Teacher’s notes for A Glassful of Giggles

The stories in this collection are funny, quirky, imaginative and magical. They can be simply read for fun. Or they can be told as part of an oral language programme, acted out during drama or creative writing sessions and extended into many of the other curriculum areas.

A Glassful of Giggles

Conduct a science experiment.

  • Place three glasses of water side by side at the children’s eye level.  
  • Add a different substance to each one eg. Staminade, lemonade, Enos Fruit Salts, gas from a soda fountain, liquid detergent.  
  • Observe the different types of bubbles created. Measure and compare the effervescent effect of each.  

Discuss the health implications of other contagious phenomena. (Yawning, chicken pox). 

Divide the art/craft class into five groups.

  • Allocate one room to each group eg. classroom, computer room, music room, library, lunch area.  
  • Ask each group to design and make a warning sign for their allocated area, explaining the effect of the giggles on anyone who enters.
Grundle the Terrible

Combine science, health and art/craft.

  • Ask the students to make their own apple-green pigs using Granny Smith apples, pipe cleaners and an individual compartment cut from an egg carton (for the the snout and ears). The piece of egg carton can be attached to the apple with tooth picks.  
  • Compare the nutritional value of the apple with that of the icypole that the boy was eating.  
  • Discuss when and where it is appropriate to eat each of these foods.

Test the student’s technology and enterprise skills.

  • Ask them to construct a pig (using strong cardboard cartons and any other materials they can find) that would be big enough for one of them to climb inside.  
  • Use the finished product to act out the story of Grundle the Terrible.
Our Christmas Pudding

Reading, maths and science experience. 

Allow the students to make their own Christmas Pudding using the ingredients listed in the story (which are common to most Christmas Pudding recipes).  Quantities can be adjusted according to taste and/or availability.  

Make invitations for:

  • another class 
  • people from the local retirement village 
  • family members 

to come in and share the finished product.

Make a list of the names of people in this story. 

  • Discuss the different societies and environments these people may have come from.  
  • Compare the neighbourhood in which this story is set with the intake area of your school.  

Write the words and music to a Pudding Song. 

  • Use glubble-lubble, glubble-lubble, glubble-lubble, glump as the chorus line.  
  • (The tune to Mamma’s Little Baby Loves Shortnin’ Bread is a good starting point.)
Something in the Cupboard

This story is particularly easy to turn into a drama activity. 

  • The main character repeats the same two lines to each of the other ‘speaking’ characters. 
  • Their replies are very short and can easily be improvised if the students have trouble remembering the exact responses.  
  • Costumes, props and stage setting are very simple and readily available.  
  • If this play were to be performed on a stage, as an Assembly Item (rather than in the classroom), simply add a whole class scene at the beginning.  
  • Emile’s class could be seen being given the homework task that he later becomes so engrossed in at home. This would give roles to all the students.

Combine music with technology and enterprise. 

  • Ask each student to design and make musical instruments, using items normally found in their cupboards at home.
The Great Galumphing Giant

As part of the society and environment programme, role-play various ways of ‘asking nicely’. 

  • Discuss whether or not Shari and Carol should let Gareth into their cubby.  
  • Were they being mean to him, or was what they did ‘only fair’?  
  • Students could then write their own stories involving a similar conflict.  

Measure out an area of the floor big enough to seat two people. 

  • Draw a plan of the cubby you might build to house the two people.  
  • Build the cubby.  
  • Did it turn out the way you thought it would?  
  • What were the problems you encountered?  
  • Would you need extra materials or just a different design in order to solve these problems?  
  • Could you add an extension to the cubby so that a third person would fit inside?