Princess Pigtoria and the Pea by Pamela Duncan Edwards

March Theme:  Word Choice

For the first half of 2011, I will take time to focus on picture books that you can use with each of the Six Traits of Writing.  Each month will be dedicated to a new trait.

December 2010 – Ideas

January 2011 – Organization

February 2011 – Voice

This month’s theme is Word Choice.  How can we use picture books to model for students how authors pick specific words for their writing?  How do authors use words to convey a feeling or a get a point across?

Recommended Grades: K-3

Princess Pigtoria And The Pea is a porcine version of The Princess and the Pea.  Pigtoria wants to marry the prince, but must pass his tests first. Only a perfect princess will do.  Will Pigtoria pass the tests and become the new Princess?

Lesson idea: As you read this book aloud, you will notice the creative use of words that begin with “p” as part of the craft (typically known as alliteration).  Princess Pigtoria is very poor and her palace is a pigsty.  Read aloud this book and discuss how the author used mainly words that begin with the letter “p.”  How does that affect the read aloud?  Does it make it fun to play with words?  Brainstorm with students ways to use a different letter in place of the “p” words.  What would happen if you could change all (or most of) the “p” words to words that begin with “b”?  Does it change the story?  Provide an opportunity to play with words that begin with the same letter.  Ask students to begin running lists of words that begin with the same letter in their writer’s notebook.  Encourage them to create a writing piece similar to Edwards by using words that begin with the same letter.

If you are looking for additional resources and ways to teach word choice to students, find past posts under the Word Choice tag.

**Note** I provide these lesson ideas under the assumption that you are familiar with The Six Traits of Writing.  If you are not, and would like more information on teaching students about organization or any other six traits component, please feel free to contact me at Dlittle[at]linkstoliteracy[dot]com.  I am happy to provide more specific lessons or resources if necessary.

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