The Big 5: I’ll Huff & I’ll Puff…

The Reading Tree Series

 The Three Little Pigs

“The Big 5 Ideas” of Reading!

_3 Pigs cover

“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!”

We all know these famous words from the captivating classic, The Three Little Pigs. This classic is a great example to demonstrate how you can build  up “The Big 5 Ideas,” of reading while you read it to your child. Using some of “The Big 5” strategies below, you will surely capture your child’s attention and plant some reading seeds along the way!blendchart

Phonemic Awareness-

  • Discuss that “the words huff and puff end in the same sounds and are words that rhyme” “What else can rhyme with huff and puff?”
  • Talk about beginning sounds! “Wolf begins with the letter W! W makes the sound /w/.” Stress the beginning sound of wolf… “/w/ /w/ wolf.“  (Remember to not make the sound for “wu” when saying “w”.)
  • Break up words and listen to how many syllables it has: house= 1,   brick= 1,  mother= 2, discuss how your chin goes down for each syllable


  • Model sounding out the word.  First say each individual sound: “p-i-g,” then sound it out by its onset and rhyme: “p-ig,” and last say the whole word “pig”
  • Point to the word, “little.” Tell your child there are some words you cannot sound out and you just need to memorize them. These words are called sight words. “little is a sight word… let’s spell it! L-I-T-T-L-E! Let’s see if we can find it on the next page! Oh, Look! There it is!”
  • Sound out a word using the “chunking” word reading strategy as you read: “br/ick= brick”   “str/aw= straw”blendchart


  • Make huffing and puffing noises when you say the words huff and puff
  • Create different voices for the 3 pigs and the big, bad wolf
  • If there is a sentence with an exclamation point!, depending on how the sentence reads, read that sentence louder or with excitement
  • When the pigs express that they are scared, when you read the words, make your voice sound like you are scared
  • At the end of the story, say THE END!

Vocabulary- Depending on the version of The Three Little Pigs you are reading, you may come across some different vocabulary words… below are some that I have in my 2 versions.

  • Tools, sturdy, tumble, gobble, inhaled, exhausted, confuse
  • Pick 2 or 3 vocabulary words from your version, explain what the word means, and if possible, give a synonym for the word and point it out in the illustrations
  • For reinforcement, use the vocabulary words that week during playtime with your child… “You were building a tall tower with your blocks and when it got to high the tower tumbled down! Let’s build it up again!… “Wow, your block tower is very tall! It must have taken you a long time to build it! You must be exhausted!”


  • Read The Three Little Pigs 2-4x in the same week!
  • Discuss the title and the front cover illustrations “What do you think this book is going to be about?” “Have you ever seen a pig using tools or living in a house?”    
  • After the 2nd pig’s house gets blown down, stop and summarize the events that have occurred so far and predict what might happen next
  • Ask 2-3 direct questions during and after the reading, such as “What material did the 1st pig use to build his house?”   “How did the wolf destroy 2 of the pig’s houses?”
  • Ask 1-2 open-ended questions during and after the reading, such as, “How do you think the 3rd pig felt when the wolf could not blow his house down?”     “How would this story be different if all the pigs used brick to build their house?”   “What tools and materials would you use to build a house?”

 Now, go! Read this oldie, but goodie to your child…
I bet they will love meeting three sweet pigs and a big, bad wolf today!

Previous posts in our The Reading Tree series:


Joanna Meredith

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