- books of folktales and fairytales such as Rapunzel by Alix Berenzy, The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall, City Mouse-Country Mouse and Two More Mouse Tales from Aesop illustrated by John Wallner, The Village of Round and Square Houses by Ann Grifalconi
- building materials (wooden unit blocks, interlocking blocks, cardboard or foam blocks)
- props (dolls, doll house furniture, plastic animals, toy mice, fabric scraps, sticks, small pattern blocks, paper crayons)
- child safety scissors, masking tape
- chart paper and markers
Objective: Children will develop literacy, language, and problem-solving concepts as they create block structures related to specific fairy tales.
Collect the recommended books and read children a variety of folktales and fairytales over several days. Following each story, engage them in discussions about different characters and types of buildings that were in each story. Suggest that children use blocks and other building materials to retell these stories.
The Three Little Pigs. Provide children with sticks, hay or straw, and blocks. Invite small groups to use the materials to make the buildings depicted in the story. Ask them to use or make props to help them retell the story. Photocopy each character from the storybook, cut it out, and paste it onto a craft stick to make stick puppets. Ask children to extend the story of the three little pigs by building sturdy homes for the two pigs who had gone to their brother's brick home.
The Village of Round and Square Houses. Provide large sheets of paper with either a square or circle shape drawn on it. Explain to children that they will use the shape as an outline for their building. Invite small groups of children to work together in the block center to create their structures.
Literacy and Dramatic Play: Fairytale Village. Encourage children to create and set up a Fairytale Village using structures based on different fairytales and making figures out of construction paper and craft sticks to represent characters. Children can act out fairytales and try putting fairytale characters in different situations and settings — what if the City Mouse and the Country Mouse dropped in on the Three Little Pigs? What if the Steadfast Tin Soldier tried saving Rapunzel from her tower in the Village of Round and Square Houses? Encourage children to investigate different combinations of their favorite fairytale characters.
Building Shapes by Susan Canizares and Samantha Berger
A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman
Rapunzel: A Happenin' Rap by David Vozar