Looking for a book to thoroughly engage kindergarten and preschool children and to teach mapping skills? “The Gunniwolf, by Wilhelmina Harper is certain to do that. The story comes in other versions from the one shown but my favorite illustrations are in the book published in 1969 and illustrated by William Wiesner.
Young children are drawn to the unfamiliar language of the story… “Why for you move? I no move.” and words such as, “hunkercha” and ” kum-kwa, khi-wa” The Gunniwolf a wonderful story that lends itself to student participation and is a great motivator for social studies activities.
1. Retell the story with student participation
- Make cut outs of the house, the white flowers, the pink flowers, and the orange flowers and place them in a pocket chart.
- Print out the words “Kum-kwa, Khi-wa” (great for teaching the letter “k”) , the words “pit-pat, pit-pat… ” and the words “hunker-cha, hunker-cha…”.
- Assign different students to chant the different parts of the story, for example, the girls could sing the “Kum-kwa, Khi-wa” part” and the boys chant the “hunker-cha, hunker-cha…”.
- Read parts from the book and have the children fill in as much as they can remember.
2. Mapping the Gunniwolf story
Talk about the flowers as landmarks for the little girl to find her way home. Compare the jungle environment of the book with the parks around your neighborhood. How are they the same?different?
- Reproduce the free story map and the little girl and the fox on to lightweight card
- Children cut out the little girl and the fox, tape a piece of string to the back of each and to the back of the story map
- Let the children move the characters around as they retell the story alone or with a friend
3. Linking the story to art or drama activities…
- Print, color and cut out the free Gunniwolf mask and act out the story
- Extend class participation by adding rhythm instruments. I gave each group a different sounding shaker to use as they said their story parts
4. Literacy / Math Activity – Make a story comparison chart
- Photocopy and reduce book covers
- Glue the cover images to the left hand side of the chart
- Print, color and glue my free category pictures at the top
- Put stickers in appropriate book rows
- Count how many books have good wolves, bad wolves, parents, children who don’t listen to their parents, etc.
More fox and wolf books
Lon Po Po by Ed Young – A Chinese version of the Red Riding Hood story.
The story is useful as a comparison with the regular Little Red Riding Hood.
Compare the art with other wolf stories. Which looks the scariest? Less scary?
Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman
In this old-fashioned version of a familiar tale, Little Red Riding Hood sets out in her red cloak to bring Mother’s chicken soup and raisin muffins to her ailing Grandmother.
Hattie and the Fox (Stories to Go!)
Hattie and the Fox
Hattie knows she sees something scary in the bushes, but nobody is paying attention. Not the goose, not the pig, not the sheep, not the horse, not the cow. Time and again Hattie tries to warn her friends of danger, but no one listens — until it’s almost too late!
Other versions of The Gunniwolf that are available…