Impromptu roleplays can be so much fun. This week, I have read/performed the big book version of The three billy goats gruff to nine Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 classes, as part of their term’s work on fairy and folk tales.
The last class, a Kindergarten, have just left. Towards the end of our collaboratively planned lesson, the class teacher had to run an errand and, having already looked at the CBCA shortlisted books display, I decided to return to our fairy tale roleplay ideas – and suddenly we had twenty-two “trolls” hiding under tables/bridges, awaiting the arrival of some “troll food”.
While waiting to chant the now-familiar phrase, “Who’s that crossing over my bridge?”, the trolls chattered amongst themselves…
“Gee, trolls must get tired of waiting.”
“That’s why they’re so mean.”
“Hey, someone drew under this table!”
“Trolls are very naughty, you know.”
“Where is she? I’m worried.”
“Maybe a troll ate her while she was outside?”
About this time, two “trolls” elected to come out from under their bridge and be contented grass-eating goats. Scapegoats, perhaps?
And then: “Who’s that crossing over MY bridge?”
The look on the trolls’ teacher’s face was precious! Too bad she’d actually missed all the hilarious commentary that her absence had instigated.
Today I reacquainted myself (and a small intensive language class) with two alternate, modern retellings of “The three billy goats gruff”:
* “The three kangaroos Gruff” in Fairy tales for young Australians by Jan Wade (National, 1992), in which the troll is a thongs-clad Norwegian tourist, and
* 3 billy goats gruff (Ashton Scholastic, 1994) by Ted Dewan, which has a wonderful baseball theme running through the illustrations.