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Spring 1 - Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

This half term we are exploring different traditional tales. 


Rationale: Richly written stories from high quality authors and illustrators will inspire the children to retell, recreate and act out their own versions of the stories. They will be introduced to story components and become familiar with story language and structure. They will learn new techniques to construct a variety of puppets and work collaboratively to perform puppet shows.

Hook: The children found a mysterious object and a box on the carpet after lunch that had a sign on it 'for Reception'. Inside the box was a bag of puppets and some story clues, including a bowl of porridge, a beanstalk, ginger and a rolling pin. The children excitedly guessed the stories. Then they pulled the material off the object to reveal a puppet theatre! There were lots of puppet shows during the afternoon and the children were able to explore the clues.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

We read the story and spoke about the different characters. Then we made stick puppets of the four main characters.

We used them to perform the story in our puppet theatre.

Goldilocks ate the bears' porridge! We talked about healthy breakfasts and explored bowls of porridge. We decided the thicker one was Daddy Bear's, the runny one was Mummy Bear's and Baby Bear's was just right. We liked getting our hands messy.

We also painted some bears and mixed the paints to make different shades of brown.

The Three Little Pigs

Before we read the story, we spoke about what we thought might happen. Then we read it and spoke about the story structure. Independently, we ordered pictures from the story.

We looked at different buildings around the world and talked about the materials they are made from. We decided that straw and sticks are not good building materials! We used a range of materials to build our own houses.

We have continued to perform puppet shows in our theatre and have started retelling familiar tales, for example The Gruffalo and The Wizard of Oz, as well as our invented ones.


We have also started to watch the shows on blankets with picnics.

We made folded paper puppets of the pigs and the wolf. We enjoyed being able to make them talk by opening and closing our hand.

One of our friends shared their special puppets from home with us. We liked looking at a different style of puppet. It was funny that the legs moved when you pulled the string!

Jack and the Beanstalk

This week a massive beanstalk grew in our classroom. We used our cutting skills to add leaves to it.

We read the story and found all the characters, key events and story language in the book. Then we used what we have learnt to write an independent story. This could be inspired by the tales we have been reading.

In exploring time, we made a shop where we could buy beans.

We also used the house outside to make a giant's castle. We then turned it into a pig house so that we could retell the story of The Three Little Pigs.

We followed instructions to plant beans and spoke about what they needed to grow.

Finally we have made finger puppets by cutting card, painting a character and then gluing a finger loop onto the puppet. We made Jack, Jack's Mum and the Giant.

The Gingerbread Man

We have been reading the story of The Gingerbread Man. Our role play was turned into a bakery. We have enjoyed being both the baker and the customer.



We followed instructions to make salt dough food for our bakery.

We also pretended to be bakers with some gingerbread playdough.

In our writing we thought about what the Gingerbread man might say and used our sounds to write it.

Alongside all of our other learning, we have been building with the castle and retelling different traditional tales. We also played gingerbread men counting games on the computer.

The Jolly Postman

We have been reading the story of The Jolly Postman and were inspired to make our own postbox. We have been busy writing letters to post to our friends.

In the story, the Jolly Postman delivers post to lots of characters from traditional tales. It was exciting to spot the different characters that we knew and to find out about the ones that we did not. We used our sounds to write character labels.

Some of our friends were interested in recipe books so these were added to our bakery. We have been following the recipes and talking about which ones we would like to make.

We noticed that many traditional tales have three of one character. We have been exploring numbers and one more/less in our play. We even made up some games.

We have been inventing stories and made monster hats to help us tell our stories.

We have been enjoying the winter sunshine by reading outside. We also have been using the water tray to tell stories and explore capacity and weight.

Project Outcome

We have applied what we know about puppet making to create our final puppets. 


We made invitations for our families.

And tickets to our Puppet Show.

We performed our Puppet Show to our families.

Still image for this video

Still image for this video

Still image for this video

Home learning

As part of our project we created spoon puppets of ourselves at home.