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Classroom Activities for
Joey Pigza Loses Control

Activity 1:
There are many follow-up activities you could do with Joey Pigza Loses Control. I think one that would be really fun for kids would be to make a board game. The start would be Joey’s dad’s house and the finish would be his mom’s house, because throughout the story all he wants to do is be home with his mother. The pawns that you could pick from would be characters in the book: Joey, his mother, his father, his grandma, and Pablo, his dog. The students would roll a die and move accordingly. Then when you land on a square, the student would draw a card. Some of the cards will have questions about the book, which if the student gets right they advance two spaces, if they get it wrong they stay where they are. The other cards will state something that happened to Joey either good or bad. For example one of the cards might say, Joey’s dad throws away his medicine go back five spaces, or Joey pitches a perfect game go forward four spaces. The student that gets to the finish first wins. I think games are a good way to reiterate for students what happened in the book. Most people enjoy board games. I think the kids would have a lot of fun with this activity, because it puts them in Joey’s shoes. They experience what Joey goes through in the book.

Activity 2:
Another follow-up activity the students could do would be to make a postcard. The students would pretend that they are Joey writing a postcard home to Joey’s mother. The students would write in the postcard some of the things that they (Joey) had done with their father. It should be a highlight of Joey’s favorite moments of his trip with his dad. Students can be as creative as possible. I also think that the students should have the front side of the postcard be a picture of somewhere or something that Joey did while in Pennsylvania. I think having the students write a postcard is a good way for them to show their creativity. Most children write postcards to either family or friends while they are on vacation. It is an activity that most students can relate to, and probably have done on their own time.

Activity 3:
Another activity the students could participate in is to do a reader’s theater scene from Joey Pigza Loses Control. The students could be divided into small groups. Each group would pick their favorite scene from the book and act it out in front of the whole class or a small group. There are so many memorable characters in this book I really think that children would have a lot of fun portraying them. Also, there are so many hilarious scenes in this story the students have a lot of options. I think acting scenes out is a great way for students to show their imagination. The students could also use the characters from the book, but make up a scene that wasn’t in the book.

Activity 4:
Another activity the students could partake in would be to make baseball cards. Baseball is a big part of the story. The students could make a baseball card for Joey stating his record. They could also make up baseball cards for the whole team, including themselves in the team. I think this is a fun way for the students to again show their creativity. They can make up characters that would be on the team, or even make baseball cards for the teams that Joey played against.

Activity 5:
Another activity, the kids could do after reading this book would be to have the kids find someone they know with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and interview that person. Beforehand, the children should think of ten to twenty questions they have about ADHD. After, interviewing the person with ADHD, the children should write a paper about the similarities and differences between the person they interviewed and Joey Pigza. I think this activity is good, because it shows the students that even though many people can have the same disorder they aren’t all affected the same way. It illustrates that a disorder can affect people in different ways. Also, the activity makes the students more aware of the struggles ADHD people go through everyday. Hopefully, the children become more accepting of the disorder.
Possible interview questions

Activity 6:
Another activity could be to make word search with words used in the story.
For an example of a Joey Pigza Loses Control Word Search
Create your own Joey Pigza Loses Control Word Search

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Questions? Contact Ms. Kiefer at kieferja@uwec.edu
Page Last Updated March 10, 2005