Many of the mishaps in folktales could be remedied if the protagonists knew some scientific principles. Children like seeing familiar stories told with a twist. And they like science when it is present as fun. Our science folktales bring this sense of joy and experimentation to well-known stories. A problem can be a solution out-of-place. Can the 3 little pigs make good use of all that huffing and puffing?
Lois Wickstrom is a former high school chemistry teacher and former head science teacher at Science in the City Summer Camp in Philadelphia. She has also been an adjunct science teacher at University of South Florida. Since retiring, she continues to take science classes. Her class in Forensic Biology led to Little Red, The Detective, in which Red is studying fingerprint identification, so she can tell that “Grandma” isn’t who she says she is. Lois believes science is the solution to almost every problem, including the dilemmas in fairy tales. She has invented what she calls Science Folktales. In each science-based tale, the protagonist achieves a better ending than the original because of learning scientific principles. She has turned some of these tales into plays. She has also created a series of Mermaid Science stories, which make use of water science. Lois is married to the love of her life. She has two children, four grandchildren and a dog.
This script also includes:
A science vocabulary list pertaining to the play.
Ten extension activities to use with your group.
More science-drama integration scripts by Lois Wickstrom:
Chicken Little Investigates
Goldilocks and the Six Simple Machines
Excerpt from the play:
STELLA, A pig
HAL, A pig
BRAD, A pig
WOLF, He huffs and puffs a lot. He’s hungry.
MAMA PIG, Mother of the 3 pigs
EXTRAS, Other animals can yell encouragement like “Run, Stella Run!” or “Silly Wolf.”
Living room of Mama Pig’s house. Mama Pig is pouring tea into cups. Stella, Hal, and Brad are drawing on large pieces of paper on the dining table. Mama has trouble finding places to put down the teacups.
Now that you have all graduated from Architect College, it’s time for you to build your own homes.
I’ve drawn up a plan for a strong house made of sticks and saplings and mud.
I’m sure it will be a nice house, Stella. But will it be strong enough to keep the wolf out?
Don’t worry, Mamma. We all know how to build wolf-proof housing.
I’ll build my house from bales of hay. With waterproof clay on the outside.
That sounds good too, Hal. Are you sure it’s strong enough to keep the wolf from eating you?
My teachers know what they are doing, Mama. Relax.
And I’ll build mine with bricks. We learned lots of ways to build wolf-proof housing.
That’s great Brad. I’ll come visit you when you’re done. I want to see you all safe from that hungry wolf.
Stella is building her house. She can have a painted woven wood house on a large stiff piece of paper or cardboard. She uses a trowel to slather clay or other removable substance on top. She can even use the trowel without clay but use the motions of spreading the clay.
Sound of clay being slathered on stick walls. Slathering Clay Sound
I weave the saplings in and out. I cover them with dirt. I use clear sheets of mica rock for windows. This is a wolf-proof house. No amount of huffing and puffing will blow it down.
Stella rocking in her rocking chair. The paper wall has been turned around, so now, Stella is inside her house. The wolf approaches beside the house.
Little pig, little pig, let me come in.
Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin. My house is too strong for you. You’ll never get in.
Then, I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.
I’m going to eat you. And your brothers, too.
Silly wolf! (Can be omitted if you have no extra players.)
I’m a master builder. You can huff and puff all you want. My house will stand.