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Who's on My Bridge?

Hey, billy goats—watch out for a troll under the bridge! Bring a favorite fairytale to life with marionettes and stick puppets that have LOTS of character.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Read or retell The Three Billy Goats Gruff. This story, which has been a favorite of children for generations, originally came from Norway. Imagine what your billy goats and troll look like. Sketch your ideas with Crayola® Washable Markers.
    2. Make marionette billy goats. To create a billy goat marionette, which is a puppet that is controlled with strings hanging from a wooden support, use several chenille stems for the various jointed body parts. Make at least 3 billy goats—or a whole herd if you like! Create different sizes, from kids to adults.
    3. Start by making all of the goat’s body parts. Twist a loop into the top of a chenille stem, and then shape it into a bent-leg shape. At the bottom of the leg, push the stem through a bead, which will serve as the goat’s hoof. Twist the remainder of the chenille stem around itself, to secure the bead.
    4. Shape Crayola Model Magic around the chenille leg. Make it knobby at the knee, just like a billy goat’s legs! Make four legs for each billy goat.
    5. Sculpt goat bodies from Model Magic. Will your goats be smooth or have ruffled fur? Pinch out fur points. Shape a tail, connected to a short loop made from a chenille stem.
    6. The last piece to make is the neck and head section, which should be a single piece. Use a chenille stem that is bent where the head meets the neck as a support for the Model Magic. Give your billy goats lots of character!
    7. As the Model Magic begins to dry, attach small loops made from the chenille stems to the following places: the top of the head, the tail area on each billy goat’s back, the chest area, the bottom of the neck, and the points where each leg will be connected. Air-dry the Model Magic at least 24 hours.
    8. Paint all the goat pieces with Crayola Watercolors and Paint Brushes. Air-dry all pieces. Add fur, hoof, and facial details with Crayola Fine Tip Markers and Multicultural Markers. Connect the pieces.
    9. Use a short stick as the marionette’s controls. Tie strings to the front, middle, and the back of the stick. Attach one string to the billy goat’s head, one to the bottom of the neck, and one to the tail. Make sure the strings are the right length to make the billy goat appear to be standing straight.
    10. Design a stick puppet troll. Use a short stick as the support for the troll’s body. Attach a chenille stem to hold up the arms. Sculpt the arms and head from Model Magic.
    11. At the hip level, attach a chenille stem for legs. Create two big troll feet from Model Magic. Push a hole into the ankle of each foot. Attach the feet to the leg stems. Air-dry for 24 hours.
    12. Paint the troll with watercolors. Air-dry the troll.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: 12 Fabulously Funny Fairy Tale Plays: Humorous Takes on Favorite Tales That Boost Reading Skills, Build Fluency & Keep Your Class Chuckling With Lots of Read-Aloud Fun! By Justin McCory Martin; A First Book of Fairy Tales by Mary Hoffman; Favorite Fairy Tales (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics) by Brother's Grimm.

    Challenge students to create the entire cast of creatures from this, or another, fairytale. Students work in small groups to write an original script and create a play based upon the story. Design a puppet stage using recycled cardboard boxes. Encourage the use of props such as trees and a bridge. Students should be prepared to present their play to classmates and families.

    Students create an original character and setting. Write a play based on the models made. Be prepared to present the original play to classmates and families.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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