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Julia Donaldson Book Activities for Elementary Students – 2024

September is a great time to discuss and explore Julia Donaldson’s books because that’s when her birthday is, but really you can read them any time of the year. This post shares our favorite Julia Donaldson books and activities that go with them. All of the picture books on this list are sure to be a big hit with your students. Take a peek below to learn more about these Julia Donaldson book activities!

Julia Donaldson Book Activities

Below is a list of some of our favorite Julia Donaldson books, as well as activities to share with elementary students based on them. Check them out!

printable picture book comprehension activities

1. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson is about a small mouse who goes for a walk through the forest. During his walk, the mouse runs into several larger animals that want to make a meal of him. The clever mouse tricks each animal by saying he is off to have lunch with a gruffalo, a made up creature that scares each animal off.

To the mouses surprise, he encounters the gruffalo on his walk. With quick thinking, the mouse takes the gruffalo on his walk and introduces him to the other animals. In the end, the mouse scares the gruffalo off and is able to enjoy a snack. 

Students will love this quick thinking mouse and his ability to trick the larger animals. The story has great rhythm, and students will enjoy listening to the rhyming words throughout.

Check out these The Gruffalo teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

The Gruffalo book cover
The Gruffalo book and activity

2. Tiddler: The Story Telling Fish by Julia Donaldson

Tiddler: The Story Telling Fish is about a small grey fish named Tiddler who has a big imagination. He uses his imagination to think of big made up stories to tell other fish. Tiddler is consistently late to school and when he gets to school he tells a tall tale about why he was late. The other fish say that he is just telling stories and they don’t believe him. 

One day, Tiddler is distracted and thinking about the next story he will tell when he gets caught in a big fishermen’s net. The fishermen throw him back into the sea because he is so tiny, but he is lost and surprised by the strange fish around him. Tiddler hears fish telling one of his stories, and follows the story back to its source to find his way home.

Check out these Tiddler: The Story Telling Fish teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

Tiddler book cover
Tiddler: The Story Telling Fish worksheets

3. Zog by Julia Donaldson

Madam Dragon led a dragon school. ZOG was a dragon who wanted to win a Golden Star. Each year there were different focuses, and each time, ZOG had an accident. Each time he failed, somehow there was a young woman who was there to patch him up. When he fell while flying, she plastered his nose. When his voice was hoarse, she gave him a soothing peppermint. 

One year, the dragons were learning to capture a princess. ZOG was not able to, until the young woman reveals herself as a princess herself! She helped all the dragons in the class. That is, until a knight came to rescue her. 

The young woman shared that she wanted to be a doctor, not a princess. The knight agreed to assist her, and the dragons offered to fly them as needed. They all lived happily ever after!

Check out these Zog teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

Zog activities
Zog writing activity

4. The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson

One stormy night, the Gruffalo reminded his daughter about the terrible mouse out in the deep, dark wood. This big, scary mouse has a long and scaly tail, is terribly strong, and has eyes of fire. And with that, they both fell asleep by the fire. 

Feeling curious and bored, while her dad was sleeping, the Gruffalo’s Child went out to explore, looking for this so-called terrible mouse. Each page of this story provides descriptive detail, opportunities to make predictions, and fun rhythm that will keep students engaged! Will she ever find this terrible mouse?

Check out these The Gruffalo’s Child teaching resources and activities to help you plan and deliver highly engaging read aloud lessons!

The Gruffalo's Child book companion
The Gruffalo's Child book and writing activity

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found these Julia Donaldson book activities helpful! They are part of our Starts With a Story collection. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

printable monthly reading logs

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The Recess Queen book cover
Try this free Starts With a Story book companion based on Alexis O'Neill's picture book, The Recess Queen!