The Three Little Javelinas

 Author: Susan Lowell, Illustrator: Jim Harris

Northland Publishing 1992


Curriculum Developer:  Jennifer Kirk

Grade Level Focus: 1st grade

        This is a story about the three little javelinas that live in the desert. It is a story similar to the three little pigs we are all familiar   with, however it is all about the desert and the habitat of the desert. It tells how these pigs use the different elements of the desert to make a safe home and survive the coyote. It clearly portrays what makes up a desert and how one has to survive in a desert.

Social Studies Relevance:
    Since geography is one of the main themes of social studies curriculum, this book will work quite well. It will help the student learn about what lives in the desert and how people can survive in the desert. It also explains the climate and ways the people and animals of the desert adapt to this heat.

Relationship to Social Studies State Core:

*Predict simple conclusions to stories or situations.
*Recall facts from stories or reports.
*Demonstrate how geographic features, climatic conditions, and natural resource influence how they live.
*Identify on maps the deserts of the United States.
*Compare the desert region to the other regions of the Western Hemisphere.
*Identify a logical sequence for tasks.



Lesson Plans

Title of Lesson: Prediction

Objectives:   *Students will be able to predict a conclusion to the story The Three Little Javelinas.
                    *Students will identify reasons for their predictions.

Materials Needed: Paper, pencil, creative minds

           1.  We will read the story The Three Little Javelinas. Tell the students to listen and look for characteristics and geological features of the desert while you are reading the story.
                a. Read the story up until the part where the two javelinas have been chased from their house made of saguaro sticks.
                b. Have the students make predictions about what they think will happen to the two javelinas using characteristics of the desert to explain the reasons for their prediction. We will write these predictions on the board for everyone to see.

            2.  Have the students take out a piece of paper and write down their prediction making sure to include the reasons why they have chosen the certain event to happen to the two javelinas. They must include desert characteristics with their predictions.
            3.  Finish reading the story. (The Three Little Javelinas)

                a.  Check the predictions with the ones on the board to see how accurate the predictions are.
                b.  Discuss the process they used to come to the conclusions they did about the outcome of the story.
                c.  Discuss all the characteristics and features they found throughout the story and  compare these to that of our own region. Are the two regions similar?  Does the desert have plants and animals we donít see here in our region?


        I will evaluate each students prediction to see if they understand how to predict a simple conclusion to a story. If they have used the events of the story to come to a good conclusion that makes sense, and they can given reasons for their prediction, including characteristics of the desert region, (include at least three characteristics) I will know they understand the process of predicting. The prediction does not have to be correct for them to understand how to predict.

Title of Lesson: Desert Regions

Objectives:  *Students will be able to create a house that displays how different people live in some parts of the desert.
                    *Students will be able to identify characteristics of the desert region and compare them to other regions.

Materials Needed:  Mud, straw, glue, poster board, markers, brick shaped box (rectangle shaped)

        1. Read the story The Three Little Javelinas, and have the students listen for specific characteristics of the desert region.

        2. Guided Discussion. Explain to the students how people that live in different regions have different ways of life. Have the students tell you what differences they noticed in the  story about the desert habitat. Discuss the climate, features, and resources of the desert.  Then share with the students an example of how the desert is different from other  regions they are familiar with. (e.g., There are mountains where we live and in other areas, it is entirely flat. In some regions it snows quite a bit, in others it rains almost everyday of the year.) Make sure they understand how regions are different and have them give some of their own examples of differences.

        3. When discussing the differences of the regions we are familiar with, make sure you   discuss what the houses are made out of that are in a desert at the time the story was  written. Identify the materials they used to build the houses in the desert. Are the materials the same or different as the ones we use to build our houses?

        4. Hands-On. Have the students create their own adobe house depicting the characteristics the have learned from the story.

                a. In groups of four the students will create an adobe house.
                b. Give each group some mud and some straw and a big bucket to mix them together in.  They will have to mix it together until the straw is completely mixed into the mud.
                c. They will then place the mud in the brick shaped box to form the bricks
                d. After they have formed the bricks they will be set out by the window to dry for a couple days.
                e. Once the bricks have dried, they will build a small house on their poster board  with the bricks they have created.
                f. They will be able to add any other features or characteristics of the desert that they learned to their project with markers.


        During the guided discussion I will be able to tell if they have learned new characteristics of the desert if they are able to answer my questions and keep up with the discussion sharing their ideas about desert regions compared to other familiar regions. I will also examine their project and if they have created and adobe house and added different feature of the desert, I will see that they understand what makes up the desert regions.

Title of Lesson: Map Creating

Objectives:  *Students will recall facts from the story.
                      *Students will create a story map by identifying a logical sequence for the events of the story.

Materials: White paper, colored pencils

        1. Create a story map on the board with the class.

                a. Ask the students to identify all the different places they have been in the school that day.
                b. Write the different places on the board.
                c. Have the students together as a class identify which events happened first, second, third, and so on until every event is in order.
                d. After they are in sequence, draw the first place on the board. Then have the students help in placing each location, showing how you would use the school as a guide to where you should draw each place on the map.
                e. Explain to the students that this is the process you use in creating a story map. ( putting items in a logical sequence, and then creating a image of each place on your map.)

