There are many Hansel and Gretel lesson plans preschool teachers can utilize. A great book is a favorite among young children. Many cartoons have been based on the fairy-tale. If you want to familiarize your class with the story, here are some great activities you can do with them.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story, this is a brief description of the book. It features two children whose father has married a wicked woman.
Their new stepmother claims that their is not enough food to feed everyone in the house, and forces them to leave. The first time they were led into the forest, Hansel had dropped pebbles on the trail. They were able to follow these stones back to their house. When their parents found them home again, their father led them further into the forest to lose them. Hansel had brought breadcrumbs this time, but when they tried to find them again the noticed that birds had eaten them. The rest of the story is about them finding a house made of candy and the witch that ended up living their. When they finally return home, they find their father in great distress over what he had done. The children forgive him and they all live happily ever after.
Discussion - Allow the children to discuss the book after you read it. Ask them what they thought about the book. Ask them if the thought the children had been smart to put down bread crumbs. Ask them what they would do if they were lost in the woods. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the dangers of talking to strangers. Also who they could talk to if they ever were lost and in need of help. This is a great book to read to children to teach them that they can take care of themselves. Discussing the book will challenge the children’s critical thinking skills.
Motor skills - Have the children draw pictures of what they though the gingerbread house might look like. Alternatively, have them draw a picture of the kids being lost in the woods. You can use this opportunity to teach feelings as well. How did they feel when they were lost? When they came home and found their dad was sad? When they got away from the old witch? You could have them draw pictures of how the characters might have felt in these situations.
Play - This book opens up a wide variety of play activities. Research has shown that children are more likely to learn through play, then anything else. You could re-enact the book, and give each child a role to play. You could build gingerbread houses with the children. There are many different ways that you can use this book as inspiration for play activities. You could even invite the children’s parents to come see the play.
There are many different areas of learning that this book can help with, emotions, safety, dangerous situations are just a few. Moreover, it is a classic fairy-tale that generations of children have known and loved.