Once Upon a Time at
Teaching Heart

Here you will find many ideas, printables, games, crafts, and centers for a unit or theme on fairytales! Fairy Tales was one of the first units I ever created! Many of the pictures on this page are from my time student teaching back in 1997 - 1998! Enjoy!

Updated - March 2014

Various Poems/Songs/Fingerplays


(to the tune of "Jingle Bells")

Once upon a time,
In a land far away,
A girl kissed a frog -
That just made his day!

Far across the town,
Red Riding Hood took fright -
She found a wolf
In granny's bed
When she told her goodnight!

Fairy Tales! Fairy Tales!
Read them every day!
Oh what fun it is to hear
How Goldilocks got away!

Fairy Tales! Fairy Tales!
Full of joy and laughter!
Do you know how this one ends?

Author Unknown

Above is a character mobile that I had my 2nd grade students make (1998) . In the middle they draw the character of their choice and then fill in the four bubbles about the character. When they are done they cut and string each part and place on a string to hang. These look so great hanging around the room!

Here is a beginning, middle, and end activity we did in 2nd grade with the book Hansel and Gretel. Under the Gingerbread house in a flap book with. Begin, Middle, End, and Alternative Ending. The students filled in the book. Then they colored the Gingerbread House ans stapled it to the book. When they were done, I hung the finished products on a board that said... Fairy Tales Can Be Yummy!

Here is a fun hands-on bulletin board that I made. The middle shows a book. On the outside of the book are various characters, settings, story titles, and plots. Inside the book are large bubbles for the students to place the story title, plot, characters, and setting. The plot, setting, characters, and title and held on the board with velcro so that they can be manipulated by the students.

Fairy Tale Head Bands  

1.  Let each child choose a fairy tale character to use to make a headband. 
Reproduce the chose character once for each child.  Have children color.  Mount on oaktag,  and cut out.
2.  Give each child a 2" x 24" strip of construction paper.  Help each child
staple the headband to the center of the strip as shown.
3.  Staple each strip to fit around each child's head.
4.  Children may wear their Fairy-Tale Headbands while they listen to and act
out some of the best known fairy tales.

Fairy Tale Dramatics
  1.  Ask children to help make a list of several fairy tales that the class has
2.  Help determine the characters needed to dramatize the fairy tale.
3.  Reproduce appropriate headbands for their characters needed to dramatize
the fairy tale.
4.  Let  children perform the fairy tale for parents.

Three Bears - We  do a lot with measurement with these stories.  To compare weights, the kids work with a partner to complete a chart of light, medium, and heavy items around the classroom.   Light - can pick up with one hand, medium - can pick up with 2 hands, heavy - can't pick up (I'm always in that column!). A small medium and large bear icon help mark each column.    We write notes to the 3 bears from Goldilocks to apologize for the mess she made.  Have done a group guided writing and individually on computer with kids.Chrystal Shook

The Three Little Pigs

Get the Video

Get the Book

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

There were three little pigs who were forced to roam,
So each decided to build a home.
They bought some neat stuff from a nice man,
And then he said to them, "Build what you can!"
The 3 little pigs said  "We shall use it all!"
Then the first little pig took the basket of straw.
The second little pig took the bundle of sticks,
The third little pig took a wheelbarrow of bricks.
They each built a house...and you know the rest,
Only one house is left cuz it was the best. ( LAC )

Three Little Pigs Sensory Craft
Provide materials for the children to make a 3 Little Pigs scene....straw
(raffia), sticks (popcicle sticks) and red paper (bricks) as well as misc.
other colors of paper, and whatever else the children can brainstorm to be
suitable "building materials", potato halves with the shape of a pig cut
into it for printing with pink paint, also have glue, scissors, and just lots of
"stuff". Let the kids go with it....

If you like the printable I used above - click here to see the set it is in!

Encourage the children to make their own curled piggy tails by cutting a
pinkcircle around and around toward the middle.  When finished and held up, a
spiral piggy tail will stretch out into the sprial shape. Let them tape the
tail to their bottoms.  Also provide pink paper for piggy snouts made from
cutcircles with nostrils drawn on then tape it to their noses.  Now assist the
children in gathering the props to act out the story.

Put miniature story props in the sand table and let the children act out the
story this way, too.  (Oriental Trading Catalog has great rubber farm, zoo,
dinosaur animals to order.  Their farm collection would be great for this
activity...I've said it before...this company has great stuff for VERY
reasonable prices.)  The house could be made from small sized boxes or milk
cartons, decorated with simple designs to illustrate the pigs individual
homes.  (Have plain cartons available for the children to design new homes
in the art area.)

Invite the children to bring in their own books of The Three Little Pigs.
Look at one particular section of the story from each book (like the part
where the pigs get their supplies for their home building) and compare all
the different versions/illustrations.  How are they alike and how are they different? Talk about the artist (illustrators) each having a different idea of how the pigs must look and
that each of them is different but still correct.

