If You Give a Pig a Pancake Read Aloud Lesson Plan


This lesson will allow students to explore cause and effect relationships as it applies to the story If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. The lesson will focus on defining the terms cause and effect and identifying specific cause and effect events in the story.

LA SOL 1.8 The student will expand vocabulary.

a) Discuss meanings of words in context.

b) Develop vocabulary by listening to and reading a variety of texts.

c) Ask for the meaning of unknown words and make connections to familiar words.

d) Use text clues such as words or pictures to discern meanings of unknown words.

e) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

LA SOL 1.9 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of fictional texts.

a) Preview the selection.

b) Set a purpose for reading.

c) Relate previous experiences to what is read.

d) Make and confirm predictions.

e) Ask and answer who, what, when, where, why, and how questions about what is read.

f) Identify characters, setting, and important events.

g) Retell stories and events, using beginning, middle, and end.

h) Identify the main idea or theme.

i) Read and reread familiar stories, poems, and passages with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.


The student will be able to identify cause and effect events in the story If You Give a Pig a Pancake by writing the missing aspects on their cause and effect worksheet with 100% accuracy.


Introduction: Have the students gather on the carpet for a reading of If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff. Show the students the cover and read the title of the book. Ask them to predict what the book will be about. Listen to a few predictions, and then reveal that this book will also be about causes and effects (they have been reviewing this). Ask the students what cause and effect means. Make sure they understand that the effect is what happened and the cause is why it happened. Tell them there will be examples of it in the story. Tell them to keep that in mind throughout the story because they will be talking about it afterwards. They will need to remember who the characters are and what happened, so they will need to pay attention.

Development: Read the book to the students (A & V). Pause at predetermined spots to ask students to make more predictions. When the story is over, ask them if their predictions were correct. Ask the students these questions so they can demonstrate their comprehension (A):

  • Who was eating pancakes in the story? (The girl and the pig)
  • How did the pig get all sticky? (From eating pancakes with maple syrup) So the maple syrup made the pig sticky? Let’s separate that into a cause and an effect. What happened and why did it happen?

Demonstrate separating cause and effect by holding your hands apart, and pretending the cause is in one hand and the effect is in the other (V & K). For the rest of these questions, use this visual to help the students understand that they are two separate things.

  • (Turn to the page where they are mailing letters) What are the characters doing here? (Getting envelopes and stamps) Why? (To mail pictures to the pig’s friends) What is the cause and effect in this situation? (The cause is she wanted to mail the pictures, and the effect is getting envelopes and stamps)

Ask the students for another crazy thing the pig did. Turn to that page and complete the same line of questioning to determine the cause and effect (A & V). Once finished, tell the class that they will be identifying either the cause or the effect in four situations. Show them the worksheet anIfYouGiveaPigaPancakeCauseandEffect-page-001d tell them that they have been given one or the other. It is their job to fill in the missing piece. They will draw and label the answer (V), just like the side that has been given to them. Ask if they have any questions. Once questions have been answered dismiss the students to their seats and pass out the worksheets. Go through the first question with the students so they understand the process and what is expected of them. Circulate around the room and answer questions the students may have.

Differentiation: Students may participate in the class discussion to the best of their ability. The purpose of it is to prepare students for completing the worksheet. For students who may struggle doing this, the teacher can work with them because the rest of the class should be working independently. FThe duck will make her homesickor students who are advanced, they can be given a worksheet with extra causes and effects to complete. Depending on how difficult they need it to be, they can complete the worksheet with 4 new situations, or the blank one where they have to define their own.

Summary: Once the students have finished they will turn in their worksheets. Time permitting, discuss the answers to each question and why it is either the cause or effect. Answer any questions the students may have, and clear up any misconceptions they may have.


  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
  • Projector
  • List of questions for discussion
  • Cause and effect worksheets (original downloaded from TpT)
  • Pencils

Evaluation Part A:

If the students fill in the cause and effect spots with a correct answer they will have met the objective. Their answer must include a picture and label.

Evaluation Part B:

Did the students meet the objective? How do you know?

Not everyone completed the worksheet in the allotted time, and some of the students’ answers were not correct.

Did the lesson accommodate the needs of all your learners?

The lesson has many points to check for understanding throughout the read aloud, and while the class is completing the worksheet the teacher circulates the room to help students individually. Students who have trouble ca receive specific attention, and those who finish early were allowed to color their pictures.

What were the strengths?

The discussion portion of the read aloud reviewed the focus of the lesson: cause and effect. The structure allowed the teacher to assess the students’ understanding throughout the discussion, and when the students were prepared they could move on to the assessment.

What were the weakness?

Some students needed more individual help than others, and I was not able to spend enough time with them. My practicum teacher was able to help me in this aspect, but without a second teacher the lesson would not be as successful.

How would you change the lesson if you could teach it again?

I would have the students write “why” next to cause and “what/how” next to effect. Some of the students mixed up the meaning of the two, and writing the definitions would help them remember. I would also have the students work in groups. This would allow the students to ask each other for help with spelling, instead of the teacher. They would also be able to figure out the solution together, hopefully expediting the process.

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