Art Ideas for "The Three Billy Goats Gruff "

By Bridgette Redman
The protective elder billy goat is one source for sculpture or paintings.

The Norwegian fairy tale "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" provides many interesting arts and crafts possibilities for individuals or class activities. Crafts that incorporate the three hungry goats, the troll or the bridge help students recall and retell the story, extending the fun and the learning.

Masks and Puppets

Creating masks or puppets is an art idea that encourages creative play as children can make the masks and puppets and then act out the story. Make face masks using paper plates with cut-outs for the eyes. Let children cutt long ears and noses from construction paper. Older children can make papier mache masks, or they could make puppets out of socks or paper bags. Encourage kids to be creative in the ways they decorate the puppets.

Collages and Paintings

Nature and fantasy magazine pictures blend to create collages in which elements from the entire story are represented, especially when students understand the abstract nature of collage. Another project involves choosing one scene or moment from the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" story to recreate as a painting. Choices might include the moment when the biggest billy goat rushes the troll,or when the little billy goat is quaking in fear or when the troll is hiding out under the bridge. Help students learn about different styles, like cubism, pointilism, realism or impressionism by encouraging them to paint the scene again using a different style.

Shadow Boxes and Dioramas

Creating shadow boxes and dioramas can serve multiple educational and artistic purposes in a literary unit on "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." Making a shadow box involves finding physical items that represent something in the story and arranging them artistically in a box. This helps children think symbolically and creatively. A diorama can emphasize the setting of the story. Making a river, a bridge and a grassy field can help a child understand why setting is important to this and other stories.

Sculpture and Three-Dimensional Art

Introduce children to sculpture and other forms of three-dimensional art when you give them clay and ask them to make a troll, giving them the freedom to interpret the imaginary character as they choose. A follow-up lesson on creating sculptures of goats from photographs take the ideas to the next level. Older children can make soap bar carvings of the four characters in the story, using soft soap and plastic knives. After a nature walk, students could use found items like leaves, stick, stones or shells to make a troll.

About the Author

As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.