Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Gruffalo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com for your convenience.

If you don't have "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, you might want to consider adding it to your wishlist.  This is a very cute story about a clever mouse who meets different predators (a fox, an owl, and a snake) in his walk through the forest.  To avoid being eaten, mouse tells each of the predators that he is meeting "the Gruffalo," and describes a fierce, seemingly fictional creature ("He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws").  Imagine mouse's surprise when he meets a creature that fits his exact description!  Well, like the fox, owl, and snake, the Gruffalo wants to eat the mouse too, but is outsmarted by the little guy.

Story Stick from makinglearningfun.com
 I used  this book as one of my end-of-the-year activities and the kids really loved it. There is an "Official Gruffalo Website" for the book with activities that you can print. Making Learning Fun has some cute printable activities as well.  For my sessions, I used their story stick printables on a paint stick to target sequencing story events and this activity for retelling the story.

I also used the app Mixed-Up Monsters by Top That! Publishing (free on iTunes) to target use and comprehension of adjectives and modifying phrases.  I created some monsters on the app, saved them to my photo gallery, then printed them onto cards.  You could use these for a "Go Fish" type of game ("Do you have a monster with a head like a vampire, a body like a tree, and green feet?") or a simple barrier-type game.  I had a pair of students draw a card and describe the monster to another pair of students controlling the iPad.  The goal was for the students with the iPad to create the same monster as depicted on the card.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


  1. Hi Carrie! I'm loving your blog and the fact that you work with preschoolers! Now I have another place to get some ideas.

    Is the book above preschool appropriate? I've never read it before, but I would like to add it to my collection for next year.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! P.S. - Your pictures aren't showing up for me. I just thought I would let you know. :)


    1. Hi Brea!

      I love your blog as well! Thanks for the comments. I used this book with preschoolers (both the 3 year old and 4 year old classes) and kindergarten. It is definitely appropriate for those ages (and it's part of Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion). Last year I worked with a 1st/2nd grade special ed classroom and they begged me to read the book instead of doing my actual lesson plan. It ended up working really well for them as well. I just modified the game to make it more difficult.

      As far as the pictures, could you see any of them? I tried different browsers and found that I could see all of them in Firefox, but I could not see the monster cards in Safari or IE. I had uploaded those in a different way, so I went back and fixed them. I am able to see them in all 3 browsers now. If you couldn't see ANY of the pictures, I'll have to revisit that!

      Thanks again!


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