My class always took a field trip to a nearby farm in the spring. There are so many wonderful stories and activities that tie into a farm unit. It’s also a great way to review characteristics of animals, living and non-living things, healthy food, and the jobs people do on a farm.
I loved to have my class act out stories, and there are several fairy tales featuring farm animals that are great for acting out. Although there are only a few characters in the Three Billy Goats Gruff, I love the language that is used and it is really easy to sequence and retell.
When I introduce a fairy tale I often like to just tell it the first time, instead of reading it from a book. I just feel like the children are so engaged when I am telling a story, and it is so easy for me to make eye contact when I am not reading. Here are some props I used to retell this story. They are double because they fold in half and stand up – that way kids all around the circle get a good view.
I got these pictures from this resource book:
You could easily use just one image and make a stick puppet or put a magnet or sand paper on the back to tell this as a magnet or flannelboard story.
When my children acted out the story – after hearing it a few times, we actually used a classroom table for the bridge, and they trip trapped over the top – on their hands and knees, with the “troll” hiding underneath!
We used these pictures as necklaces for the characters:
These 4 pictures can be used to sequence the story, or to go along with an oral retelling. I reduced the size of these pictures for a writing project. The children cut the pictures out and glued them into a booklet in the correct order. Then they wrote a sentence or two describing what was happening in that picture.
For example -
“The littlest Billy Goat Gruff went across the bridge.”
“The second Billy Goat told the troll to wait for his big brother.”
“The biggest Billy Goat Gruff pushed the troll into the water.”
“The goats went across the bridge and ate the green grass.”
I photocopied these two pages back to back, then cut them in half and stapled them to make a booklet numbered 1-4.
Each child also need one set of these pictures – there are 2 sets on each page.
I liked this project because it gave the children a chance to retell the story, and write sentences, but they didn’t have to create the idea this time. It was fun to see which children added descriptive language like “trip trap” or “mean, ugly troll.”
Sometimes I just asked the children to write about their favorite part of the story instead of sequencing the parts. I had lines at the bottom for the children to write, I left them off so you could add the type of lines your children are used to writing on.