• Pridie Tiernan


Updated: Jun 17, 2020

BUKOLLA THE MAGIC COW with a little bit of teaching about REPETITION!

Let's now switch it up with one you won't necessarily know. Let's travel North (and slightly West) over to the land of ice and fire - Iceland! 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!)


THEN UPLOADED TO WEBSITE! Or, click here to watch now!


So, quick background-bite: this is a pretty famous story in Iceland and it's all about a magical cow that is pinched by a couple of tricksy trolls. We're pretty keen on reading the version found in Michael Morpurgo's collection of 'Magical Animal Stories' https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33387999-greatest-animal-stories-chosen-by-michael-morpurgo) - perhaps because his hero is a feisty female called Frida!

According to Icelandic legend trolls live deep in the mountains and only venture down to forage for food. They can only go out at night and if they are caught in the sunlight they immediately turn to stone. A few of these unlucky trolls can actually be seen and visited - the most famous of which are the Reynisdrangar rock formations https://www.whatson.is/icelandic-rocks/. Legend has it that two trolls were trying to drag a ship with three masts to shore when day broke and they were instantly turned to stone. The freakiest and most feared troll in Icelandic folklore is Gryla - mother of all thirteen Santa clauses who eats naughty children!


1. Listen to this version of the story and talk about how it was similar or different to my version - https://followme.is/bukolla-the-magic-cow-an-icelandic-fairy-tale/

2. Listen to another story about trolls courtesy of Storynory - https://www.storynory.com/the-billy-goats-gruff/ and encourage them to scribble some pictures while they listen (chalk on a wall / paper and pen)

2. Read some more Icelandic fairytales together - http://oaks.nvg.org/icales1-2.html (scroll down to the 'Bukolla story) or https://fairytalez.com/region/icelandic/

3. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how hilarious you can make your own re-working of the bit where Bukolla and Frida escape the trolls!

4. Perform the story - to music! Youtube search 'fairytale music' and stick on a background soundscape (try this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gtAZIZQCuw) while you and your compatriots act out your very own version of this crazy tale!

5. Video your story - and send it over for me to see!

6. Using story stones/dice (see my post about outdoor activities for kids), devise your own adventure for Bukolla and Frida.

7. Compose your own version of Frida's adventure to save Bukolla from the trolls.

8. Educational resources - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bIgvAH4T5A


1. Create some storyboards of various Icelandic fairytales using https://fairytalez.com/region/icelandic/

2. Sharpen skills on repetition and sentence types before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zs9gtyc/revision/2 and https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zxqnfg8/revision/1 and try the quiz.

3. Find a bit more out about Icelandic fairytales - https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/grimms-fairy-tales/summary

4. Learn https://www.dangerous-business.com/14-fun-facts-about-iceland/, Iceland - https://www.kids-world-travel-guide.com/iceland-facts.html, https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/geography/physical-geography/volcano-facts/

5. Write your own version of the tale today and, for an extra challenge, make it as funny as possible. Tip - exaggerate at every opportunity for maximum comic effect OR, make it modern! Send them over and I'll give you some feedback!

6. New about the fairy folk: find out how the fairies blocked the building of a road in Iceland. Why not try to write your own article about how they proved that these little people were REAL! https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/mar/25/iceland-construction-respect-elves-or-elsehttp://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20181217-the-elusive-hidden-people-of-iceland

7. Create and craft your own creature: Icelandic folk really do believe in elves, trolls and monsters. Have a go at designing your own mythical creatures! http://www.show.me.uk/editorial/1160-how-to-make-your-own-mythical-creature


"Now comes the darkening sky and a cold wind that passes right through you, as though you are not there, it passes through you as though it does not care whether you are alive or dead, for you will be gone and the wind will still be there...”

Hannah Kent, Burial Rites, Little Brown and Company, 2013


1. New book? This is a brilliant book - inspired by a true story of a woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. I loved every bit of it and would definitely recommend it if you're looking for something new to read. It's not fairy or folktale as such, but it is set against Iceland's stark and dramatic landscape! Check it out at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333319-burial-rites, or https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/31/burial-rites-hannah-kent-review

2. Online article: if you fancy finding out how Hannah Kent went about writing her novel, have a read of this article https://www.theguardian.com/books/australia-culture-blog/2013/jun/04/burial-rites-writer-hannah-kent


#story #stories #storytelling #storytellingforkids #storytellingwithkids #thewildofthewords #thestoryblog #fairytale #folktale #iceland #hannahkent #burialrights #bukollathecow


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