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Literature Based Kindergarten: Stone Soup

Primary Literature
  • Stone Soup by Marcia Brown, this is a delightful retelling of a classic folktale. It's a Caldecott medal honor book - the illustrations are delightful and charming. It tells the tale of three traveling soldiers who stop at a village looking for a bit food and a place sleep. The villagers, however, are stingy and lie to the soldiers, saying that they are short on food. The soldiers use trickery to get the villagers to contribute to their delicious and magical 'stone soup'. I chose this book for November because I thought it be a great way to implant the message that I want my children to take away from Thanksgiving; for them to be grateful and generous with the blessings they have been given. I also had plans this to delve deeper into Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas and The Pilgims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern but life got bit crazy and so we had to settle for just reading them. 

  • Vocabulary Words to Review
    • trudged - to walk slowly
    • village - small community of houses
    • loft - upper level room
    • splendid - magnificent
    • cellar - underground room
    • peasant - farmers, common people of Europe
    • banquet - lavish meal, feast

Complementary Literature
  • We read a couple another versions of Stone Soup by Ann McGovern Jon J. Muth, and Heather Forest
  • Nail Soup by Eric Maddern, is very simpler to Stone Soup but this Scandinavian tale includes just one traveler and he uses a nail instead of stones to start his soup. The illustrations are enchanting and the way characters imaginations transported them to a different setting captivated my children. 
  • The Real Story of Stone Soup by Ying Chang Compestine, a 'fractured' version of Stone Soup this story is told through the eyes of the person being tricked.  A legend from China this tale is about three clever boys who trick their Uncle in to thinking that stones make delicious soup. A tongue-in-cheek tale will have your kids laughing. My only caveat is that it does use some strong language like "stupid". 
  • One Grain Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi. A folktale from India, a wise girl outsmarts a greedy raja out country's cache of rice.

Other Complementary Materials

Learning Activities and Games

  • Beginning sounds stone-soup-clothespin-matching. I've made the cards available, for free,  here.

  • Stone sensory bin with measuring cups and tongs. 

  • We also made some stone soup. We didn't follow a recipe, but most of the Stone Soup books listed above have a recipe in the back. 

  • Vegetable paint prints.

Please check our homeschooling page for more children's literature and unit ideas. 


  1. This is one of my favorite blogs. I love how playful you are with the kids. I love it when you reveal a bit of your past. It gives me hope.
    Thanks for a great blog!

  2. Absolutely one of my favourite tales. I love your activities. When I was in the first grade our teacher read this story and made stone soup. Each child contributed one ingredient . I recall very little about grade one, but that activity stands out on my mind.

    1. Thank-you! I think Stone Soup will end up being one of our kid's favorite tales as well - I love how your teacher had everyone bring an ingredient.


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