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BLAST Early Learning
Tell Me a Story: Folktales


Chicken Little
by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
A retelling of the classic story of Chicken Little, who has an acorn fall on his head and runs in a panic to his friends Henny Penny, Lucky Ducky, and Loosey Goosey, to tell them the sky is falling.


The Ugly Duckling
written by Hans Christian Andersen; retold and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
In this retelling of the Ugly Duckling, set on the African continent, the duckling spends an unhappy year ostracized by the other animals before he grows into a beautiful swan.


Open-ended Questions for Chicken Little

  • Why did Chicken Little think that the sky was falling?
  • What was the “warm dark cave” really?


Baa Baa Black Sheep
Baa, baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
And one for the dame
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane


Song :

Down by the Bay
Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow
Back to my home, I dare not go
For if I do, my mother will say:
Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose…
Did you ever see a whale with a polka-dot tail…
Did you ever see a fly wearing a tie…
Did you ever see a bear combing his hair…
Did you ever see llamas, eating their pajamas…
Did you ever have a time, when you couldn’t make a rhyme…


Vocabulary Word:

bright: adj. smart
“Chicken Little was not the brightest chicken in the coop.”
(taken from Chicken Little by Rebecca and Ed Emberley)



Read several versions of the same story (i.e. The Little Red Hen). Then compare and contrast the stories. Ask the students which one was their favorite, and then graph the responses.

Children can illustrate their own story or book, and the teacher can write out the words. Either they can illustrate a folktale that you read to the class, or they can make up their own story and illustrate it.

Find several different types of food that farm animals eat (hay, pellets, leaves, fruit, slop, etc.) Next find several farm animals (pictures or plastic ones) and have the children match the farm animals with the food they eat.



The Three Cabritos
by Eric A. Kimmel; illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Retells, with a southwestern United States setting, the traditional tale about three billy goat brothers who trick a beast that lives under the bridge.


Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail
by Coleen Salley; illustrated by Janet Stevens Epossumondas's mother tells him a story about how his great-great-grandfather became the first possum to have a hairless tail.


Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Retells in verse the Indian fable of the blind men discovering different parts of an elephant and arguing about its appearance. The illustrations depict the blind arguers as mice.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears
by Caralyn Buehner & Mark Buehner
In this variation on the classic folktale, a rhyming, rope-skipping, little girl rudely helps herself to the belongings of a genteel family of bears.