Literature Connection:

Socrates and the Three Little Pigs by Mitsumasa Anno

Mathematical Strand:



Students will gain an understanding of probablity which will allow them to make reasonable estimates.

Grade Level:


Lesson Created by:

Tracy Tauschek, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description:


  • Socrates and the Three Little Pigs by Mitsumasa Anno, paper, pencils

1. Launching the Lesson

  1. Read the book Socrates and the Three Little Pigs by Mitsumasa Anno. Remind students to listen for math terms. Have students make predictions and help you clarify to the class the possibilities in the book as you read. Have students (in groups of 3) act out some of the possible combinations of ways the pigs could be in the 5 houses.

2. Developing the Lesson

  1. tGive students a short amount of time to estimate what they think the chances are that the wolf could open any of the five doors and find any pig. Have the students share their estimates with the class and WHY they believe they are correct.
  2. List the estimates on the board. Figure out what percentage each ratio is equal to. Work this as a class.
  3. We have lots of different estimates how might we find out a more accurate ratio or percentage? Let the students brainstorm. Then using the book (counting empty houses, full house, total houses p38-39) find the ratio as a class. Reduce it down so the kids can compare it to what they estimated. Then turn it into a percentage with everyone doing it together at the same time.

3. Closure/Discussion/Elaboration

  1. Discuss how the estimates "made sense" . What else could we use ratios and percentages for? Discuss how the exact answer fell between their high and low estimates.
  2. Use this and other three little pig books to introduce a fairy tale unit in language arts.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University