I love Enemy Pie! The first time I read the book to my class, I was hooked. I’m not sure if it was the adorable illustrations, the clever storyline, or how relatable the story is, but it was a book that I incorporated into my classroom every single year! Each time I read it I found new ways I could use it in my teaching. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the ways I have used Enemy Pie by Derek Munson in my classroom.
1. Writing Strong Hooks
I love giving my students a list of ways they can “hook” their readers at the beginning of their narrative writing piece. A hook is a way of beginning a story so that you grab the reader’s attention. Some good hooks that I always suggest are starting with an action scene, dialogue, or figurative language (Onomatopoeia), etc. However, I use Enemy Pie to teach my writers how to begin their story with suspense.
After teaching a lesson about the importance of hooking your reader right away, I use the book Enemy Pie and read just the first page. As a class, we discuss the technique Derek Munson uses to grab their attention. I allow my students to figure out that by adding the element of suspense right away, you make your reader WANT to continue the story.
2. How to Make Enemy Pie
When we are all done reading, I love asking my students to create their own recipe for Enemy Pie. They are really fun to read! Not only do they have to write a recipe for it, but I also ask them to write the directions explaining how to make it. This is great if you are trying to teach Informational Text Structure. I stress Sequential Order during this activity and use it with my Text Structure Unit.
3. Teaching Point of View
There are lots of examples out there for 1st person point of view. What I really like about Enemy Pie is that while it is written in the first person, it also contains dialogue. Dialogue can sometimes through students off and lead them to believe the story is written in the third person. By showing them this example of how dialogue can be used in a first-person story, they gain a better understanding of point of view.
4. Teaching Perspective
When I teach Perspective, I often ask my students to tell a story from a different character’s point of view. Enemy Pie is perfect for this activity. After reading, I ask my students to think about Jeremy Ross’s point of view or perspective. What was he thinking at the beginning, middle and end of the story? I then ask my students to rewrite a part of the story from Jeremy’s perspective.
5. Elements of Fiction
In some cases, the elements of a good fiction story can be hard to find. In Enemy Pie, it’s a piece of cake…or pie. 😉 This is the perfect text to teach characters, setting, theme, rising actions, climax, and falling actions. It’s also perfect for demonstrating how many stories also contain a problem and solution. As we read through the text, my students fill in this graphic organizer, see below. They note the problem at the beginning of the story and the step leading to the final solution.
You can download this graphic organizer for FREE by clicking the button above!
I hope I’ve given you some fresh ideas for using it in your classroom.