are working with the students. Be sure to provide the students with copies of both the checklist and rubric so they are aware of what is being assessed.

21. Remind students they are completing a finished product. This means they should proofread for errors in organizational pattern, convention errors in mechanics, usage and punctuation and clarity.

Day 3 (55 minute class period)

22. Continue the writing activity as needed. Allow students to finalize their writing and publish using a word processing program.

23. Have students complete cooperative worker rating list. Collect these from the students.

23. Upon completion of the writing activity, have each group share their “opinionated fairy tale” with the class.


1. Collect and assess student writing folders/journals to determine that students have used background knowledge to make predictions about content, purpose and organization of the selection.
2. Collect and assess each groups’ KWL chart to verify that notes and observations reflecting prereading strategies are being used.
3. Assess the writing process through observation and assistance during writing time using the writing checklist (attached file).
4. Assess the final writing product. Collect and assess each groups’ creative writing sample (use downloaded writing checklist and rubric). Assess for the following:
a) author’s point of view
b) correct spelling
c) correct use of capitalization
d) correct use of punctuation
e) correct paragraph indention
f) uses prewriting activity suitable for the task
g) uses an appropriate organizational pattern
5. Cooperative workers: Students working as a group should exhibit the following behaviors: (sample cooperative worker rating list attached)
a) each student contributes to the assignment
b) each student completes designated tasks within the group
c) each student assumes assigned role within the group
Use the cooperative worker rating list to score specific skills.


Students may also write their own autobiographies in “fairy tale” fashion. Have students word process their autobiographical fairy tales and illustrate using graphics. Students enjoy sharing their real life fairy tales with the entire class. (When I have done this lesson in the past, students enjoyed this part of the lesson most of all!)

Web Links

Web supplement for The Rest of the Story
[True Story of the Three Little Pigs]

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