Assist the children in naming the 3 little pigs...take one pig at a time and
talk about names that would help describe that particular pig.

Rewrite the story with the class using 3 different materials for the houses.  

A Tail to Tell using The Three Little Pigs as a structural model to establish knowledge of the form of fairy tales : seven great activities to do with The Three Little Pigs

  Bits and Pieces writing a tale based on a collection of objects which trigger brainstorming

  Construction Ahead! students use the story as jumping off point for a math/art activity

For the 3 Little Pigs, gather and clean 3 milk cartons for each child. Use canned frosting to add straw (shredded wheat), sticks (pretzels) and bricks ( cherry nibs - licorice).  Put on large styrofoan trays and add other details if desired.  Make popcicle stick puppets so the children can retell the story at home before they inevitably munch on the houses
Chrystal Shook

Even More Little Pig Ideas from our Little Pigs Packet for Preschool and Kindergarten!
Printables to match the story, the Three Little Pgs
The Three Little Pigs Printables Three Little Pigs Color by code
Three Little Pig Board GAme Letter Sounds Three Little Pigs Skill Puzzle
Three Little Pigs Stamp, Color, Trace Three Little Pigs Retell
This set includes:
Literature Extensions for the Story, The Three Little Pigs. Games, a craft, and math and reading fun made specifically for Preschool and Kindergarten learning! The Three Little Pigs Math and Literacy Games, Centers, Glyph, and More! Hands-on is the key to learning!!! This packet is all that and more!
Page 3 and 4—Emergent reader. Student can color and bring home to share with a parent.
Page 5 to 8—Three Little Pigs game. Just print and use in small group.
Page 9—Color, trace, and stamp activity sheet. Number three.
Page 10—Color by code. Cut-out dice provided. Print dice on cardstock and tape together to have forever.
Page 11 and 12—Easy Three Little Pigs Craft page and idea.
Page 13—Color cut and sequence pictures from the story activity sheet.
Page 14 to 16—Story manipulatives. Laminate and add a magnet to the back to use on large white board to retell the story.
Page 17 and 18—Tally and Graph activity. Printable dice provided. Makes a wonderful math center.
Page 19— Color, Trace, Cut, Count and Glue—Activity sheets for the numbers 2 through seven.
Page 20—Roll and Cover Math Center. Print page 20 on card stock. Supply markers and a dice. Students take turns rolling dice and marking off the number they rolled. First to cover their card wins. Great for independent game time or small groups.
Page 21—Little Piggy knows his letter sounds board game. Supply markers and a dice. Students roll dice and say letter sound on the brick. First person to get to the brick house first is the winner.
Page 22—Practice a skill puzzle—Laminate cards and then use a dry erase to add a skill on the bottom of the puzzle. Cut apart puzzle and students put it back together. Great for counting by 5’s and 10’s or counting up. Also good for ABC order.
Page 23—A beginning sound cut, color, and glue sheet.
Page 24—Three Little Pigs Glyph Activity Sheet. Great way to introduce preschool and kindergarten age kids to data interpretation!

Just $5.99

Add to Cart View Cart
Make Learning Fun has lots of free printables to match this story - click here to see them!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

For Preschool aged children, may I suggest:  The Three Bears By Byron Barton - I love the simple text and pictures…

When reading this story teach the children to say…

When Goldilocks tries the Oatmeal –  ”too hot (while waving a hand), and too cold (while hugging body), and just right (holding thumbs up)”

When Goldilocks rocks on the chairs – “too fast (rock back and fourth quickly), too slow (rock slowly), and just right (rock and give the thumbs up)”

When Goldilocks tried the beds – “to) hard (make a fist), to soft (rub hands together gently), Just right (stretch your arms and pretend to sleep)”

Make Three Bears Porridge for Goldilocks…

Fairytale Ideas Galore!  Three Bears Oatmeal

Allow students to trace words and then give each bear some oatmeal.

For the oatmeal paint, I used brown paint mixed with oatmeal.  The kids scooped it into the bowls. 
Then they sprinkled some oatmeal over each bowl. (
The templates for this can be found here)

Add bear cookie cutters to your Play Dough Center.  I even made my favorite chocolate Play –
Dough and added a cup of oatmeal to the mix. 
The Play Dough Mat in the picture can be found here. 

Thre Bear Play Dough

Play the small, medium, big game…

Supply markers (we used Teddy Grahams) .  Students take turns rolling the dice. 
They cover up one of the four items of the size they rolled.  First person to cover up four items of the same size, wins.  
This game can be found here. 

Thre Bears Big, Medium, and Small Game

Practice the number three.  This little activity has the student use a bingo dauber to cover a three.  
It also has the students cut out the bowls and glue the bowl to  the correct bear. 
This activity can be found here.   

Three Bears Activity Sheet

Check out this Fairy Tale Packet
Includes activities to use with Goldilocks and the Three Bears!!!

Teaching Heart Fairy Tales PAcket

Jack and the Beanstalk- MORE COMING

*when planting  beans, how about experimenting with light/no light,
water, etc.

