Julia Donaldson is my new favorite children’s author! I was introduced to her by one of my Mom’s during Halloween. She came to our class dressed as a witch and read “Room on the Broom.” That book became an instant favorite, and then I found her Grufflo books too! My own children LOVE these stories, the element of the Grufflo, and the tricky mouse. The mouse is able to trick all of the forest animals, and convince them that he is the scariest creature in the “deep, dark wood”! He even scares the Grufflo. I think children love when the underdog wins!
After reading the book we re-created the book using our wooden platform, tree blocks, and little figures to represent all of the characters. I had the puppets for the mouse and Grufflo. C had the great idea to add rocks from our nature table, and M thought we should add felt to represent the creek and river. We acted out and re-told the story using the props, and the children played with the items as well!
We also read the second book, “The Gruffalo’s Child” in which the Gruffalo’s baby learns an important lesson about the little mouse.
After all of this discussion about the Grufflo, I thought it would be great to set up an invitation for the kids to make him using clay and loose parts.
I gave them a variety of clay tools, wooden sticks and beads. The results were awesome! Below D made the Gruffly and used the wooden sticks to make his arms, claws on his feet and horns on his head. I had the book propped up for the children to refer to the picture if they wanted to.
T working with the clay above. She rolled out the clay to form really, really long legs of the Gruffalo. I love the way she used all of the wooden picks to make his belly.
A above added a variety of eyes to her Gruffalo, and then decided to change her creation and put in lots and lots of wooden sticks all over his body.
C was one of the few children that wanted his Gruffly to stand up on the cardboard. He asked for help getting his clay to stand up tall, and then he got straight to work adding details to his face and body.
At the end of the week we let everyone come to school in their PJs and we had a Gruffalo viewing party. There is a short 25 min movie on Netflix that is based on the book. We gathered on the couches in my family room area and snuggled up for popcorn and a movie. Many of the children said they watched the movie at home as well!
It was so fun to dig in deep with this story! Happy Reading!