Updated: Jun 17, 2020
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (with a little bit of teaching about TONE!)
Let's start with one we all know. Let's get 'Little Red' in the room! Visit my Facebook page to enjoy a fifteen minute - story-orientated - English session for kids of all ages (saved under videos), with follow up ideas and activities to be found at the bottom of this blog! (Note: also with a bonus bit for grownups!)
FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 10.15AM,
So, quick background-bite: the story's been told in different ways, through different centuries, in different countries under different names, and it's origins - they claim - can be traced back to 10th century Europe (and even then it'll be way older than that, as all tales always are). The versions we tend to know are the ones written by Charles Perrault and those big bad Brothers Grimm. You know the one - girl's given cap and cake, gifts for granny, long walk through woods, meets weird wolf, bit of granny gobbling and then Little Red gets it - and is rescued if you're not a fan of the French version!) I, personally, favour the approach of an earlier Italian version of the tale, The False Grandmother / La finta nonna in which our Little Red uses cunning and courage to beat the wolf and emerge victorious, and there's also an older version where a scary werewolf ties Little Red to himself with string and she insists she needs to pee before proceeding only to skip nimbly off to freedom after she's tied the end around something else! Perrault got all moralistic at the end of his story to make strong points about what well-bred ladies should and shouldn't be doing, and the Grimms seemed keen to limit our girl to a relatively passive role with the final arrival of a strapping wood-bashing man to the rescue. Generally, its a tale used to teach all sorts of lessons and I feel it fits the current climate with its clear contrast between the safe world and the danger that lurks beyond. In short, it gives us a little bit to think about - that can be, or not be, about the virus affecting us all.
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN FOR EARLY YEARS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):
1. Listen together to this version for little listeners courtesy of Storynory - and with a warning about not talking to strangers: https://www.storynory.com/little-red-riding-hood-podcast-version/ or read the Brothers Grimm and Perrault versions together (and encourage them to scribble some pictures while they listen (chalk on a wall / paper and pen) - links here https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm026.html. , http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/perrault02.html
2. Talk about the two different endings and have a chat about what it all might mean!
3. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how hilarious you can make your own re-working of everyone's favourite scene can be with 'Oh Grandma, what a big ...you have!'
4. Perform the story - be ambitious! Youtube search 'fairytale music' and stick on a background soundscape (try this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30daGH-8iD4) while you and your compatriots act out your very own version of this classic fairytale!
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 Little Red together.
7. Compose your own version of Little Red's visit to the woods.
8. Educational resources - https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/little-red-riding-hood-activity-booklet-6140879, https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/little-red-riding-hood, https://www.dltk-teach.com/rhymes/little_red_riding_hood_section.htm
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):
1. Watch Timmy Mallet (from the 80's) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUfv-tAfXn4 and have a go at this word association game yourself!
Write an alternative version of this classic tale - replacing the characters and setting with your own. Try to get those shifts in tone right by using words that make the reader feel a certain way!
2. Write: try writing your own version of this tale 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!
3. Find a bit more out about the Brothers Grimm - https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/grimms-fairy-tales/summary
4. Learn something new about Disney's fairytales - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/z72q47h
5. Sharpen skills before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z33j7ty/revision/1 and try the quiz!
"One beast and only one howls in the woods by night. The wolf is carnivore incarnate and he's as cunning as he is ferocious; once he's had a taste of the flesh then nothing else will do..."
Extract from 'The Company of Wolves', The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter, Vintage 1995
ACTIVITIES (STORY-ORIENTATED ESCAPISM):
1. New book? If you haven't already read Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber (brilliantly described by Waterstones as 'a delirious mix' of fairytale and feminism), then TREAT YOURSELF to this incredible work of multilayered meaning from this literary master! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloody-Chamber-Other-Stories/dp/0099588110
2. Online article: if you're still not sure, or haven't the pennies to spare, then take a look at this article... https://www.bl.uk/20th-century-literature/articles/angela-carters-wolf-tales, to help you finally decide if it's worth the purchase...and/or get an idea as to why I'm including it here as a 'must read'!
3. Ponder: find that meditative soundscape that I mentioned above, sit back and relax in your well-earned quiet time and contemplate what Carter was trying to say.
4. Research: check out 'The Singing Bones Podcast' page on all the different versions of the Red Riding Hood tale - http://singingbonespodcast.com/littleredstories/2016/5/25/episode-nine-little-red-riding-hood-stories
5. Learn a little more about our Brothers Grimm at http://singingbonespodcast.com/podcast/thebrothersgrimm
6. Haven't the energy to read? Listen to Clare Testoni tell you some tales at http://singingbonespodcast.com