*plant variety of beans in 1 container-send home with soup recipe (7 beansoup)
*sort beans in sensory table
*make bean and cheese quesadillas (EASY) for a snack

*act out the story

Hang a rope from the ceiling covered with brown crepe paper and green cellophane leaves. Attach two boots to the ceiling, one each side of the 'stalk'.

*Grow beans in jars or plant in the garden. Monitor and chart growth.
*Collage with variety of beans.
*Sort different varieties of beans.
*Activities with gold coins - counting, sharing.
*Trace around teacher or each other and collage 'giant' using material
*Measure height of children with tape and seriate.


Little Red Hen - Coming


Once Upon A Time

Learning Center

It is a world of fun with a fairy tale is a interactive learning center that I have developed for the fairy tale unit I created. I designed the center so that I could use it as an exciting place for the student toexplore, learn, and have fun at the same time! The activities I choose are across the curriculum and cover a variety of the skills already taught or being taught to the second grade class. Moreover, each activity deals with a fairy tale in some way. My goal for the center was to have it be an activity center in which the student could do independently with out the teachers help. Thus, the activities are self explanatory and are a review of previous learned skills.

Inside the brightly decorated learning center one will find thirteen entertaining activities centered around fairy tales. These activities are as follows;

Name that fairy tale - A book with illustrations from various fairy tales. The student must name each fairy tale.

Practice Telling Time with Cinderella - Is an activity the motivates the student to help Cinderella place the correct time onto each clock.

Help Mr. Wolf find out how many pigs are in each house - This covers subtraction facts through 18 and motivates the student to do the facts.

Help Pinocchio - This is a game of memory and also helps the student strength their alphabetical ordering.

Can you find the secret to the witch’s brew? - This is a grammar game in which the student must match the correct prefix with the root word.

Once Upon A Time Board Game - This activity is an review of what has been taught thus far in second grade. It covers all subjects and is very motivational.

Emperor’s New Clothes & Pinocchio Read-Along - These two tapes are listening activities.

The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg CD-ROM - The students are encouraged or read along on the computer with the book. also, they may play with the illustrations in the book.

Fairy Tale Pop-up Village - This definitely does the job of attracting the students to the center.

Gingerbread Man Lace Cards - Reinforces fine motor skills.

Read a Fairy Tale - There are tons of fairy tales to choose to read in the center. Also, there are a variety of pop-up fairy tale books.

The It is a world of fun with fairy tales learning center is meant to not only review skills, but to also get the student excited about reading. My hope is that it motivates the student to open a fairy tale and discover the world of imagination through a book. It is important to try to produce a love of reading in your classroom and I feel this learning center does that and more! C. Gallagher


Make wands with dowels, wooden stars (paint, glitter, dowels) and then write about our wishes, take turns tapping one another and give a task to perform (letter sounds, rhymes, counting, etc.).  

Create a fairy godmother with art  materials (paper, fabric scraps, dolies, lace sequins, ect) and write about how she could help you.   Brainstorm 8-10 ideas about what happens in a fairy tale.  Make a large chart listing ideas down left side.  In columns to the right, write the name of the stories to compare/contrast at the top of the column (ex: DIsney Cinderella, Cinderella Penguin, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, The Rough-Faced Girl)  After reading, go down the list and write yes or no about the ideas that were brainstormed.  It fun to see the patterns in the stories emerge as you read the books.    Add crowns, gowns, wands, fancy shoes to dramatic play to act our versions of the stories
Chrystal Shook

Dramatic Play:  Have Cinderella clothes (ugly and beautiful), royal
clothes(capes, crowns),  Lots of shoes.  Cleaning supplies.  Have a place to
have a "ball", play music.

Art:  Decorate shoes, crowns  Shoe printing (have various shoes with interesting patterns on the
bottom, use         .......paint rollars to cover bottoms with paint, press
on paper.)  Sew on dress shapes(cut from plastic canvas)

Shoe Classification Game:  Have different sized shoes, kids can classifly
according to size. (at my preschool we do this kind of game in group but it
also could be done during free-play)

Science:  grow Pumpkin seeds

Above, I had the students write their own Fairy Tales. You can view their stories here!

Cinderella - Read the book to your class - Watch the video - Listen to the Soundtrack

Cinderella Lesson Plans (Gr. 5-6) Students think critically by comparing three versions of the same fairy tale, “Cinderella”.

Cinderella Stories (Gr. 3-6) Lesson plans on different Cinderella stories (Tattercoats, Cap o'Rushes, The Twelve Months, etc.).

Colleen, We do Cinderella Around The World every year and here are some of the pages I've created to use with that unit.  Hope these are helpful to someone!   Amanda

A Special Thanks To Amanda for Sharing Her Word Files Below!

Great Resource


Printables On Other Sites

Things on Teaching Heart To Check Out

Great Sites With More Ideas

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Yvonne Fransson/LilŽ Home Studio
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