I am thrilled to share my latest resource on TPT with you! I worked on this product for a long time to make sure it contained every activity I could think of for a really fun unit about one of my very favorite books: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. You can click on the product cover below to go to my TPT store.
If you don’t have this book yet, make sure you purchase it immediately! This kind of book will fascinate children for years to come. I can’t wait to share it with Aniston. I’m going to wait until she is just a little bit older. 🙂
You can find it on Amazon here:
My kids LOVE this story. If you are looking to increase student engagement- Julia Donaldson’s books are the way to go! The unit I made for TPT is jam-packed with exciting activities for kids and I’ve pulled in as many state standards as possible.
I always begin a unit study by holding up the book and going over all of the key components. This helps students focus on what is important. Then I ask students to make predictions about the story with a shoulder partner.
This book is a great way to talk about characters. Even though it seems like The Gruffalo would be the main character – it is actually a clever little mouse.
I read the book to my kids. You could hear a pin drop in my room. Make sure to read with expression. The kids love that- especially when you get to the “Gruffal…. Oh!” part!
We talked about the characters and used the templates from my resource on TPT to make paper bag puppets. You can print the templates on colored paper or allow the kids to color them first. This is a sample of what they should look like.
I loved that the animals are made out of some basic shapes and it was fun to watch my students try to figure out how to put them together. They spent much of their indoor recess retelling the story with the puppets and that will fill this teacher’s heart!
The next day I wanted to retell the story and add a little excitement. I decided to pull out our theater and crouch behind it. I retold it using the Gruffalo puppet that I had purchased on Amazon. He’s pretty cute and has all of those wonderful components that the book mentions. You can find him by clicking on the picture below.
I used the owl that I often use to monitor hallway behavior. (He sits on my shoulder as we walk down the hall. I spin his head to watch all of the kids and they are always on their best behavior!) You don’t need this for The Gruffalo story but in case you are interested in getting one. I bought this one and love it!
Then I told the students that I didn’t have a fox, snake, or mouse puppet so other puppets would help us out. It went something like this, “Introducing Bear – playing the part of the mouse!” They erupted in giggles so I can continued. “And Dog – playing the part of the fox!”
I gave it my best go. Throughout the day I had students spend time retelling the story using our puppet theater. So. Much. Fun!!!
The next day I brought in all the ingredients for “Gruffalo Play Dough”. You can find this simple recipe in my resource on TPT. It uses cocoa so our entire room smelled amazing! This is a no cook recipe so it was easy to make in our classroom. The finished product was the perfect amount for my 18 students.
I gave them each a handful and some random materials like foam shapes, felt, buttons, etc. They went right to work creating their play dough Gruffalos. I loved that this required them to think back to all of the descriptive words that Julia Donaldson uses.
I really loved this one! He was thinking ahead to the cover of The Gruffalo’s Child.
Some students made flat versions. Some made 3D versions and others just recreated his face. I let their imaginations go wild!
The next day we worked on the Gruffalo craftivity! Click on the pics below to head over to those posts!