Empathy for the Big Bad Wolf ~ A New Take on an Old Tale

When I went to photograph at Rosa Parks recently, I noticed some peculiar documentation panels which seemed to show empathy for the Big Bad Wolf. I asked the classroom’s teachers about this and they confirmed my suspicions. Upon hearing the age old story of the Three Little Pigs, the children in the classroom wondered why […]

The “Three Little Pigs” Playdough

This is a super fun playdough center – perfect during the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs.   I make a big batch of brown playdough and put out the three materials the three pigs used to build their houses.  I let the children know that they can build a house for their “pig” any way […]

~Fairy Tale Magic ~

Me oh my!  How magical fairy tales are as a curriculum organizer.   It still amazes me how well the fairy tales carry all the major facets of curriculum.  Take a peek at my Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Click on image to view a larger version. I have sought out and found the very best […]

Storytelling in Blocks

Oh my word!  I was so excited to discover a lost thumb drive with photos from my classroom in 2007-2008.   I thought I had lost all of my photos when my first laptop crashed.   My daughter found a random thumb drive and . . . well . . . a treasure trove of photos! One […]

Elves and the Shoemaker

This is one of my favorite Holiday stories.  It highlights the gift of giving without expecting a return for your generosity. Here are some key hands-on links to tie into your learning stations. (Click on yellow links for instructions).  These are very engaging activities – just what you need as you approach Winter break!  Make […]

Gingerbread Baby Goes Around the World!

I love this idea!  Susan, from River Bliss, has the Gingerbread Baby go around the world.  Susan explains, “Throughout the month of December, we receive a letter, postcard, or email nearly every day from the gingerbread baby telling us about various multicultural celebrations taking place at this time of year. He is directionally impaired to […]

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

 “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”  [Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic. San Diego, CA:Harcourt.] It is a great time to pick up a clearance pumpkin container […]

Free Storytelling Cards – Three Pigs

I am so excited to share a free set of storytelling cards for the story of The Three Pigs.  This set includes word cards as well.  To access this free set – go to the Fairy Dust Teaching Facebook page! Enjoy!

5 Great "Where the Wild Things Are" Ideas

Who doesn’t just love “Where the Wild Things Are”? This is a wonderful book to bring a good dose of art. Just watch the story come alive in your classroom. . . IDEA #1:  Wild Things Cardboard Tube Puppets For more information go to: Funderberg  IDEA #2:  Have a Wild Rumpus! Make Costumes! This is […]

Porridge Playdough for Baby Bear!

It took several years to master this playdough.  The traditional recipes for oatmeal playdough are sticky and – honesty – a mess to deal with.   I adapted my basic playdough recipe and have created a perfect porridge playdough!  This dough has a hint of vanilla and cinnamon and is sure to give hours of wonderful […]

Fictional Bears vs. Real Bears

One of the strong impulses of the Common Core Standards is the use of non-fiction reading.  When I work with the fairy tales like the Three Bears – I think it is a wonderful opportunity to compare real bears vs. the three bears.  We research bears by reading non-fiction books from the school library.  This […]

Free Emergent Readers for the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears!

Woot!  I am so excited! I am going to start sharing some of my favorite fairy tale resources. It is going to be a stampede of freebies! These are print-ables that I have created for my classroom use.  These are for your personal use and may not be resold. Here are my personal beginning sight […]

Our Fairy Tree

A few weeks ago I was walking around the neighborhood with my husband when I spotted this wonderful dead tree sitting on the curb — it still had the roots!!  “Honey, pick up that tree for me.”  My husband grimaced.  He knew all too well – another art project! Trees are one of my favorite […]

The Noodle Shop

I loved the felt noodle idea so much!  I put out pieces of felt and let the children cut noodles.  They loved it!  Noodle Shop is open!

Preparing for Chinese New Years

This last week my classroom has been a buzz preparing for Chinese New Years.   Here’s a peek into our preparations:  Each color family designed a Dancing Dragon.  Colors and designs were recorded.  We built the head of Dancing Dragon out of cardboard boxes.  Painted it with acrylic paint. I am traveling this weekend – later […]

Pine Cone Elves

I saw this idea all over Pinterest and had to give it a try with my kinders! What you will need: assorted pine cones (mine came from a friend’s yard) popsicle sticks wooden beads for head little red caps (I found mine at Hobby Lobby) pipe cleaners cut into fourths little pom-poms, glitter pens, and […]

