Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lessons with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

I know I must have read it before now. I even saw a dramatic presentation a few years ago. But I can't remember ever enjoying Mrs. Piggle Wiggle like I did this time. My little student and I laughed and laughed, sometimes until tears rolled down my face. Perhaps it's because I "know" some of the children in the book?

Using a Graphic Organizer
In the book, parents seek help from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a woman of immense knowledge when it comes to curing childhood problems. She is able to fix anything from selfishness to messiness to slow eating. Each chapter is dedicated to one child, his/her problem, and the cure to that problem. The book's structure makes it perfect for using a graphic organizer such as a chart.

We chose to set up the top/horizontal with some of the characteristics we wished to compare:

1. Who has a problem?
2. What is the problem?
3. How is the problem solved?
4. What is the result of fixing the problem?

On the left/vertical side, the student recorded chapter titles:
*Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure
*Answer Backer Cure

[The photos do not show the complete chart.]

After reading and discussing each chapter, the student completed the chart. Sometimes this alerted me to elements of the story he hadn't completely comprehended and we could discuss it before he continued.

The book is rich in vocabulary. If I had it to do again I would have started the vocabulary cards (mentioned here) during this book. We had a great time learning the word "impudent" and discussing ways we could use it in day-to-day life.

Problem Solving, Manipulatives
I plan to talk more about this in future posts, but I like to keep my eyes open for problem solving opportunities as we read. A great one presents itself in the chapter titled, "The Selfishness Cure."

Dick is a selfish boy. His mother asks him to divide a box of candy amongst his friends and reminds him not to forget to save some for the neighbor lady who loves candy. Dick proceeds to clout another child on the hand with a baseball bat when she tries to take some. Dicks mother then tells Mary O'Toole "to divide it up among all the children, even the little ones, and to take one or two sticks over to old Mrs. Burry because she [is] so fond of peppermint.

There [are] fifteen children, not counting Dick, and fifty sticks of candy so..."p. 53 (the book goes on to tell how much each child and Mrs. Burry receive...I stopped reading before the answer was revealed.)

After hearing the problem, my student used base 10 pieces to represent pieces of candy. (You could use any manipulative, although base 10 pieces allow students to use 10s and 1s if they would like.) He chose to use the remainder differently than the text. (Mrs. Burry was more fortunate in the story!)

If you find opportunities for problem solving within your reading, I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I loved this book as a child and read it to my second graders one year when I was teaching 2nd grade in Kingstree, SC. those little ones loved it! Thank you for reminding me of a joyful read and how to use it!


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