Jack and the Beanstalk Activities for Preschoolers and Kindergarten
Lesson Plan Ideas, Activities, and Games
Jack and the Beanstalk is a traditional English folk tale that many kids learn before starting school. We homeschool, so my kids also learned about it as part of the Kindergarten curriculum. You can find the English folktale of "Jack and the Beanstalk" free online. It is printable as well. As you read the tale, it's a good idea to pause and explain any new vocabulary words. There are many words in this folk tale that may be unfamiliar. Ask the child questions about the story, such as,
- "Who are the main characters?"
- "What do you like about the story?"
- "What don't you like about the story?"
Asking these questions will help keep young children engaged in the story. The questions also encourage children to form their own opinions. In addition to the questions there are games, activities and lesson plans below to teach children this old English classic.
Watch the Jack and the Beanstalk Movie Online
If you prefer to watch a movie version, you can view the Youtube videos here. There are several versions of the tale available. Click a thumbnail below to view a different version.
Fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.
After You Read the Story
Encourage the child to reflect on the story by asking the following questions:
- "What did Jack trade his cow for?"
- "Was his mother pleased with him?"
- "What happened to the beans?"
- "What did Jack find when he climbed the beanstalk?"
- "Was the giant's wife nice to Jack?"
- "Why do you think Jack climbed the beanstalk the second time?"
- "What kind of eggs did the hen lay?"
- "What do you think the golden harp sounded like?"
- "If you were Jack, would you have chopped down the beanstalk?"
- "Did you like the way the story ended?"
Ideas for Games and Activities
- Draw a picture of a winding, tall beanstalk without leaves on a sheet of paper. Each time a child gets a question above correct, they may draw a leaf on the beanstalk. This is fun for kids and they get a small reward to encourage them to answer questions.
- Look at pictures of the story to see if that triggers more conversation about the book. Kids often have a lot to say when they take a moment to revisit the story images.
- Act out parts of the book by role playing. This is a fun way to study any story. Pretend to be characters from the book. Children can practice acting as they pretend to be their favorite character.
- Cut out pictures of Jack, the Giant, Jack's mom, a cow, and an elderly man. (These are available from the coloring worksheet link below.) Glue them on craft sticks and use them to recreate the story with the children. This is another version of acting out the story, where the pictures serve as puppets for reenactment. It builds imagination and creativity. Children will also practice recalling events from the story to reenact them with the puppets.
- "Jack and the Beanstalk" coloring pages, puzzles, mazes and more.
- Plant some beans and let the children watch them grow into beanstalks as a science project. There are some fun "magic beans" available from Amazon.com that grow quickly just like the bean stalk in the story. Kids can learn a bit about gardening too.
Worksheets and Coloring Pages
- A maze. Help Jack find his way to the beanstalk by navigating the maze.
- Sort the beans by their unique shape. Color the beans that are the same shape the same color too. Count how many beans there are of each shape and write the number on the grid.
- Sequence the events of the story in order. This is an easier worksheet because the photos representing events are numbered. It's suitable for a preschool or kindergarten child. Talk with your child about what the photo represents as you put them in order.
- Kids build their imagination by finishing the drawing of Jack cutting down the Beanstalk. What will your giant look like?
Worksheets for Preschool and Kindergarten
Preschool age kids can also practice tracing lines to prepare for writing letters with Jack and the Beanstalk.
© 2010 hsschulte