The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids

play by Diana Petersen , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Learning intention:

I am learning to understand the purpose of retelling traditional tales so that I can create my own versions using familiar characters and stories.


Success criteria:

  • I can make links between different stories using their shared elements
  • I can recognise that stories are retold in different ways over time
  • I can write my own story or retelling using a familiar character


Essential knowledge:

More information about what the way stories draw on elements of other stories can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Intertextuality.



If possible, borrow some books from the library relating to Greek Mythology and Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales (Dewey Decimal numbers 398.2) prior to the lesson and allow students to explore the stories.

Read the text as a class, allocating reading roles to different students. Discuss the play with student afterwards, asking if any aspects of the story were familiar and could be linked with other stories that they know. This may include the plot, the setting, or character aspects, such as the presence of seven characters (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), goats (Three Billy Goats Gruff), or a wolf (Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood).

Explain that this play has been adapted from a fairy tale written by the Brothers’ Grimm in the early 1800s in Germany. A version of this fairy tale can be viewed in the video Wolf and the Seven Little Goats. However, the brothers also adapted the story themselves from Ancient Greek Mythology, which is believed to have been created as long ago as 3000 B.C. The video Greek Mythology for Kids can be viewed to provide students with information around the purpose and origins of these stories.

Explain that in the story from Greek Mythology, a God named Cronus ate six of his children, leading to his wife hiding their seventh child from him and tricking him into swallowing a large stone instead. However, when the Grimm Brothers adapted the story, they replaced all the characters with animals, and made the villain a ‘big bad wolf’.

Discuss the presence of the ‘big bad wolf’ character in other stories that may be familiar to students. The videos Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood can be viewed as examples. Explain to students that they are to write their own story that includes a ‘big bad wolf’ character. This may involve writing their own version of an existing story and inserting a ‘big bad wolf’ into it or creating a completely new story of their own imagining.