We were a bit obsessed with the story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, for several months. It still remains one of our most favorite stories to retell to each other. Below you will find some of the best book activities to complement the story.
I have organized the ideas into a week long unit study of the book. Or, you can just pick and choose the activities that interest you. The activities are great for preschoolers or kindergarteners. You could also adapt for other ages too. All of the ideas listed are hands-on activities. Let’s get trip trapping!
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Core Read Aloud Version
Our favorite version to use with young children is The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Stephen Carpenter.
We also recommend The Three Billy Goats Gruffby Paul Galdone though the troll is a bit scarier looking.
Each day of the unit study, you will read aloud the core book. Repeated readings help children to build comprehension, make connections, and develop of love of reading.
Skill Covered: phonological awareness (rhyming)
Ask the kids to generate as many words as they can think of that rhyme with goat. The words can be real or nonsense words.
Skill Covered: grouping and counting
The goats traveled in a group of three. Have the kids practice making groups of three. Use 21, 24 or 27 counters. Set them on the floor or table and ask the kids to make as many groups as three as they can. When the groups are formed, ask the kids to count the number of groups that were made.
Skill Covered: retelling
Create a Three Billy Goats Gruff sensory bin for the kids to visit throughout the week.
Skill Covered: phonological awareness (beginning sounds)
Name a word related to the story and have your child isolate and say the beginning sound of each word. Try using the following words: goat, troll, bridge, grass, over, meadow, eat, and wait.
Skill Covered: addition and subtraction
Read the goat math story problems (see download below) to the kids and have them use counters to solve each one.
Skill Covered: explore materials to create art
The three billy goats wanted to reach the lush green meadow full of flowers to eat. Encourage the kids to create a lush meadow of flowers that any goat would want to travel to. Kids can use paints, markers or crayons to create their scene on paper.
Skill Covered: retelling
Provide props related to the story (3 goats of different sizes, a troll, and a bridge). We made ours out of wood slices. Set the props out and invite the kids to use the manipulatives to retell the story.
We also did this retelling activity with Lego creation props. This is great because the kids get to help in designing the props.
Skill Covered: adding to 3
Explore different ways to make three with unifix cubes or other small objects. Show that 1+2=3, 2+1=3, 1+1+1=3, 3+0=3, or 0+3=3.
Skill Covered: following directions
Goat cheese may be a new food for the kids. Make a quick goat cheese snack with them. For each child, you will need a slice of pear. Spread a teaspoon of goat cheese on the pear slice and sprinkle with a few dried cranberries or walnuts.
Skill Covered: identifying story elements
Study one of the illustrations in the book. Identify the characters and the setting of the story.
Skill Covered: ordering by size
Using the billy goat pieces (see download below) have the kids place the goats in order from smallest to largest.
Skill Covered: engineering
Build a bridge with items in your child’s environment. Let the kids test the strength of their structures.
Skill covered: comparing and contrasting
Read a variety of variations of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Compare and contrast each version of the story with the original. Enjoy comparing the stories orally or create a chart to draw or write your comparisons.
Add The Three Billy Goats Gruff variations to your reading area for the kids to enjoy for a week or two.
Skill Covered: sorting by a common attribute
Encourage the kids to find objects in their environment that fit into three categories- small, medium, and large. As kids collect items they should place them in the appropriate piles.
Gross Motor Activity
Skill covered: moving and retelling
Visit a local playground that has a bridge. Let the kids act out the story in the large space being different characters in the story. If you are just playing with one child, he can take turns being each goat and the adult can be the troll.
Encourage your child to move across the bridge in different manners such as running, stomping, walking and jumping.
If you would like to add in some handwriting practice, I have also created these writing sheets (see download below) to complement the book.
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