Getting Grimm with young children

Both children and adults love reading folk and fairy tales, although often they appreciate different aspects of them. In our last post we looked at ways of viewing the Brothers Grimm with teenage and adult learners. In this post we look at ways of involving young learners through a theme and project-based approach, after thoroughly relishing the story, of course using three Helbling Young Readers which are retellings or adaptations of famous tales.

These picturebook editions of the stories are suitable for young learners. The stories are told in simple language, using rhyme and repetition to capture the young readers’ attention and stunning illustrations create a strong visual narrative to support the students’ learning and draw on their background knowledge. The images are a good starting point for vocabulary development and as a visual prop for storytelling (and retelling) activities. Discussion boxes on each story spread allow the teacher and the reader to focus on language points that can be developed in class and think about the narrative. Dyslexia-friendly fonts are used throughout in order to maximise readability for students with reading difficulties.

The three stories are:

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Little Red Riding Hood

One of the most popular Grimm tales has French origins, as it was included in Charles Perrault’s collection of fairy tales in 1697. The story has several versions in various cultures. This Helbling retelling is based on the Grimm version.

You can build activities around the story, starting with vocabulary, setting and characters. In the Helbling Young Readers series you will find a picture dictionary on open-out flaps, before reading activities and after reading activities.

You can also do a fun project in which you cut out a paper theatre and build a scene from the story.

  • You can find the instructions and the sheets on the Extras page on the Helbling Young Readers website.

Read more about this tale in our post about folk tales and children’s literature.

The Fisherman and his Wife

What would you do if you caught a magic fish and you could make three wishes? This story introduces the idea of thinking about what you wish for and at the same time teaches the vocabulary of the home and houses as well as wishes and desires.

  • Practise describing where you live and say what you want/wish for.
  • Retell the story with the flashcards you download from the Teacher’s Resources on the Helbling Young Readers website.

The project in this reader is making a magic tube.

  • Get the instructions from the Extras page on the Helbling Young Readers website.

Freddy the Frog Prince

This fun adaptation of the original ‘The Frog King’ presents a twist in the story which will amuse young and adult readers today. What if Freddy did not want to become a prince at all? The story reflects on the ever-changing aspect of folk tales, which helps them survive  changes in our cultural and social contexts.

In this story you will learn and practise the days of the week, describe where you live, what you do and how you feel.

Find more worksheets n the Teacher’s Resources page on the Helbling Young Readers website. Download and print them to practise the following skills:

  • Reading & Writing
  • Revision & Consolidation
  • Speaking
  • Speaking & Listening

Follow this link to find more activities based on The Fisherman and his Wife and Freddy the Frog Prince.

If you’d like to read more about folk and fairy tales, we recommend these articles with more resources:

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