Math = Love: Story Time and Paper Plate Pigs

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Story Time and Paper Plate Pigs

This past week I had the opportunity to lead the first ever story time at my local public library.  A library in a nearby town used to offer a story time, but the librarian retired and no one took it over.  Seeing a need, my landlord decided to form a Friends of the Library Group in our town to help promote the library and start offering programs.  She got me involved in the group, and it's been new experience after new experience for me.  Our first program to implement was a Senior Citizen Book Day last month.  This month, we are continuing the senior program and adding a bimonthly story time.

Because I'm slightly insane, I volunteered to be in charge of our first every story time.  In a way, I'm extremely out of my element leading story time.  After all, I'm a high school math teacher.  But, I've been volunteering with kids at my church since junior high.  I teach Sunday school, children's church, volunteer at church camp, and direct VBS.  So, I'm no stranger to working with kids.  I've just never worked with them in a library setting.

My sister volunteers with a mentoring program at an elementary school.  One of the activities they did was to read If You Give a Pig a Pancake and make paper plate pigs.  Feeling uninspired, I decided to steal this idea and use it for our inaugural story time.

Since the library already had the book, all I needed to buy was some super cheap paper plates.  The more expensive plates have a grease coating on them that keeps the crayons and markers from writing well on them.  Cheap paper plates are the way to go for this activity!  I will also be able to use these to make Paper Plate Unit Circles in Trig this year!

Paper Plates
I went ahead and made a paper plate pig of my own to test out the process.  I'm not exactly sure what I did to my pig, but it didn't turn out quite as cute as I anticipated.  Adding the bow helped a bit.  Maybe it's eyes and snout aren't exactly proportional to the size of the plate???  

Meet Bessie.
My Paper Plate Pig, Bessie
I got to the library early to set up our crafting supplies.  Doing interactive notebooks has benefits.  I was able to go up to the school and borrow tubs of scissors, crayons, glue sticks, markers, liquid glue, and various crafting supplies from my classroom.  I added some buttons, stickers, curling ribbon, feathers, and googly eyes for students to use to decorate.  I picked up a box of construction paper at a garage sale last week for fifty cents, so that went too.  I also took a hot glue gun to glue on buttons and googly eyes.  The kids were not allowed to to use the hot glue, though!

Story Time Crafting Supplies
My landlord prepared sack lunches for all the kids to eat while listening to the story.  Our menu consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrot sticks, chocolate chip cookies, and juice boxes.

I think most of the kids had already read or heard the story, but they still listened attentively.  The majority of our time was spent making our own pigs.  The kids were so creative when it came to making their own pigs.  Some of the adults were a little stressed that the pigs were not all pink, but I enjoyed watching their minds at work!  For example, I would have never thought of making a hat for my pig to wear!

I took a package of feathers to use for decorating even though my sister insisted that pigs did NOT have feathers.  I think the feathers added a lovely touch to the pigs.

We ended up having 11 children for story time.  I think this was a great turnout for our first time.

Of course, I had to take pictures of the most adorable creations:

"Puss In Boots"

A Blue Pig

Another Blue Pig



"Pirate Pig"

A More Abstract Pig

Pig With Heart Cheeks
One of our participants spent a lot more time practicing his scissor skills than actually building his pig.  :)

Eventually, he was able to finish his pig with the help of his mother.  He insisted that he wanted his pig to have a Cat In The Hat hat.  But, he ended up with more of an Abraham Lincoln hat.  The yellow feather covered his pig's ear, and he was in tears at one point because he thought his pig only had one ear.

Abraham Lincoln Pig
The little girl who made this pig insisted on picking the smallest wiggly eyes possible because she deemed the other sizes of wiggly eyes to be "creepy."

Pig with Small Wiggly Eyes
I had a blast hanging out with these kids for 45 minutes.  It's definitely something that I'd love to participate in again!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  


  1. I'd love to hear more about "interactive notebooks." Can you direct me to a post or email me at

    1. Hey Tina,

      Here's a link to a presentation I did last week on interactive notebooks. Let me know if there's anything else I can ever help you with!