Harimau story with Duplo

For the last three weeks I have been working on the harimau story (adapted from Carol Gaab’s wolf story) with my Prep to Year 2 students. They have loved listening to me tell the story a couple of times with cardboard puppets attached to the whiteboard, then acting out the story in the classroom with actors. The fact that we have a life-sized banana tree in my room makes it even better!

I was worried they might become a bit bored by this routine, so this week (third week of the story) I asked Bu Cathy’s advice about how to get reps with variety. Use Catharina Greenberg’s Duplo activity, she advised. Now, I must admit I had read about this activity but had avoided it like the plague because quite frankly 25 young children getting a piece of Duplo at the same time sounds like utter chaos!

But I had a go anyway. One of my colleagues had a massive tub of coloured blocks which I was very happy to borrow. My first two classes were the Preps. I had my sentences (true and false) typed up ready to go. After the first two hours of lessons, I had four pieces of Duplo broken and I removed all delicate pieces from the tub!

So, after creating additional rules, the rest of the day went very smoothly. If you are thinking of trying this activity, I hope these rules are useful to you! The kids loved it and all listened carefully. I made them stockpile the Duplo and build at the end but next time will let them build as they go.

Duplo Rules

  1. Take only one piece each time.
  2. Place it behind your back and forget about it until the end of the story.
  3. No knees, feet or hands leaning on Duplo.
  4. Take a piece of Duplo using only one hand.
  5. Crawl to the Duplo pile, and crawl backwards to your spot. (in their eagerness they would whip around to go back, sometimes kicking the Duplo)
  6. Sit back in your spot on your bottom once ready to listen.

When I had finished reading the story, they had time to build (by themselves, or joining with others) and share their beautiful creations!

I like the idea of kids building as they go, but I can see them destroying their creations as they rush for a new piece. I would love to know exactly how Catherina manages this!

Harimau story:

Ada perempuan. Nama perempuan Elsa.

Ada harimau. Harimau lapar. Harimau lihat Elsa.

Harimau mau makan Elsa.

Elsa lari ke pohon. Harimau lari ke pohon.

Elsa lari ke rumah. Harimau lari ke rumah.

Harimau makan Elsa.

Prep boy retells Harimau story

He did this after only two weeks of the story!

2 thoughts on “Harimau story with Duplo”

  1. Great to hear your students enjoyed this activity. I am happy for my students to play with their pieces while listening to me say random sentences from their story. I have to confess that I do more false sentences to both check to see if students are listening but also to build up the suspense!! We also count their personal piles of duplo straight after they pick up a new one.


  2. Yes, I did the same! Lots of silly false ones to make them laugh. Also changed different words – nouns, verbs etc to keep them on their toes. Great idea counting them, will do that next time. Do they knock over their bits when they rush for the next piece?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s