Day No Pigs Would Die, A - E-Guide

Progeny Press

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Grade Range: 9-12

English/Language Arts Credit: 1/4 Credit

Setting: Vermont, 1920s

Genre: American Literature

Page Count: 42 + Answer Key

Approximate Completion Time: 7-8 weeks



Wandering about on the ridge above his family's farm, Robert Peck comes across a neighbor's cow having difficulty giving birth. Acting quickly, Rob is able to help, and two bull calves are born. He is rewarded by their neighbor and owner of the cow, Mr. Tanner, with a piglet of his own to raise. Rob names the pig Pinky. Putting all his energy into caring for her, he dreams of the day she will become a brood sow and provide his family with a litter of pigs. Rob is the only surviving son in his family, and his four older sisters have all married and left home.
Rob's father, Haven Peck, is a quiet, gentle man who butchers pigs, a job he does not enjoy but performs so he can provide for his family. Mr. Peck cannot read or write, but stresses the importance of education to his son. Although the family is not rich, Mr. Peck teaches them that they are rich in the things that truly matter: they have each other, they have land to work, and they have God's creation to enjoy. However, tough times bring wrenching decisions when slaughtering season comes. Told from a boy's perspective, this story is both funny and moving, as Robert learns about life, love, and death, and what it means to be a man.

Content Warning: Language and mildly mature content. 

Progeny Press' Day No Pigs Would Die English/Language Arts PDF curriculum will provide your High School grade student with:

English/Language Arts Credit: This High School literature curriculum provides students with a one-quarter credit.
Author Biography:
Explore the life and background of Robert Newton Peck.
Background Information: Gain an understanding of the nature of the Shakers, both historically and in contemporary contexts.
Before-You-Read Activities: Explore Vermont's geography and its role in production, learn about the world of the Shakers, engage in a research paper centered around 1930s agriculture, explore pig breeds through research, and consider thought-provoking topics such as "what it means to be a man" and themes related to birth and death.
Vocabulary: Encounter and understand vocabulary words found throughout the novel using various activities that encourage retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Analyze dialect expressions, how words are used in context, explore the art of diagramming, uncover instances of foreshadowing, examine shifts in mood, contrast different elements, study grammar usage, delve into characterization, decipher the author's tone, appreciate comic scenes, dissect conflicts, and uncover underlying themes.
Moral Lessons and Character Values:  Helping/caring for animals, rewards, value of a man, material possessions, true riches, confession, adultery, judging others, pride, fairness, death, wealth, love and forgiveness, coming-of-age.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Explore units of measurement, delve into capstan research, immerse yourself in the principles of Shaker beliefs, and explore the profound connections between birth and death.
Suggestions for Further Reading: Explore an extensive list of additional works by the same author(s) and discover books that share similarities with Robert Newton Peck's A Day No Pigs Would Die.

All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA PDF study guide

Digital PDF Download

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  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher to make grading simple!

Formatted with your High School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refine their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!

Book Awards:
Colorado Children's Book Award   •   ALA Best Books YA   •   Library of Congress Children's Books of the Year   •   School Library Journal Best Books of the Year   •   Online Computer Library Center "intellectual works worth owning" 

Extra Information

Progeny Press
Recommended Grade Level:
Vermont, USA, 1920s
American Literature
Study Guide Page Count:
48 pages
Study Guide Author:
Andrew Clausen
For the Book By:
Robert Newton Peck

Warranty Information

Available to download for 1 year from date of purchase or until maximum download allowance is reached (whichever occurs first). Once downloaded, back the file up onto a Recordable CD or USB drive for safekeeping. Progeny Press retains the right to refuse replacement of lost or damaged products and/or files.

    1 Reviews

  • Posted by Jeff S. on 4th Sep 2014


    Mild complaint

    I wish the catalog would have disclosed the cursing in the book. Our school is very conservative and would not have chosen this book if given that information. The guide itself is laid out well and the student discussion has been good. I like my students to experience different cultures, life lessons, and thinking outside the box, which is provided with this selection.