Three Billy Goats Gruff- 18 minutes 
                            Bullying prevention through Puppetry Arts
                         Moral and Ethical Education through Puppet Play







"The Three Billy Goats Gruff" is a favorite Norwegian tale,andt it has all the elements of a story about a character who is described by children as a Bully. It is a stroy that can open up a discussion on how to respond to conflict and difficult behavior. I have dramatized this story in many different ways because it has wonderful elements of drama and human behavior. I like to explore the role of the Troll and the three Billy Goats.  Usually the story is told in one scene, at the bridge, and this one scene play works very well for young children who are experiencing the story for the first time. 
I tell the story in a Toy Theater with three scenes created with Pop Up scenery: the barren rocks where there is no grass or good food to eat where the Billy Goats live, the bridge crossing a beautiful blue river, and the green lush meadow with apple trees and good things to eat on the other side.  The challenge is to imagine what happens in each of these scenes. 
The Troll guards the bridge and threatens anyone who tries to cross the bridge, and he has been doing this for some time.  When the story begins the little Billy Goat is upset because Thomas T. Troll has threatened him yet again, saying, “Give me your lunch or you will be my lunch.” The Little Billy goat has given him his lunch, and he has been a victim  once again.  
   The story unwinds and presents behavior and characters frequently equated with bullying and some ways to deal with a bully. The ending has a resolution that is both positive and humorous. 
The play can be used to discuss various aspects of ethical and moral behavior: 
    Why did the troll take Billy’s lunch?
     Where were Billy’s friends? What did Billy think they did? What did they really do?
    What is the role of by stander in bullying incidents? How is this topic treated in the play?
     What can friends or anyone who sees mean behavior do to help?
     What do people who see mean behavior do that sometimes make matters worse?
    Why was Billy afraid to tell his Uncle Will about the Troll’s behavior?
    Was he a tattletale when he told about his encounter on the bridge?  
   What did he finally do to get across the bridge? 
   What can a victim do to protect him or herself from someone who repeatedly is mean and hurtul?  
    What happened to the Troll?
    Is it hard or easy to deal with a character like Thomas, the Troll?  
    Who helped put a stop to Thomas Troll’s mean behavior? Who is the hero?
The the word bully is never used to descibe the Troll, but  when asked children always call Thonas T. Troll a bully. It is a story that can be retold in different ways, and it can be modeled in a very simple way and then left open for the students to retell it in their own way.
This story, puppets and sets provides a jumping off point for exploring an important social issues with puppets. The puppets provide a disguise for the children; the children can speak through the puppets and the issues can be talked about through the metaphor of the puppet. Animal puppets also take it further away from the actual real life situations and provide a way to look at a situation and talk about it with aesthetic distance.
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