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Title Author Grade level
3-Pigs   PreK to 3rd


Fairy Tale






Action Step:

Define the problem and the customer is.

What do you want to design; using functional requirements

Create lots of ideas

Converge on the few best ones

Sketch, Build, Test and Report












Summary of the story :
A story of 3-Pigs who are sent out to live on their own by their mother encounters trouble with a wolf who wants to eat them.
  • 3 Pigs ( Can do individual pigs )
  • Wolf
  • Mother Pig
  • Can also think of society as a character and what problems would society have with this story.

Who is the customer:   Society

What is the problem I am solving?  How can we get the pigs and the wolf to live together

Create a different source of food


Physical separation

Different communities

Spiritual change


 Who is the customer:   Mother

What is the problem I am solving?  What advice can I give my children so they will be safe

 Build a safe house


 Live together

Create a fence around all your properties 



 Who is the customer:   The Pigs

What is the problem I am solving?   How can I prevent the wolf from blowing down my house

  Functional Requirement


    Build a house that canít be blown down

   Use stones/bricks

  Design a trap that will prevent the wolf from getting to the house

 Use simple machines to catch the wolf

 Who is the customer:   The Wolf

What is the problem I am solving?   How can I get in the house and catch the pigs

  Functional Requirement


   Build a trap to catch the pigs when they leave their house

  Use science to attract the pigs

  Get into the house

 Device that breaks the door;  Ram device





Possible Design Challenges:
  • How do we design a house to also protect against the weather?
  • The pigs move to an earthquake zone, build a house to protect them from earthquakes as well.
  • You move to Outer Mongolia, what kind of house would you design and what animal would you be concerned about?
  • Students explore properties of light, then apply what they've learned to design and make shadow puppet plays based on 3-Pigs nursery rhyme, to which they invite guests and charge admission.  Can also make hand puppets of the 3-pigs characters and study materials and life science.
  • Students study about recycling of materials and design a house for the pigs based on what they have learned.
  • You work for the wolf, design a suite that can protect the wolf when it goes down the chimney ; design a machine that can be used to create air pressure to blow the houses down.
  • You live in a community that wants to provide a nice living space for its Pig population, what would you design and why?   What would you do with the wolf population?
  • Build house on hill and use rollers to knot down the wolf
  • Design a device that uses boiling water to keep the wolf away from the house.
  • Design a trip wire device that uses rocks to fall on the wolf when it gets close to the house.
  • Design a fence that will protect all the different houses.
  • Build house on hill in the shape of a triangle so wind can hit only corners.
  • Design a house with a strong foundation and internal structure.
  • If the students are studying electricity, have them design a switch device that will go off when the wolf steps on it.
  • Design a better way for the pigs to travel between the houses.
  • Design a device to test the level of force of the wind needed to blow down the house.
  • Design a pop-up card that shows the story from the wolfs point of view.
  • Work for the pigs and design a new healthy eating plan for the wolf that does not contain meat in its diet.
Comments:/ Extensions:
  • Invite a parent who works in the construction industry to talk about materials and building a structure
  • Visit a construction site with the children.
  • Draw pictures of the scenes and do role plays around the story working as engineers
  • Keep a journal
  • Re-write the story by adding an invention that either the wolf has or the pigs to the story line.
  • Have the pigs design a post card and write home to their mother/father on why where they were and why they build a house. Include pictures of the house, measurement and why they think it is sturdy.
  • Compare and contrast the 3 designs.  Create a list of items and create a table showing the 3 house designs against the list.
  • Have the students describe the safety aspects of building a house
  • You are a business person who wants to start a business that provides services to the pig community.  What would you do?  Design and build furniture for the pigs?, Provide security services?, Build houses? Provide materials/ store?
  • Compare prices of building material.  Why does some products cost more  than others?


  Prepared by  Bill Wolfson.  Copyright © 2011-2013
Last Updated