“Pig in a Wig,” by Alan MacDonald, is a featured title in the Scott Foresman Reading Street reading curriculum for first grade students. “Pig in a Wig,” has a main character, Peggoty Pig, who is happy with her appearance, until the lambs on the farm make fun of her for being bald and pink. To fit in, Peggoty makes a wig of curly locks, only to discover that real beauty comes from being yourself. Expand this first-grade text by using enrichment activities that build vocabulary and introduce the concept of self-esteem.
A Day on the Farm
One of Peggoty’s problems in “Pig in a Wig” is that the lambs do not understand her. Children often experience similar issues when someone new is introduced to a group. For this activity, bring photographs, picture books and DVDs about farm life. Have the students choose a picture of a favorite farm animal, and then they can draw and color a picture of their choice. Then, they should share the characteristics of that animal with the rest of the class. For example: Horses eat hay and grass. They have a hairy mane and tail. Point out how the animals are different and how each animal has a job to do. Talk about why differences may have made it difficult for the lambs and the pig to understand each other.
The Short "I" Sound
In the story “Pig in a Wig,” the author often uses the short "i" sound, such as with the words "pig" and "wig." Using a large, lined paper template, choose a familiar sentence or two from the story that includes the short "i" sound. Omit the "i" from the words in the sentences and then make a copy of the template for each student. Let the students fill in the blanks, saying the short "i" sound as they complete the word, writing the missing short "i" in the word. Have the students paste their sentences on preprinted pictures of a pink pig. Display the work on the wall in the hallway or around the classroom.
The Amazing Attribute Bag
Peggoty’s obsession with having hair caused her to make a funny choice in the story "The Pig in the Wig." Hair and other physical characteristics are called attributes. Use this opportunity to talk about attributes and how each animal in the story and each person in the room are different from each other. Place a secret object in a brown paper bag and have the children ask questions about the secret object. For example, they can ask: Is it alive? Does it have feathers? Can you eat it? Continue to answer questions until the students are ready to guess the object in the bag.
Wonderful Word Wall
Word walls are an effective way to teach the students the vocabulary from a specific story. First grade classrooms often have word walls that are used for a particular story or activity. Decorate your classroom word wall to reflect the story, “Pig in a Wig.” Use barns, fences, tractors and farm animals. Add a new vocabulary word from the story to the word wall each day of the unit.
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