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Around the houses with Goldilocks

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By John Duffty — senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

Planning and giving a series of written and verbal instructions


You will need

Counters or cubes, each with a face drawn on them to represent Goldilocks; enlarged (or acetate version) and individual copies of the ‘Three Bears’ cottage grid’ sheet.

What to do

Show the children the floor plan on the ‘Three bears’ cottage grid’ sheet and explain that they are going to use a cube to represent Goldilocks. The face on the cube is to make it easy to see which way Goldilocks is facing, and therefore which direction is her right and which her left.

Demonstrate how to lead the cube around the floor plan, being careful to keep Goldilocks facing forward. You may want to use an enlarged plan or you could photocopy it on to acetate and display it on an overhead projector. In this case, the counter used to represent Goldilocks will need to have an obvious ‘front’ that will show on the screen.

Model a route Goldilocks might take within the cottage, writing out the moves as she goes. For example:

  • Forward 2 steps
  • Right turn
  • Forward 3 steps, and so on.

It is important that children realise that ‘right’ and ‘left’ are commands to turn and not move sideways.

Working in pairs, the children can lead Goldilocks, on their plans, from the door to the breakfast table (for example). If they can, encourage them to record Goldilocks’ moves in full. Challenge more able children to find three different ways of getting from one area to another.

At the end of the session, ask some children to demonstrate one of their routes. Note down their commands in list form.


Practise directing Goldilocks around an enlarged or acetate version of the floor plan until the children are confident with the commands.



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