Three little pigs and beyond - experience plan

Develop children's higher order language skills while re-telling the familiar fairy tale The Three Little Pigs.

This storytelling experience incorporates the familiar fairy tale The Three Little Pigs and builds in opportunities to develop children’s higher order language skills throughout the re-telling of the story.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • interacting with others
  • language and emergent literacy learner (42-60 months of age)
  • learning foci: higher order language and stories, narratives
  • teaching practice: storytelling.

Collect information

What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Outcome 4: learning

Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity:

  • are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning.

Outcome 5: communication

Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts:

  • explore texts from a range of different perspectives and begin to analyse the meanings.
  • listen and respond to sounds and patterns in speech, stories and rhymes in context.

Victorian Curriculum levels F-2: literature

  • Respond to texts, identifying favourite stories, authors and illustrators.
  • Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts.

Learning intentions

  • For children to understand and use figurative language within a familiar story.
  • For children to make inferences and predictions within a familiar story.

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • understand figurative language within the story such as “as quick as a flash” or re-tell parts of the story using figurative language such as “as quiet as a mouse”
  • make comments and/or respond to questions where they infer meaning from the story, e.g. “I think he must’ve been feeling scared” or “I think the pigs might run off to find their friend”.


  • Story props: three houses, three pigs and the wolf.

Note: Children may wish to make the houses themselves using recycled materials.

Group size

Small groups (two-five children) or medium sized group.


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • for a child who understands and uses language at a more literal level, support this child to answer questions relating specifically to facts within the story, e.g. “How many pigs were there?” Provide hints and opportunities for this child to re-tell parts of the story.
  • for a child who understands figurative language and uses these phrases within the story, educators could extend their skills by asking them to generate their own descriptors of characters or events using figurative language, providing prompts such as “the wolf is very scary, how could we describe him to our listeners? As scary as……?”

Experience process

  1. Introduce the experience:
    • explain to the children that they are going to be told the story of The Three Little Pigs and that they will have opportunities to re-tell the story
  2. Tell the story of the Three Little Pigs, employing the following strategies as appropriate:
    • use props, gestures, facial expressions, body movements and vocal changes to add meaning and interest to the story throughout
    • encourage the children to join in with specific parts of the story. e.g. “Little pig, little pig, let me in.”
    • purposefully adapt the story to incorporate some figurative language. e.g., ‘The first little pig, ran like the wind’ or ‘The wolf said to himself, I’m so hungry I could eat a horse’ or ‘The pigs were shaking in their boots with fear”. Make a mental note of these additions and revisit each phrase to discuss the meaning with the children
    • use discussion to support the children’s learning of these forms of language, e.g. “Would the wolf really want to eat a horse?” or “What do you think it means to run like the wind? Would this be fast or slow?”
    • encourage the children to talk about various phrases using figurative language they may have heard adults use
    • after the story, ask the children questions to encourage them to infer meaning from the story and make predictions. If appropriate, some questions could be interspersed throughout the storytelling. For example, “Why do you think he did that?” or “How might the wolf be feeling at this point? Why?”
  3. To consolidate and assess understanding, re-tell the story and have the children take the lead in telling the story. Model figurative language and ask the children different questions (from previous storytelling) that require inferred meaning.

Going further

This experience can be extended by asking children to come up with an alternative ending for the story. For example, the wolf becomes friends with the pigs and helps them to re-build their houses. The educator could tell the new story with children adding in figurative language, and the group discussing the various meanings.

Reflect and review

Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional and alternate resources for this learning experience

  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Jack and the Beanstalk.