“A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo?” “A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” And so begins the story of a quick-witted mouse as he encounters a host of predators who seem to think he might make a tasty treat. As he ventures deeper into the deep dark wood, stumbling across a hungry fox, a not-so-wise owl, and a slimy snake, spinning ever-extraordinary yarns about the scary, scaly gruffalo, he quickly realises that the hungry beast he has been talking of isn’t imaginary after all.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Investigate the rhyming in the books. Which words rhyme? Can you think of other words that rhyme with those?
- The story uses lots of different types of punctuation. Look at each type of punctuation and explain why it has been used.
- Turn the story into a play, using the correct layout. Could you perform this for others? Watch this version for some inspiration:
- Add speech bubbles to the illustrations shown in the book.
- The word ‘terrible’ is used to describe the Gruffalo. Can you think of synonyms for ‘terrible’? Can you think of other words to describe the Gruffalo?
- The mouse pretends to be ‘the scariest creature’ in the wood. What other ‘scary’ animals can you think of? Why are they scary? Can you write a story about a scary animal?
- Watch this video in which Julia Donaldson talks about how she wrote the book:
- Watch the animated version of the book and explain which you prefer:
- Peter Fogarty has kindly contributed a set of Thinking Hat resources linked to the book (see Resources below).
- Write a report about an imaginary creature. What does it eat? Where does it live? How is it adapted to live in that place?
- Create a food chain using the animals in the story and shown in the pictures.
- Look at the illustrations in the book and find out about all of the different animals shown.
- Use Switchzoo to create your own imaginary creatures.
- Use painting software to draw your own Gruffalo picture, or a picture of an imaginary creature.
- Could you make your own animated version of The Gruffalo?
- Make your own life-size model of the Gruffalo. Take a look at this example, created by Ann Plowman:
- Draw or paint your own imaginary creature.
- Create a life-size picture of the Gruffalo, using the description in the text.
- Look at the different expressions of the characters shown in the story. How are they feeling?
Thinking Hat – The Gruffalo
Contributed by Peter Fogarty.