Goldilocks and the Three Bears

      Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a traditional story - children have listened to this story for many years. Goldilocks is a young girl who lives in a forest. One day she goes into a house - but she doesn't know that three bears live there!

      On the LearnEnglish Kids website you can find many activities about the topic of fairy tales. The Goldilocks section contains materials and ideas which you can easily adapt for other fairy tales and stories, including games, quizzes, reading tasks, writing fairy stories and drama and acting out.

      You can find the topic at www.britishcouncil.org/kids-topics-goldilocks.htm. On this page you will find suggestions for exploiting the materials available on the site. You can print a copy of these tips here.

      Introducing the story
      It is very likely that your young learners will know the story of Goldilocks in their own language. Building on the familiar gives children a sense of security and you should exploit their knowledge of the story to the full.

      Begin by showing them a picture of Goldilocks and asking her name. Then elicit the names of the other characters in the story (Daddy, Mummy and Baby bear). You could have the children mime the characters using simple gestures e.g. for Goldilocks point to their hair, for Daddy bear growl very loud, for Mummy bear growl not so loud and for Baby bear a short growl.

      Or ask the children to invent actions for each character. You may like to use the mask pictures to introduce the characters too. Cut out the faces and stick them on the board. Write the names of the characters.

      Once you have all the characters you can try and elicit what happens in the story in the traditional version. Children may resort to L1, but you can write key words e.g. house, forest, bowl on the board.

      You may also like to focus on pre-teaching vocabulary e.g. house and furniture. You could ask them to imagine the Bears’ House. How many rooms has it got? What are they? What furniture is in the living room? etc. You can practise words for furniture in the interactive games in the topic – Balloon Burst, which concentrates on spelling http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-balloonfurniture.htm and the Pelmanism game matching pictures and words, http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-pelmanism-furniture.htm

      The story
      Now you are ready to play the flash-animated story for children to read and listen to. The language of the website version is quite difficult but children will be able to make out meaning from the context and the visual
      support. You can use each frame of the story to introduce vocabulary, check children’s comprehension and perhaps have them predict what is going to happen next.

      They will need to listen to the story two or three times and you will need to give them a different focus each time. For example, they could mime the actions of the characters during the first listening. They could repeat some of the key dialogue during the second listening e.g. It’s too big! During the third listening/reading children could come out and point to items in the bears' house. Once they have understood the whole story you are ready to go on to other activities.

      Activities for post-listening/reading
      You could start with a quick comprehension check using the downloadable worksheet (matching captions to pictures) - britishcouncil.org/kids-stories-goldilocksactivity.pdf. This also gives students a bit of the story to take away with them, re-telling the story with the students helps their understanding. Write key words on the board or draw simple line pictures.

      The song ‘When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears’ is an easy song for very young learners to sing and they can join in with the actions counting the numbers 1…2…3. Go to http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-songs-goldilocks.htm. There is also a follow up worksheet to practise adjectives big, small and tiny: britishcouncil.org/kids-songs-goldilocks-activity.pdf

      Another fun follow-up game (just for fun) is Porridge Puzzle. In this game you help Goldilocks to splat the bears with porridge while collecting letters for vocabulary. You can find it at http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-porridge-puzzle.htm

      Exploitation of the story and topic
      Stories provide an excellent basis for topic-based and cross-curricular work. One of the most enjoyable
      activities for young learners is drama. Acting out the story allows teachers to cater for different learning styles
      and motivate children in a dynamic way. On the LearnEnglish website you can find a Goldilocks play to
      download. Go to britishcouncil.org/kids-printgoldilocks-play.pdf. This is written in very simple child-friendly language and includes stage directions and suggestions for mimes and actions.

      You may like to choral drill part or all of the story first to get the children used to the repetitive structures. Then you could ask individual children to act out the parts, you may need to move the furniture in the classroom to make space. You can use the downloadable masks for the different characters. Cut out the faces, stick them on card and use a lollipop stick or pencil to stick on the back for children to hold the masks. They could even make their own for homework.

      You will also probably need to provide some real items for acting out – a few plastic bowls and bits of cutlery to lay the table etc. Finally you could ask the children to act out the play in groups. They can then perform their version for the rest of the class. Faster learners could be encouraged to ad lib or add more dialogue, or
      change the version you have given them e.g. the ending.

      For cross-curricular work you could focus on bears. You could do a general knowledge quiz about bears e.g. where do they live? What do they eat? For how long do they hibernate? Or you could use the interactive gap-filling game as a starting point for a discussion about bears. You can find this at http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-gapfill-bears.htm. You could develop this into project work or do an internet search for more information.

      Try the National Geographic kids website for an animal profile on brown bears. Go to http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/CreatureFeature/Brown-bear You can use this or any other story as an introduction to writing fairy stories. On the LearnEnglish website you will find useful tools to supplement this such as the Story Maker programme.

      Children can have lots of fun generating an infinite amount of (correct!) new fairy stories. In class you could build two or three stories together (let the children vote for the characters etc) and then ask them to make their own story in pairs or groups – giving them the outline framework for a very guided activity, or allowing
      them freer, more creative practice. Another useful worksheet to generate stories is the Fairy-Tale-Maker, which provides a substitution table for simple story-building: britishcouncil.org/print-kids-fairy-tale-maker.pdf

      You can link to other fairy tales to do further integrated skills work. On the LearnEnglish website you will find links to Little Red Riding Hood http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-stories-red-ridinghood.htm and Jack and the Bean stalk. .http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-stories-beanstalk.htm Or you could try a quiz on fairy tales using the worksheet Fairy Story Quiz britishcouncil.org/kids-print-fairy-tale-quiz.pdf

      As you can see fairy tales provide a wealth of opportunity for topic and skills work in the classroom. Just get practising your storytelling techniques!

      By Sue Clarke


      When you have used some of these ideas, why not come back to this page and leave a comment below to tell us how your class went. Let us know too if you have any additional ideas! 

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