        2. Review the story you have read to them earlier, The Three Little Javelinas.   Have the students identify the events that took place throughout the story that they can remember. Write these events/places on the board.

                a. Where the three javelinas were at the beginning.
                b. What happened to each javelina individually throughout the story.
                c. What happened to the three javelinas at the end of the story.
                d. Where they were throughout the story.

        3. Tell the students to take the events we have listed on the board and have them write them down on piece of paper in the correct sequential order.

        4. Have the students create a map showing each event and the distances that the javelinas traveled around the given space of the paper. Make sure they identify any objects they include in their map so others will be able to read the story map and understand the sequence of events.

        5. Students will be able to share their story maps with the class if they would like to. It is only an option for those that are willing and want to share.


        The students will demonstrate that they understand how to identify a logical sequence of events if they have displayed each event in the proper order on their map. Their story map will also show that they understand how these events took direction and traveled across their paper if they have illustrated each event correctly and placed it on the paper in the right place and order.

Title of Lesson: Desert Animals

Objectives:  *Students will chose a desert animal. They will research their animal and give an oral report presenting the information they have gathered about their animal.

Materials:  A variety of books about the desert, poster board, markers, white and lined paper.

        1. Discussion: Discuss with the students different animals found in the desert and adaptations they have made to survive. Can any animal survive in the desert? What are ways the animals change to live in the desert? Can a desert animal be brought to a different environment and survive? (adapt)

        2. There will be variety of different desert books that have animals that live in the desert.  The students will be allowed about fifteen minutes to look through the books to find an animal that interests them.

        3. Values Whip. Once they have been given plenty of time to look through the books, we  will have a quick values whip session. I will have the students think of one animal that they found that lives in the desert. We will go around the classroom and have the students name one animal.  We will go quickly student by student, allowing anyone to pass if they canít think of an animal.

       4. When the entire class has had the opportunity to name a desert animal, I would have each student make a decision on what animal they want to research for their oral report.The students at that time would tell me the animal they have chosen.

        5. We would go over the research skills used in finding information about your topic.

                a. How to use a dictionary.
                b. What key points you should find out about your animal. (worksheet)
                c. Deciding what details the class would want to know.

        6. Each report needs to include how their animal survives in the desert. (what adaptations are made for survival?) They also need to include their ideas about bringing their animal to a different region. (Can they adapt? Will they survive?)

        7. After they have researched the information they can chose a way to present the information to the class.

                a. Poster
                b. Reading your written report
                c. Sharing facts with a picture of your animal for them to see.

          8. The reports will then be shared with your class so they can all learn about a different  desert animal.



        Observation of the studentsí oral reports will demonstrate their new gained knowledge of a desert animal. I will also read the worksheet I gave them to fill out about key points of their animal and if they have answered those questions correctly I will know that they have researched their animal and found out important ideas to share to the class. Included in their report must be the ways of adapting to desert climate and how the animals would survive in a new climate or region.


 Return to Literature Index




List of events for The Three Little Javelinas


The three javelinas are out finding their fortune and come to a split in the road. Each pig chooses a different route.

The first javelina builds a house out of tumbleweed.

The coyote comes to the house and huffs and puffs and blows it down.

The second javelina builds a house out of saguaro ribs (sticks).

The first javelina comes to join the second javelina in his house of sticks.

The coyote comes to the second house and blows it down, the javelinas run to find the third javelina. The coyote follows them.

The third javelina built her house out of adobe bricks.

The other two javelinas joined the third in the house made of adobe bricks.

The coyote could not blow the house down, so he climbed the roof to enter in by the stove pipe.

The coyote was burnt by the stove pipe and ran away never to bother the javelinas again.



Desert Animals


1. What is your animal? _____________________

2. What does your animal eat? __________________

3. How big is your animal? _____________

4. How does your animal deal with heat? ________________

5. Does your animal have babies? _________

6. How does your animal treat its young? _________________

7. Does your animal sleep during the night, or in the day? ____________

8. What is the most interesting thing about your animal?


  Draw a picture of your animal:




Optional Activities:

    1.  Inquiry - Separate the students into groups of four. Give each group a set of pictures that clearly show characteristics that make up a desert region. Have the students identify these characteristics and try to figure out what this region is. As a whole class, discuss the characteristics each one found and together decide on a region these pictures could represent.

    2.  Data Retrieval Charts - Give the students a chart to fill out while they are listening to the story. On the top of the chart have these headings: plants, animals, climate, features, attire. Have the students list anything they find in the story that may fit under these different categories. Go over the charts as a class to see the different characteristics of the desert.

   3.  Decision Tree ñ Have the students create a decision tree that compares the good and bad consequences of building a house in the desert and what materials they javelinas use. Have the tree they create show all three houses and the materials used to make the houses. The students will write down in the tree good and bad consequences of how the javelinas created each house.