Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Three Billy Goats Fluff: Exploring Descriptive Language

The Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachel Mortimer is a new twist on the classic The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Told mostly from the viewpoint of the troll, this story follows the classic plot of three goats who trip-trap across a troll's bridge. The troll is losing sleep and losing his temper. Luckily, mother goat has a knack for knitting and whips up a solution-- fluffy booties for the goats and earmuffs for the troll!

The word "fluffy" was a new word for Logan. I decided to use this book as a springboard for building on his descriptive vocabulary. We went on a hunt around the house looking for "fluffy" items. Of course, he had to using his new "ni-noculars" from Papa Higgins.

I was inspired to try this language lesson after reading an example lesson on descriptive words in the Literacy Beginnings Handbook by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas. Pinnell and Fountas explain that children's ability to express themselves is related to the words they understand. If they hear it and understand it, they will use it, right? This is important since vocabulary is a significant contribution to reading comprehension.
Other ways to build descriptive vocabulary:

  • sort a basket of household items by descriptive words (fluffy, rough, etc)
  • point out descriptive words in books or poems and then find an example of the word in the room
  • keep a list of descriptive words you have encountered

The boys loved this particular story, they also acted out the story at a local conservation center! This hike had lots of bridges which were perfect for my two trip-trapping goats!

We were sent a free copy of this book from TigerTales in exchange for our honest review.
Here's where I am linking this up:

It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

Shibley Smiles

play academy


  1. This sounds like fun. I especially like the idea of crossing bridges and pretending to be one of the goats.

    For older children, The Three Silly Billies written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Barry Moser is great.

    Carolyn -

  2. Sounds like a great book. I've been looking for some vocabulary building exercises, I'll be trying your techniques.

  3. I like the idea of doing a mini scavenger hunt for items that match the descriptions in books. Fun way to be active too!

  4. Your vocabulary hunt is genius! I love the idea of playing on the bridge too.

  5. What a great physical activity. They'll never forget the book now. :)

    Lauralee, from weteach

  6. I love the idea of acting out stories for real. I think it really helps bring imaginative play.I can't wait to do this with my own daughter (it'll be a while though - she's only 1)

    Thanks for the great ideas :)