“Hansel and Gretel” is one of the darkest and greatest of the Grimms Brothers’ classic fairytales, a powerful story of courage and cruelty, weakness and intense love.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- This story has been ‘retold’ by Jane Ray. What does this mean? Can you find other stories that have been retold?
- Can you retell and illustrate your favourite story?
- Find different versions of this story. Which one do you prefer? Why?
- Use the speech within the text to create a play script. Could you perform this with some friends or use puppets?
- Imagine that you were taken into a forest. What is it like? How would you describe it??(see Resources below)
- Make a recipe to teach someone how to make a house of sweets (see Resources below).
- Imagine that you were standing in front of the house made of sweets. What can you see / smell / touch / hear / taste? Think of lots of different words to describe your different senses.
- The old woman in the house is ‘as old as the hills’. Can you think of other similes to describe her / the other characters in the story?
- The Brothers Grimm wrote the original fairy tale. Can you find out what other stories they wrote? If you could interview them today, what questions would you like to ask them?
- Could you plan and perform a trailer for the story. Look at this example for inspiration:
- Watch different retellings of the story. How are they similar / different? Which do you prefer? Here is one example:
- Look at the different shapes in the illustrations. How many squares / rectangles / circles (etc) can you find?
- Look at the patterns in the illustrations. Can you make your own patterns like these?
- Make a timeline showing the main events in the story and the times / days that they happened.
- The pebbles that Hansel drops shine in the moonlight. Why do things shine / reflect light? Can you think of other reflective materials that might be able to help the children find their way home?
- How many animals can you identify in the illustrations?
- Make a stop-motion animation that retells this popular story.
- Can you create some puppets of the main characters in the story and use these to retell it to an audience?
- Can you make a house made out of sweets (or one that looks like it is made of sweets!)?
- Can you create your own illustrations for the story?
- Compose a piece of music to use in a movie / musical theatre version of the story.
- Make a story map that shows the main places and events that take place in the story.
- Find out about the Brothers Grimm. What famous events in history took place while they were alive?
- Carry out role-play activities linked to the story, e.g. hot seating / interviewing characters from the story. How are they feeling at particular points, or ‘Conscience Corridor’ activities – should Hansel and Gretel go into the gingerbread house?