The Three Bears

At the beginning of the year I really emphasized oral language and tried to give children lots of chances to tell and retell stories.  I gave each child opportunities to make up stories, but we also retold and acted out many stories.  I loved working on Goldilocks and the Three Bears for lots of reasons.  It is a great way to introduce characters, setting, problem and resolution.  It is really fun for the children to act out.  Also this remade book is made up of many basic shapes so it fits well with reinforcement of shapes too.  Because this is a wordless book it allows every child to be successful “reading” it.  After reading several published versions of the story and acting it out many times we made this book – one page at a time.  It was just such a great way to reinforce sense of story.

I would tell this story:  “Once upon a time there was a family of bears.  There was a great big papa bear, a middle sized mama bear and a little tiny baby bear.”

This also gave me a chance to talk about adding details – on this page they needed to add something to show which bear was which.

“They lived together in a little cottage deep in the forest.”

I used a completed copy of the book and “read” it from the beginning each day.  The children told the story to me from the beginning, as far as they had progressed in the book each day.

“One day Mama Bear decided to make porridge for breakfast.  She put some in the great big papa bear’s bowl, some in the middle sized mama bear’s bowl, and some in the little tiny baby bear’s bowl.  Then she called her family for breakfast.  Papa bear took one taste of his porridge and he yelled ‘This porridge is too hot!  Let’s go for a walk in the woods while it cools.  So (I flip back a page) the bear family went out for a walk in the woods.  Just then along came a little girl named Goldilocks.  She knocked at the door, when no one answered she went right in.  She saw the bowls of porridge on the table (turn page back to bowls) and decided she was very hungry.  She sat right down and took a taste of Papa Bear’s porridge.  She said ‘This porridge is too hot!’  Then she took a bite of Mama Bear’s porridge and said ‘This porridge is too cold!’ Then she tasted baby bear’s porridge and said ‘This porridge is just right!’ And she ate it all up!” (The bowl is on a brad fastener to turn over after Goldilocks eats it all)

“Then Goldilocks went into the living room.  She sat in the great big papa bear’s chair and said ‘This chair is too hard.’  Next she sat in Mama Bear’s chair and said ‘This chair is too soft.’  Then she sat in baby bear’s chair and said ‘This chair is just right.’ And she rocked and she rocked until the chair broke.”  (A brad fastener allows the back to fall off the baby bear’s chair.)

“Next Goldilocks went upstairs.  She laid down in the great big papa bear’s bed and said ‘This bed is too high.’  Then she laid down in the mama bear’s bed and said ‘This bed is too low.’  Then she laid down in baby bear’s bed and said ‘This bed is just right,’ and she fell fast asleep.”  The rectangle on baby bear’s bed folds back to cover Goldilock’s face.

When I am retelling I close the book at that point – so I am back at the cover with the 3 Bears and I say

“Just then the bear family came home from their walk in the woods. (I turn the pages as I retell the rest.)

They went into the kitchen and sat down at the table for breakfast.  Papa Bear took one look at his porridge and said “Someone has been eating my porridge!  Mama bear said “someone has been eating my porridge too!”  Baby bear said “Someone has been eating my porridge and ate it all up! Boo hoo hoo!”

Then the bear family went into the living room.  Papa Bear said “Someone has been sitting in my chair!”  Mama Bear said “Someone has been sitting in my chair!” and Baby bear said “Someone has been sitting in my chair and broke it all up! Boo hoo hoo!”

Then the bear family went up to the bedrooms.  Papa bear took one look at his bed and said “Someone has been lying in my bed! ”  Mama bear said “Someone has been lying in my bed!”  Baby bear said “Someone has been lying in my bed, and she’s still there!”  Right then Goldilocks woke up.  When she saw the bears she was so scared that she jumped out of the bed, and ran downstairs, and ran out of the house, and never bothered the bear family again.  The End.”

The story that I told was exactly the way I narrated the story for the children to act out.  The more dramatic my voice was, the more fun it was hearing the children retell it themselves.  Parents always told me how much they loved hearing their children tell the story reading these books when they brought them home.

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