Language Arts Strand

Puppets, Pigs and Props


Lesson Overview:

Students do it all! Working in small groups, students interpret the Three Healthy Little Pigs? story into a puppet show. The emphasis will be on healthy, happy hearts.  The puppets can be constructed in an art class.  Students will make their own puppets (out of paper bags) and different puppet parts that they can personalize. The grand finale will be performing their puppet show for an audience.


Connection to the Core Lesson:

The core lesson (My Healthy Heart Booklet) introduces many concepts about keeping the heart healthy, in terms of both physical activity and nutrition. Using the information they learned in the core lesson, this lesson will challenge them to identify healthy and unhealthy behaviors in the Three Healthy Little Pigs? story and in their own lives.


Content Standards Addressed: 

Common Core State Standards

National Standards


Learning Objectives:

After completing the lesson, students should:
  • Use imagination as a source of ideas.
  • Understand and follow a step-by-step presentation of art activities.
  • Use words that name characters and settings (who, where) and words that tell action and events (what happened, what did ___ do) in simple texts.
  • Write and/or participate in writing by using an author's model of language and extending the model.
  • Extend skills in using oral and written language:
    • Use clear and precise language to paraphrase messages.
    • Engage in extended oral discussions.
    • Produce written products.
Materials Needed:
  • Pencils.
  • Paper.
  • Materials to make puppets (e.g., paper lunch bags, crayons or markets, tape or glue).
  • Copies of the Puppet Parts reproducible.
  • An area to perform the puppet shows (a folding table dropped down on its side works well for this purpose).

Suggested Lesson Steps:

1. Review the healthy behaviors related to exercise and nutrition discussed in the core activity:
  • Exercise - Your heart is a muscle, so it needs exercise just like your leg and arm muscles. Getting and keeping your heart in shape requires you to do aerobic exercise like walking, running or swimming. The more exercise you do, the healthier your heart will be.
  • Eat Right - Eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables makes your heart healthy too.  Healthy foods have many important vitamins and nutrients that help to make your heart stronger and give you energy. Eating less sugar and less fat are also good ideas for keeping your heart healthy.

2. Read the story Three Healthy Little Pigs? aloud to the class.

3. Explain they will work with two partners to act out a puppet show of the story. Ask students to choose which role (pig) they'd like to play within their group or assign them each a role.

4. Give each student a bag and a copy of the Puppet Parts reproducible. Explain they will be making the bag into a pig puppet for their role in the puppet show. They can use whichever parts they choose, and then color those pieces. Instruct students to cut out the pieces they want to use, then color them and tape or glue them to their lunch bag.

5. For creating the puppet show, try to decide what your students are capable of doing. You might act as a narrator of the story while each group performs the story with its puppets. You might give each group complete control over how they act out the story. If you do want students to act it out on their own, have the groups decide how they want to present their show. Provide examples such as: having the pigs talk to each other, describing their day; having the pigs talk to the rest of the class; or having the pigs simply act out each activity they did over the course of that day.

6. Students should practice their shows and then present them to the class.  They should be able to recall (and then emphasize) the behaviors in the story that represented healthy heart behaviors.

Academic Extensions/Modifications:
  • Older students could be challenged to create their own puppet show that emphasizes healthy habits, perhaps even writing their own scripts for the puppet show.
  • The puppet shows could be performed for another class to teach the students about heart health, or for parents.
  • Build additional excitement about the puppet shows by encouraging students to make or find costumes that fit with the activities in the story.
  • Have students brainstorm a list of words that use the word heart (e.g. heartbeat, heartthrob, heartless).