Bread Dough Gingerbread

Sometimes I will adapt the traditional bread dough ornament recipe by adding brown food dye (Wilton brand makes it nice and dark.)  This gives the dough a “gingerbread look” for making gingerbread men and more. I feel it is important to bring a direct experience from the fairy tales and stories we read.  Making cookies […]

Weaving Like Elves

As a part of my Little Elves and the Shoemaker unit, I always introduce several hand working projects.  One of my favorite things to do is weaving.  It is simple and the children love the process.  I found this grapevine “ribbon” at Michael’s for $5 and their holiday ribbon was 50% off.  Perfect! Weaving is […]

Elf Hats

Oh what fun!  With the Elf on the Shelf rage – we had to make Elf hats!  I printed the ears on construction paper and the children cut them out.  On a 12 x 18 sheet of construction paper, the children made a pattern. Next, they folded the corners. The hat is made by making […]

Gingerbread Man Word Family Slider

Kindergartners love word family sliders! It is such fun! This one is very easy to make. What you need: Print out the gingerbread man below.  I print it on brown construction paper.  I cut the construction paper down to 8 1/2 x 11 and feed it into the copier through the side feeder.  You will […]

The "en" Word Family

This is a great Little Red Hen project that I first saw my friend, Mrs. McCain do in her class.  It is excellent tracing and cutting practice as well as the word family work.  I love to see how the children embellish the hens with details.  I prepare brown paper with paint and cut some […]

Helping Hands

One of the most powerful lessons inside the story of the Little Red Hen is helping others.   I have homework  where the children take on a chore at home for a full week.  Every child who completes the full week of doing a chore – receives a Little Red Hen Helping Hand Award.  (I […]

Handprint Little Red Hen

Simple but darling!  It is two steps. Day one – each child makes a red handprint. Day two – let the children transform their handprint into a little red hen.

Playdough Bakery is Open!

 During the Little Red Hen unit – I add a wonderful selection of pans, bowls, buckets, muffin tins, plates. . . even a cheese slicer.  The boys love that slicer!  Wooden spoons, pizza slicers. . .  Several colors of playdough. . .  Ooo, how the fun abounds!  I need another cheese slicer!  The girls adore […]

Little Red Hen’s Bakery

A little peek into my current housekeeping center:  I stock the center with lots of baking tools, containers of baking ingredients, the pretend bread items the children made, and more.  I put a little lamp on the table.  It creates such a special mood.  I love to use the bright red and white gingham print […]

The Three Pigs Table Puppet Show

Letting the children retell a fairy tale is very powerful in building comprehension.  The table puppet show can be very simple like this one.  I use simple plastic pigs and an old wolf puppet.  It works!  The children love it! The Three Little Pigs Table Puppet Play from Fairy Dust Teaching on Vimeo.

I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff and . . .

My educational method is to present one fairy tale for at least two weeks.  I read multiple versions of the tale, retell it orally, retell it with puppets, and at the end – have the children act it out.  It is a method that I have developed over the last 12 years or more.  This […]


My class was at library a week ago when I saw a student’s book.  The cover was similar to an art project I have done in the past but different (click here to see!).  I knew I had to bring this to our Three Pigs unit of construction.  I love the purple background and multicolored […]

A Peek into My Classroom

The story of the Three Pigs offer so many extensions.  Here are a few currently underway in my classroom:  I set up my IKEA roadway rug (super cheap and wonderful) with matchbox cars, little wooden cars and a set of little wooden traffic signs.  I like to bring the idea of the neighborhood, community, community […]

Hands On Literacy 101

Here is a brief look at my literacy approach: What is Hands-On Literacy? Hands on literacy is based on brain-based research.  It brings classic stories alive and into the hands of the learner through the senses – visual, tactical, auditory – and through the multiple intelligences – verbal/linguistic, musical/rhythmic, visual/spatial, bodily kinesthetic, intra-personal, interpersonal, mathematical/logical […]

The Three Billy Goats and The Three Pigs Sight Word Sets

Here are a couple of more fairy tale sight word sets. Three Billy Goats Sight Word Set Three Pigs Sight Word Set

Story Stones made by a Kindergartener

This week one of my kindergarten students came to school with her own story stones.  She had wanted her own set and found a way to make them – stickers!  I was so impressed with her creative solution of how to get an image on the stone!   Her mother told me she gathered the stones […]

It’s Jack’s Beanstalk!

One of my favorite things is to create the atmosphere in the classroom that supports and expands the ideas we are currently exploring.  With Jack and the Beanstalk I love making a huge beanstalk.  Here is how I do this! Step One:  Pull off three long rolls from your green bulletin board paper.  With a […]

Jack and the Bean Sprouts!

