Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Cow That Went Oink

Most, Bernard (Author/Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2003. 40 pages
First published: 1990
ISBN: 9780152047634 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Delivered with an abundance of farm animal sounds, this fable expounds on the value of tolerance and support for those who are different. Brief narrative language in large print is supplemented with fun noise-words in dialogue bubbles. “The pigs that went OINK laughed at the pig that went MOO. ‘MOO?’ ‘OINK-HA’ ‘OINK-HA.’”

“NEIGH-HA,” “COCK-A-DOODLE-HA,” “QUACK-HA.” Repetitions of a riot of animal laughter makes for great reading aloud, while demonstrating examples of insensitive group behaviour. Illustrations of simple forms in bold outline are coloured with bright, subtle textures. One image shows the weeping pig huddled among stalks of waving wheat. The next shows the cow-that-oinks, drying the pig’s tears with her tail. Reading fun ensues, as the cow and pig teach each other: “MOINKOO?” “MOONK?”

The gift of being different is made clear at the end, when the cow and the pig have not only found a friend in each other, but have more sounds than anyone else on the farm. “So they had the last laugh. ‘MOO-HA OINK-HA’ ‘OINK-HA MOO-HA.’”

  •  

    Learn the names of farm animals and the sounds they make. Sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss the animals, the sounds and the characters’ feelings.

  •  

    Discuss what the cow and pig did to learn each other’s language. How does this relate to learning a second language?

  •  What does “They had the last laugh” mean? Do you know any other expressions? Share them with the class.
  •  

    Why did the cows made fun of the cow who said “Oink” and the pigs make fun of the pig that said “Moo”? Why do people make fun of other people? What can you do to stop this from happening?

  •  

    Learn the names of farm animals and the sounds they make. Sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss the animals, sounds and the characters’ feelings.

  •  After the story is read aloud, discuss what the cow and pig did to learn each other’s language. How can you transfer this to your English class?
  •  

    Discuss the group’s attitude toward the animals that are different. How is the group’s attitude different at the end? What does “They had the last laugh” mean? Do you have this expression or a similar one in your mother tongue?

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture