The Giant Turnip Activities: Fairy Tale Lesson for Preschool

About the Story

The Giant Turnip is a story about an old man and his wife who grow a giant turnip on their farm, but, at harvest time, are unable to pull it out of the ground by themselves. So they ask several of their passing friends to assist them. They ask a boy, a girl, a horse, a cow, a dog, a cat, a mouse, a hen, and a duck, and all of them agree to help the old man and his wife. They also ask a fox, but he says he has better things to do and refuses.

The old man, his wife and their helpers pull together and manage to pull the giant turnip out of the ground, falling over each other in the process. They carry the giant turnip into the house. The old man then cuts up the giant turnip and his wife cooks it and they share the food with their friends. The fox is not invited to the meal as he didn’t help and he can only look in through the window.

What You Will Need

  • Story book – The Giant Turnip – see the one by Ladybird
  • Drawing paper
  • Colors – water-colors, colored pencils, markers and crayons
  • Play clay
  • Turnips

The Lesson Plan

Read the story to the kids. You can find a version of it here – The Story of the Giant Turnip

Tell the preschoolers what the word giant means. Show the preschoolers some real turnips and discuss how much larger they believe a giant turnip would be.

Talk about the characters in the story. Discuss what could have happened if nobody had helped the old man and his wife to pull out the giant turnip.

Talk about how working together can make a difficult task so much easier. Ask the preschoolers if they have ever helped someone do something, or if someone has helped them, and what the experience was like.

Talk about how it is good to say thank you after someone has helped you.

Encourage the preschoolers to enact the story.

Ideas for Extending the Story

Talk about why turnips are good to eat. Turnips are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, phosphor and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Eating them can help you stay healthy and grow better.

Talk about the different animals in the story and about the kinds of sounds they make.

Hand out drawing sheets and ask the preschoolers to draw the story of the Giant Turnip or some of the characters from the story.

Cut a turnip in half and carve a shape on the flat of the turnip-half, dip it into color and stamp a design on a drawing paper.

Ask the preschoolers to mold turnips from play clay.

You can help the preschoolers plant some turnips and the kids can observe how they grow.

Cook some turnips for the preschoolers to eat.

For another fairy tale lesson for preschool, also see “Three Billy Goats Gruff Pre K Lesson Plan” on Bright Hub.