Where the Wild Things Are (gr. 3)

Grade 3

Interdisciplinary Unit "Interpreting Storybooks"

Outcome: Students will collaborate to interpret a storybook using drama, dance, music and art.


  • students can retell the story in chunks and can identify setting, characters and conflict
  • students show the story chunks using tableaux and explore ways to shape bodies in a group to tell a story
  • students can create dance transitions between each tableaux, and move to music to express a story as narrated, explored ways to move alone and in groups
  • students can identify sounds from objects and instruments appropriate to create a mood for each story chunk
  • students create a method for composing a soundscape using the found sounds and instruments so that it can be repeated
  • students work in groups to design and build large puppets for characters in the story
  • students follow a story narration and respond to each story chunk while working cooperatively

Each lesson was focussed on a different indicator. The primary goal was to help the students learn how to listen to one another, take turns giving ideas and working as a group.  The challenge was to allow each child to contribute in a meaningful way and yet to yield to group direction. 

creating a soundscape and exploring sound to create mood


creating tableaux of a story chunk


designing and building giant puppets in groups 


We tried to have the students "perform" the play for another class and it was not that successful as they did not seem able to focus on the rehearsal process.  In hindsight, I realize that the learning was about working through a process and it was not supposed to be about creating a product.  Grade 3 students are interested in the role play, creating and designing, and exploring ideas.  It was not important to "put on a show" and if the rehearsals had been forced further it would have dampened their interest in the project.  If I could do this again I would have taken photos of them "in the moment" and then showed it back to the students to enjoy.