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How To Facilitate Hands-On Literacy for Kids

NAEYC’s article Building Bridges to Understanding in a Preschool Classroom: A Morning in the Block Center emphasizes the importance of block play in childhood classrooms. They suggest children gain important skills by playing with blocks, “children learn how to define problems, research solutions, build and test prototypes, and share the results with friends and family.”—NAEYC

With our easy-to-follow guide, parents and educators can learn to facilitate hands-on literacy for their own children. We will be using the story of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”to facilitate block play. There are a number of variations on the folktale, and this lesson can easily be adapted to fit the version you may have. This lesson can be used for one child, for a small group of children, or an entire classroom. In addition, any of our open-ended toy Brackitz kits would work for this lesson.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

1. Pause in the story and allow your children to collaborate by building a strong bridge together. Encourage them to use a single piece of wood or a small nearby marker (such as an apple or a box of crayons) to symbolize the youngest Billy Goat Gruff.

"Trip, trap, trip, trap! " went the bridge.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll .

"Oh, it is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, with such a small voice.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the billy goat. "Wait a bit till the second Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger.”

2. Demonstrate the youngest billy goat safely on the other side of the bridge.

"Well, be off with you," said the troll.

A little while after came the second Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

 

3. Use two pieces of wood and four connectors to simulate the second billy goat, or use a separate, slightly larger marker.

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap, went the bridge.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

"Oh, it's the second Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

"Oh, no! Don't take me. Wait a little till the big Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

"Very well! Be off with you," said the troll.

 

4. Demonstrate the second billy goat safely on the other side of the bridge.

But just then up came the big Billy Goat Gruff .

 

5. Use three pieces of wood and six connectors to simulate the third billy goat, or use a larger marker.

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap! went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

"It's I! The big Billy Goat Gruff ," said the billy goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.

"Now I 'm coming to gobble you up," roared the troll.

Well, come along! I've got two spears,

And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;

I've got besides two curling-stones,

And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.

That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade, and after that he went up to the hillside.

6. Demonstrate the third billy goat safely on the other side of the bridge with the other two goats.

There the billy goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why, they're still fat; and so,

Snip, snap, snout.

This tale's told out.

About Brackitz

Brackitz is the only open-ended building toy that actually lets kids design any structure they envision – anything! Our one-of-a-kind, award-winning Brackitz enable connections at any angle, allowing kids to use real-life architectural and engineering principles to create large-scale, gravity-defying, 3-D structures – with no limitations!

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