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 of the folders had photos of Three Billy Goats Gruff “puppet” play in blocks.  I had made two simple Waldorf style troll “marionettes” out of fabric and provided a variety of toy goats.   I read the story every day for a week before putting these props in blocks.  I also retold the story using these props to model how to tell a story.

The addition of story props from a fairy tale spurred a whole new level of building.  Bridges abounded – small bridges, huge bridges, long bridges, short bridges – all inside the telling of the very mean and naughty troll.
Huge bridges were built for the troll.

Smaller bridges were built for the goats.

The story took on a whole new dimension as the children expanded the tale.  It was a collaborative storytelling journey.

The most stunning thing about this was the fact that a little boy who had not entered cooperative play yet (or parallel play for that matter) – began to take up the part of a goat.  It was such a moment, even the children stopped to listen to him “trip, trap.”

A few children began to write a new version of the story!

There was even a bit of fighting over who was going to be the troll!

It amazed me how much bridge building began out the simple addition of the story, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”  The block center was vibrant with activity – with as many as 10 children at a time building bridges.
“Whose that trip trapping across my bridge?  Who ever you are – I am going to eat you up!”

One student removed all of the goats from the blocks and put them in order of size.  Too cool.

Simple props from a favorite story + blocks = amazing!