"The Wind in the Willows" is a classic children’s story by Kenneth Grahame. Mr. Toad is a fast-driving, reckless animal who needs the help of his friends Rat, Mole and Badger. This is a much-loved story with several lessons children can take away after reading it. Read the story together and then do some activities to help the children understand some of the concepts better.
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Creative Words Discussion Activity
Ask your child to describe something. It can be anything he wants or something that is in the room. Do not help him at first, but if his description is drab, encourage him to use different words or lead him toward more descriptive words. Read a passage of "The Wind in the Willows" together. You may want to choose this passage ahead of time. Ask the child to point out any descriptive words and explain how that makes the author’s writing so enjoyable.
Show the children a map of your country or town. Give them some historical facts about your town and especially information about any rivers. Have the children draw a map of what they think Mr. Toad's town looks like. Allow them to look through the book and read parts of the story to get some ideas about the layout of the town and where Rat, Mole and Badger live.
Character Sketch Activity
Have the children do a character sketch on their favourite of the four main characters in the book: Mr. Toad, Rat, Mole or Badger. They should be able to write a little about the character’s personality, what the character likes and dislikes, and what makes him a good addition to the story. Encourage the children to draw pictures of the character as well.
Find sound recordings or use the movie adaptation of the story to play musical chairs. This is a good game to play at the beginning or the middle of the day if you are in a classroom setting. Play as you would normally play musical chairs. The winner gets to be Mr. Toad for the day.
Have the students act out a scene from "The Wind in the Willows." Let them work together to plan everything from who to cast in the skit to which scene they will choose. They can dress up in some sort of simple costumes. After the skit, talk to the children about how working together we can get things done, much like the friendship of Rat, Mole and Badger was able to help Mr. Toad see the error of his ways.
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