When the Forestry Commission asked us to review their Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack, I had assumed the pack would just contain a few lesson plans. The Gruffalo has always been one of my favourite stories to cover as a teacher. I have very fond memories of creating our own Grufallo play during my first year of teaching and I will always associate the story with that class. I was interested to see what style lesson plans the Forestry Commission would create. I could also pass the resources onto my husband’s school where he is headteacher.
I was impressed with the resources provided by the Forestry Commission. It is a curriculum-linked pack for Early Years and Key Stage One. The activities are designed to be done outdoors, with the aim of encouraging more children to explore the natural world in the forest. The lesson plans bring the story to life.
With over forty coloured pages, the pack is designed so teachers can use the whole pack or just individual programmes or activities. It is therefore suitable if you are doing The Gruffalo as a one off lesson or as an entire topic. It is divided into four sections – Introductions/Scene Setting and then three programmes.
The Introduction/Scene Setting enables children to become familiar with the Gruffalo story and the forest environment. The pack provides questions to get the children talking about where the story is set, what a forest is like, where different animals live and what forests are like around the world.
In Programme 1 children get to explore and discover about the forest. Not every child has access to woodlands. Through the use of aerial photos and maps of the forest children can explore the physical features if the forest, find out about different types of trees and learn about the symbols used in maps.
In Programme 2 children design, make and evaluate a variety of products using natural materials. It gives instructions how to make a picture frame, a sound maker, a nest, a shelter and a bridge.
Programme 3 is all about animals. Children will learn about forest animals and birds through a series of hands-on activities. We love the sound of the Forest Sensory Challenge and the Animal Food Hunt Challenge.
Each programme has “talk about” symbols to initiate discussion points as well as “Hands On Activities.” Extension activities and cross-curricular links are also provided.
The Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack has been put together well, designed with top tips for teachers.
So how do you get your hands on a Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack? The pack itself is available from the Forestry Commission website and is free of charge. It makes a wonderful resource for the classroom. As it uses the well-loved Gruffalo character, the learning activities are instantly appealing to children. You can find out more information on the Forestry Commission website.
Disclaimer: We were The Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack from the Forestry Commission to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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