When I got "Ten Hungry Pigs" in my Scholastic book order a couple of months ago, I instantly fell in love with it. It's cute, funny and perfect for working on counting skills. I knew this was the next book I wanted to adapt for my students.
Core vocabulary is at the heart of all we do. It's so much easier to work activities around core vocabulary (those set of words that we use most often) and add some fringe (those words specific to an activity) than to make theme or activity boards. This way the children begin to learn where certain words are on their boards and learn to communicate faster.
On the first day I have the children work on making the sentence "I see # pigs" by pointing to the words on their board.
We then make a large class book. Each child makes one page and then we bind it together. Some children are ready for the number word and some are working on the numerals. The aim of this activity is to work on sentence structure. Just because my students can't talk doesn't mean we can't be working on proper sentences.
On the second day we worked on making a big chart about what food each pig liked. Again, we worked on making sentences and putting words together.
The children then made individual books to demonstrate their learning. They completed the sentence and added the picture of the food item. For children who are able to draw, I had them draw a picture of the food item. For child who are non-verbal and have little fine motor skills, I held up two food item choices and had them eye gaze to the one they wanted. I then used hand-over-hand to help them glue their choice into their book.
On day three we talked about personal preferences and what the children themselves liked or didn't like. These types of questions are great for getting to know the likes and dislikes of our class. Don't worry about the vocabulary being exact on their communication boards. "Not like" is perfectly acceptable. Remember, we want them to use what they have to get their point across. There isn't room on the boards for every negative. Teaching the children to use the "not" symbol, opens up a wide range of options when it is combined with other words ( ie. "not happy" rather than "unhappy").
On the forth day we talked about what each pig put on the pile in order. In this way we are retelling the story in order. The children have practiced using a lot of the vocabulary already.
On the last day I concentrated on asking the children questions about the story. It's important to practice answering questions that require more than a "yes/no" answer. I tried to include some fringe vocabulary that would lend itself to questions. The response sheet is made up of yes/no questions so that we practice both.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.
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