Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini is the perfect non-Halloween, Halloween book. It’s not specifically Halloween themed, but it is a creative combination of a grouchy, hungry witch and some sly pigs who use costumes to avoid becoming ingredients. As you read this story with your little ones, really play up the voices and point out the details in the pictures. With particularly young children, you may need to explain that the pigs are dressing up in order to trick the witch. From there, you can easily make connections with their own dress-up experiences, on Halloween or otherwise.
I would make a note of two things here. The end of the book ties this story in with the Big Bad Wolf from the Three Little Pigs. Very young children will have a hard time making that connection. You can help this connection by being sure that the children are already familiar with the story of the Three Little Pigs through previous activities, or you can just glide over it. It’s not a critical element in the story. Secondly, the witch does get upset several times in this book and basically throws a tantrum. Take the opportunity to teach social skills by pointing out her behavior and what is and isn’t appropriate behavior. It’s easy to point out undesirable behavior in a witch because, afterall, she is a witch. Don’t detract too much from the story, but if you’re seeing some similar behavior in your own children, you might give them the opportunity to be the expert and make suggestions for a better course of action for the witch. They may later realize these suggestions work for themselves as well!
After reading this story, you can easily incorporate patterning using pigs and witches. Just find your favorite witch clip art (this one will do) and copy and paste about 12 (size to about 1 to 2 inches for easy handling). Do the same with your favorite pig clip (maybe this one). You may want just one set or you may want a set for each child in your small group. Use these pieces to sort, count, and create simple ABA patterns. For older, more advanced children you may also create more complicated patterns. Take turns with the children so that they get the opportunity to both create and complete patterns.
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