Updated: Jun 17, 2020
ANOTHER CLASSIC TALE (with a little bit of teaching about RHYME!)
It's week three at the isolation station for many of us, and the first week of what would have been the Easter holidays - a time to rest, relax and eat lots of treats! So, let's take a trip together to the wild wood and visit those two clever little kids Hansel and Gretal and the house that always makes me feel hungry! Except - perhaps not in this version! Today, I'll be reading Michael Rosen's version where all is not quite as you might expect...
Watch my short and simple (15 minute) story-orientated English session below that uses story as a springboard for sharpening English skills! Suitable for kids (and grownups of all ages, with follow up ideas and activities to be found at the bottom of this blog! (Note: also with a bonus bit for parents!)
FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 10.15AM, THEN UPLOADED TO WEBSITE! Or, click here to watch now!
So, quick background-bite: Hansel and Gretal is a well-known German fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. WARNING: Siblings are kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch living in a house made of confectionery before outwitting said witch and escaping! It's a slightly scary tale set in medieval Germany - where a great famine actually struck in 1314 (scholars believe that this gave birth to the story itself). The history behind this particular fairytale really does get quite grim - 'scuse the pun - and if you're a grown-up fan of the more sinister side of our favourite tales then check out this article https://allthatsinteresting.com/hansel-and-gretel-true-story and have a look at the trailer for the film to be released this year! (If you're brave enough to go watch it, that is!)
On a lighter note, I've gone for an alternative version that is definitely less scary and which will inspire the kids to get creative! Everyone likes rhyme and the master Michael Rosen is the perfect person to demonstrate just how hilarious it can be when you start playing with language! In this version, Handsel and Gristle live with a poor woodnutter and his woof in a little wooden sausage in the forest...
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):
1. Watch Michael Rosen himself share his version of the story and have a go at reading it aloud - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCNFNx9bnjk
2. Listen to Storynory's version of Hansel and Gretal - REMEMBER: some young children might find bits a little scary!
3. Try telling/writing your own 'novelty' version of a classic fairytale. Here's a rhyming dictionary to use - https://www.rhymezone.com/ and younger children might also find this helpful - http://data.cjfallon.ie/wonderland/stages3and4/S4_B1_C5.html
4. Read some more of the Grimm's fairytales together - http://www.free-short-stories.org.uk/the-brothers-grimm-fairy-tales-and-stories.htm
4. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how hilarious you can make your own re-working of Michael Rosen's woodnutter version!
5. Try some rhyme - https://www.education.com/games/hearing-rhymes/ , https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/early-years-communication-and-language-and-literacy/early-years-word-rhyme/games-and-activities-rhyme-communication-and-language-and-literacy-early-years
6. Using story stones/dice (see my post about outdoor activities for kids), devise your own adventure for Handsel and Gristle now that they've escaped the wicked witch!
7. Educational resources for writing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bIgvAH4T5A
8. Buy the book or audio CD if you enjoyed this story! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hairy-Tales-Nursery-Crimes-Michael/dp/1860221882
9. Create and craft your own witch's cottage... then EAT it! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-gingerbread-house
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):
1. Create an animation of this version of the fairytale - which is sure to be WEIRD! Check out the free online animation software out there...and be sure to ask parents before you install anything! https://www.google.com/search?q=free+animation+software&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB865GB865&oq=afree+animation&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l2.5911j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
2. Sharpen your rhyming skills before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zjhhvcw/articles/zqjgrdm
3. Find a bit more out about the Grimm's fairytales - https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/grimms-fairy-tales/summary
4. Learn about the famine of 1314 at https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Great-Flood-Great-Famine-of-1314/
5. Write your own version of another classic fairytale and in the style of Michael Rosen's version. You might find the rhyming dictionary helpful! https://www.rhymezone.com/
6. Create and craft your own witch's cottage... the EAT it! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-gingerbread-house
"Little kids' minds are very very strong. The bend. There's a lot of tensile strength and they don't break. We start our kids off on things like 'Hansel and Gretal', which features child abandonment, kidnapping, attempted murder, forcible detention, cannibalism, and finally murder by cremation. And the kids love it." ― Stephen King
1. Have you got an opinion on this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/culture/story/20130801-too-grimm-for-children
2. For those with young adults in the house - this list is worth a browse - https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/41306.YA_Retellings_of_Hansel_and_Gretel
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