If you haven’t had a chance to read The True Story of The Little Pigs As told by Jon Scieszka , here is your chance! It is hilarious!! It is the story of the three little pigs from the point of view of the wolf…..he claims he was framed and that it was a simple misunderstanding over a cold and some sugar… It is not only a fun book to read, it is perfect for highlighting points of view and how instrumentation makes a difference in a piece of music!
Here is a lesson that can create a bridge between you and the classroom teachers while answering the question “Does instrument choice make a difference when composing?”

NOTE: Throughout the year, I bet you have highlighted instrumentation in pieces that you have listened to with the kids. You can either review those pieces and what was discussed or choose new ones.

Objective: Create a composition:

  • A Section ~ using “Little pig, little pig, let me in!” and “Little pig, little pig, are you in?”
  • B, C and D Sections created by small groups


  1. Read both books
  2. Discuss similarities and differences
    • Why point of view matters ~ can link to school incidents and why teachers need to hear from all who are involved
  3. Have kids notate “Little pig, little pig, let me in!!”/ “Little pig, little pig, are you in?”
    • (M I M I | I I I Z)
  4. Discuss the difference in tone between these 2 very similar phrases
    • Have kids choose different instruments for each
    • Discuss why instruments like the triangle may not be the best choice for the angrier version
    • Decide on order and put them back to back ~ this will be your A Section
  5. Next, put kids into small groups and have each create a 4 mm composition paying special attention to instrumentation.
    • Each group can create a story around their composition and choose instruments and creative elements accordingly. Example: one composition could be about the first pig running around his house in fear. What is his point of view at this point? What is he thinking? Does it make sense to use short sounds or long ones? Several or just a few? Would it be loud or quiet? What instrument in the classroom will create the desired effect? Etc…. Each group needs to have this discussion and choose how they want to proceed. Then when they present their composition to the group, they can explain either before or after it is performed what it is about. (Can the others guess?)
    • Each group will create the B, C, D etc… Sections for the piece, as it will be in rondo form. (Discuss as a class what order they like. Also, it doesn’t have to be in rondo form. Maybe they want to put it in a specific sequence ~ its up to them!!)
  6. Perform the final composition!

I am about to start this process with my second grade for the spring concert. I will share the final piece! …..and please do the same! If you try this lesson or any others, please let us know how it goes and post at #noteknackslessons!