Another Halloween favorite is Porkenstein by Kathryn Lasky.  Many of our boys love action, fantasy, and monsters.  The book is a combination of ideas from Frankenstein and The Three Little Pigs.  Kathryn molds the story into a funny, yet enticing text.

I do not enjoy the physical or chemical sciences much, but many children do.  This comical book uses scientific terms that can help build background knowledge or create a better picture understanding of such terms as beaker, laboratory, and incubator.

The friendship theme appears from the beginning paragraph:  “Dr. Smart Pig was a famous inventor, but he didn’t have any friends.”  When I read books, my eye searches for any possible way to connect the book with children.  With many legislative standards being placed on teachers, we have to be creative to overlap subjects to allow children more exposure to ideas, more reflection, more possibilities than the obvious.  Porkenstein is one example of this, as in my last post on The Hallo-Weiner by Dav Pilkey.  As you savor books, look for several avenues the book may take you.  Your students will begin to do the same.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Porkenstein:

  • Vivid verbs – “grunts, squirt, peered
  • Problem/solution – three tries and then a problem
  • Passage of time – “Halloween night was getting closer…, It was almost sunset when he heard…”
  • Character thinking:  questioning self – “Dr. Smart Pig was worried.  Maybe inventing a friend wasn’t such a good idea after all.
  • Show don’t tell – “Suddenly there was a scuffling sound – followed by a huge gulp and a rumbling belch.  Then silence.”

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