The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Understand narrative structure and learn about sequence of events.
- Before class, build three scenes from The Three Billy Goats Gruff and put them aside until it is time to tell the story (see the activity card below for suggested scenes; you may substitute a different story that is more relevant to your class).
- Tell the children they are going to listen to a famous story called The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which has talking goats and a troll as characters.
- As you tell the story, use the three scenes you built earlier to illustrate the story.
- After telling the story, discuss it and ask the children to recall what happened.
- Remove the bricks from the scenes you built before class.
- Give each child a stand and assign him or her one part of the story so that one child builds the beginning, one child builds the middle, and one child builds the end. Activity tip: If the children have difficulty recalling the story, reread or retell the part they are trying to build. They may also look at a picture book version of the story or the model photos associated with this lesson for ideas.
When the children have finished building, retell the story as a group with each child telling the part of the story that he or she has built. Consider asking questions like:
- What happened in your part of the story?
- Which characters were involved?
Discuss the importance of a sequence of events, or the order in which things happen in a story. Talk about the importance of the sequence of events in* The Three Billy Goats Gruff*. Encourage the children to talk about why the order of events matters in this story. Consider asking questions like:
- Why is it important to tell the story in the correct order?
- What would happen if we told the story in a different order?
- Tell the children that fantasy stories can be funny if they are told in a different order.
- As a group, reorder the models depicting the scenes of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Then try telling a new version of the story that fits with the new order. Children may need to adapt their scenes or even add entirely new events.
Did you notice?
Observing the following competencies can help you monitor whether the children are developing language and literacy skills:
- Children are able to retell and reenact events from stories, songs, or rhymes.
- Children are able to understand fundamental narrative structure and elements.