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Adaptation of The Boy Who Cried "Wolf"

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Kindergarten
Reading: Literature Standard 2

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Kindergarten
Reading: Literature Standard 3


Utah LessonPlans
Grace Wayman


Students retell a story to reinforce sequencing.


Additional Resources


  • Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman; 1997
  • Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell; ISBN 0-439-27006-5
  • Dusty Locks and The Three Bears by Susan Lowell; ISBN 0-8050-5862-1
  • Jack and the Giant, A Story Full of Beans by Jim Harris
  • Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell; 2000
  • The Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea by Tony Johnston; ISBN 0-698-11356-X
  • The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell; 1992
  • The Tortoise and the Jack Rabbit by Susan Lowell; 1994

Background for Teachers

This activity focuses on retelling and performing a story that has been formatted from a traditional version to the setting of the Old West. When retelling a story to someone else, it is important to have the sequence and all parts to the story in correct order. The beginning of a story generally tells who the characters in the story are and what the problems may be. The middle generally explains what attempts were made to solve the problems, and the end generally has the solution, results, and how the story ends. For this activity, students should be familiar with the original tale so they will see the parallel between the original and the adapted version. As you are preparing to retell/role-play the story, you will need to discuss the main characters the students will be portraying and decide what simple props, if any, may be helpful in telling the story.

Intended Learning Outcomes

2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn

Read any traditional version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. On a day shortly following the telling of that story; tell the students that you know another character that was very much like the boy who cried wolf. Pull a headband with a long horn on it from a bag and put it on a student who you think will be able to carry the character of "Leo the Longhorn". Tell the students that you will be the narrator of this story and they will help you tell it.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Tell students that some of them are going to be an actress or an actor today. Other students may help out with the "sound track" portion of the story.
  2. Explain the duties of the different characters within the story and practice their parts.
  3. As a class, make or gather props, create scenery or simply decide to tell the story with verbal and rhythm props only. A pattern for horns for the cows is included in this document. Vest patterns for the cowboys will be available at the academy. Use plastic drinking cups or your hands to make galloping sounds. You may want to make a simple paper fire for the cowboys to gather around. You can use a large trashcan for the bear cave. Stick horses can be made from mops or brooms. A horse head pattern is included in this document. Get inexpensive cowboy hats through retail outlets or let the students bring their own from home.
  4. Assign each student a part in the retelling/role-playing. Everyone should have a role, either as characters or sound technicians.
    Characters/sound production: Leo the Longhorn, The Bear, Cowboys, Long horns and galloping sounds.
  5. Arrange the room as you see fit and pass out props to students.
  6. Retell/role play the characters and actions of the story as teacher/student retells the story using the narration as a guide.


  • Allow students to use instruments or their hands to keep a beat and rhythm as the horses gallop to the longhorns and then back to their bedrolls.
  • Use creative skills to determine how the longhorns, cowboys and bear will act out their parts.
  • Working in cooperative groups, have students create a group storyboard by illustrating the beginning, middle, and end of this story or other stories.
  • Write questions about the story and let the students take turns choosing a question and then sharing the answer with their partner.
  • Read other stories that have been adapted from traditional tales, then compare and contrast the two stories.

Family Connections

  • Have family members read stories to the students that are adaptations of traditional stories. Supply the parents with a list of these types of books.
  • Students could have their family act out traditional tales and videotape it for Show and Tell.
  • Have family members help make the props for the role-play.
  • Invite family members to come and watch the role-play.

Assessment Plan

  • Observe to see that the whole class is participating in the retelling/role playing of the story.
  • Have students verbally identify the characters in the story.
  • Have students write about or illustrate their favorite part of the story.
  • Have students compare the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and Leo the Longhorn.


Research Basis

Rimaly, B.K.; (1999) Increasing the Literacy Growth of Kindergarten Students through Developmentally Appropriate Emergent Literacy (ERIC-Education Resource Information Center) ED 43761

Using integrated thematic units that incorporate emergent literacy instructional strategies such as read-alouds, story retelling using props, shared reading, acquisition of vocabulary, music, art and writing activities enhances learning.

Marjanovic-Umek, L., Kranjc, S., Fekonja, U.; (2002) Developmental Levels of the Child's Storytelling. (ERIC Education Resource Information Center) ED468 907

Storytelling skills of children between four and eight years of age can provide insights into overall language development. This study explored the development of children's storytelling, using story coherence and story cohesion to evaluate the developmental level of the child's storytelling.

Created: 06/21/2007
Updated: 02/05/2018