I like to start our study of seeds and plants with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  We plant pole beans and other seeds to grow over the next few months.  But in the meantime, it is so powerful to demonstrate how a bean “sprouts” by growing sprouts.  We observed them daily as we […]

A Little Seed Drama

This is an sweet little poem I love to act out as we explore the world seeds and beans.  It is an adaptation of two poems. The little brown seeds went to sleep in the ground. In their little brown nightgowns they slept very sound. Old Winter, he roared and he raged overhead. But the […]

Jack and the Beanstalk – Math Ideas

This week we began the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Today I thought I would share a few of the math activities we have been doing.  They are obvious ideas but perhaps new in the application in this story!  I wanted to take the concepts of “enormous” and “giant”  and bring them to life […]

Wrapped Newspaper Tubes

This is a great activity for building handwork capacity.  It requires holding the newspaper tube and wrapping it.  The children love the challenge and the end result.  We made hearts but you could make any shape.   I am such a firm believer in the arts as a powerful way to prepare kindergarteners. This simple newspaper […]

Story Stones Huge Hit!

I wanted to let you know that the children adored the story stones! Oh my goodness!  I am going to be making more story stones this weekend (see last post for instructions).   What was so inspiring was how the stones provided an easy way to collaborate on telling/making up a story!  This idea is a […]

Story Stones

There are those ideas that you come across that capture your whole heart.  One day I was surfing the web for more ideas for storytelling and came upon Red Bird Crafts and Emily Neuburger.  Emily designed the coolest idea – story stones.  You must click over to her blog and take a peek at her […]

The Queen of Heart’s Tarts

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a winter’s day; The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away. The King of Hearts called for the tarts and scolded the Knave full sore. The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he’d steal no more. Transform […]

Storytelling Pathways: Walking the Fairy Tale

This is a great way to help children with retelling a story.  It builds comprehension, sequencing and it is fun!  It is simple – on a long piece of bulletin board paper – draw a winding path.  At the beginning of the path, draw a visual clue of the first event.  I did this Storytelling […]

Make an Elf Hat and get a Free E-Book of "The Elves and the Shoemaker"

  Look at these cute elf hats!  Cindy Williams and her gang at Philbrook Art Museum came up with this great craft activity for Second Saturday.  I am so taking this idea to my classroom this week! I took a photo of the instructions!  Use a large piece of construction paper (12×18).  Decorate and embellish! […]

Shoe Art!

During “The Elves and the Shoemaker” we create our own Shoe Art! Begin by gathering shoes.  Each child will need one shoe. Next, prepare the shoe by spray painting it.  I have used gold, silver, red, and even black! To decorate, gather a variety of baubles, beads, trim and feathers. I like using the Golden […]

How to Draw an Elf

This week we are inside the wonderful tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker.  I love teaching the children how to draw an elf.  It is easy and the results endearing!  I am including my state standards at the bottom of this post that this activity directly addresses.  This activity is reinforces the understanding of […]

The Bakery is Open!

During the Gingerbread Man unit, we open a bakery where the children buy and sell bake goods they have made.  I use an old recipe from my childhood that my mother used to make bread dough ornaments.  It is really like a clay.  It is great fun and the children feel such ownership of the […]

Gingerbread Playdough

Gingerbread Play-Dough This is my favorite recipe for gingerbread play-dough.  It smells wonderful and provides the perfect play during our Gingerbread Boy unit. 1 cup flour 1/2 cup salt 1 Tb. cream of tartar 1 cup water 1 tsp. vegetable oil Spices–Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves Use Green and Red food coloring to make the […]

Age Appropriate Fairy Tales

  “Fairy tales strengthen the moral lives of children.” How do you determine which fairy tales are age appropriate?  A good gauge is by the way that the conflict (or “evil”) is depicted and by the complexity of the tale.  Here is a basic guide: Young Three Year Olds: little nature stories simple stories about […]

Storytelling – The Heart of My Teaching

Storytelling – The Heart of My Teaching from Fairy Dust Teaching on Vimeo.

Easy Gingerbread Dollhouse People

One of the classic tales for the holidays is the Gingerbread Boy.  I discovered that many Christmas Gingerbread people ornaments made perfect dollhouse figures.   There are always many different styles in the cloth ornaments.  They are soft and provide hours of enjoyment in dollhouse play.  I have also found doll-sized gingerbread men (we call them […]