Ask your students to write three paragraphs based on the questions:
What happened? Why did it happen? and What will happen now?
You’ll see that I have used the story of The Three Little Pigs as an example.
Ask your students to clearly identify the key themes and events of the story.
The Three Little Pigs leave home and build houses of their own (straw, sticks and brick). The Big Bad Wolf attempts to blow each of their houses down so that he can catch the pigs. He succeeds with the first two houses but the pigs get away. He fails when he tries to blow the brick house down because it is too strong. The Wolf continues to pursue the Pigs by climbing down their chimney. The Pigs place a pot of boiling water at the bottom of it and scare him away.
Why did it happen?
Ask your students to identify the underlying forces that propel the story along. Each student can simply look at the the first paragraph they have written and explain why each of the things in it happened.
The Three Pigs left home because they had grown up. The Pigs were (probably) targeted by the Wolf because he was hungry and they were living on their own, which made them an easy target. The first house of straw fell down because it wasn’t strong enough. The second house of sticks also fell down because it wasn’t strong enough. The third house of bricks didn’t fall down because it was stronger than the Wolf’s blowing. The Wolf climbs the chimney because it is the only opening available. The Pigs use a large pot of boiling water because it was probably already sitting near fireplace. All the pigs had to do was fill it with water
What will happen now?
Ask your students to consider what will happen to the characters of the story, after the story.
The Wolf hides in the forest until his burns have healed. He never leaves, choosing to spend the rest of his days living in a cave at the side of a craggy mountain. For food, he hunts wild mice and rabbits.
The First and Second little Pig live with the Third Little Pig until they finish building their own brick houses. They choose to build their new houses right next to their brother’s brick house. All three pigs install metal bars at the top of their chimneys so that it is impossible for anyone to climb down them.