Anthropomorphism Day 3: The Big Bad Wolf & Villainy

im-not-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolfI ain’t scared of the Big Bad Wolf by roannebanane

This 90 minute lesson is the third day of the Intro to Anthropomorphism Unit. It uses the Three Little Pigs and Walt Disney’s anti-Nazi propaganda cartoon The Thrifty Pig to introduce ideas of how stories can be changed to change the meaning and reference.


Students will be able to demonstrate how anthropomorphism allows stories to reflect different themes by rewriting the Big Bad Wolf and/or the pigs in the Three Little Pigs as different animals.


Required materials are normal text, recommended but not required materials are italicized

Essential Question(s):

How does anthropomorphism allow stories to get at bigger themes?

Inquiry Exercise:

(10 Minutes)
Journal Entry: Rewrite the story of the Three Little Pigs in your own words.

Introduction to New Material:

(15 Minutes)
I just asked you to rewrite the Three Little Pigs. If you’d never heard of it, then you might already have a copy of the story in front of you. We’re going to take a moment to read through the original.

Hand out and read “Three Little Pigs.” Discuss racial stereotypes in this version, how it might be reflective of English culture of the period. Evoke Uncle Remus from Monday, Anansi and Coyote from Tuesday.

How is this different from what you wrote down?

We’re going to take a look at another conversion really quickly.

Play “The Thrifty Pig.” Discuss conversion of the wolf to a Nazi. Ask how it reflected current events of the time. Point out that making something relevant doesn’t always require complete novelty or creativity.

Guided Practice:

(25 Minutes)
Today we’re going to rewrite the Three Little Pigs and change its meaning by adjusting the characters.

First, what does the Wolf represent in the original story? How about in The Thrifty Pig? What do the pigs represent? Why? How do you know?

We need to change the Wolf into a different animal. What animal should we use? What does that represent? How does it change the meaning of the story? What details do we need to have to make this animal work properly?

Let’s do the same with the pigs.

What else could we change about the story to change its meaning? Why does that work?

Independent Practice:

(20 Minutes)
Ok, now you’re going to rewrite the story on your own one more time, adjusting whatever you want. Consider the different meanings we just created when going through this together. What meaning do you want to convey? Why? How can you do it? Ready? Go!


(20 Minutes)
You guys have done an awesome job with the Three Little Pigs. Tomorrow will be a work day to really key in on our story. There’s a lot of controversial events going on in the world right now. I want you to choose something you’re passionate about or feel strongly about and we’re going to be writing our own fable, myth or allegorical tale using anthropomorphism to address the topic of your choice. Use the rest of this period to research any topics you want.

If writing a wholly original story is too much, think about which fable, myth or fairy tale you might want to adapt. As you do so, remember the questions we asked our guest yesterday, as you’ll need to be able to answer similar questions.

Continue to Anthropomorphism Day 4: The Devil’s in the Details
Return to Intro to Anthropomorphism Unit

2 thoughts on “Anthropomorphism Day 3: The Big Bad Wolf & Villainy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *