Blog Posts, Read Aloud

The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya, Illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez

Today I asked my youngest daughter, Alice, to join me as we read The Three Billy Goats Buenos, written by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez. Alice has been in her pajamas all day because school is closed for the next two weeks due to the Coronavirus. It was a nice break in our day to prepare this video for you!

I had so much fun reading The Three Billy Goats Buenos to kindergarten classes earlier this week, before school was closed. If you use the Units of Study in Reading, your kindergarteners are very familiar with the traditional tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff. After reading and acting out this story as new kindergartners last fall, they had a chance to revisit this updated version with deeper thinking this spring.

The Three Billy Goats Buenos

Susan Middleton Elya weaves Spanish throughout this updated tale which gives young readers lots of chances to flex their inferring muscles. They used their familiarity with the story and context clues to figure out words like puente, delicioso, elefante, and frutas. When we didn’t know a word, we looked it up in the glossary, and then told our neighbor, “Puente means bridge!” As we read, we repeatedly checked in with our thinking by asking ourselves, “Is this the same as the traditional Three Billy Goats Gruff or different?” Partners turned and talked by saying, “This is the same because…” or “This is different because…”  As we read each cabrito’s interactions with the troll, we predicted what would happen next, and kindergarteners were delighted when the third troll veered from the traditional storyline! 

The Three Billy Goats Buenos

Teacher Thoughts

  • The Three Billy Goats Buenos is a great addition to your traditional tale text sets. 
  • The glossary of Spanish phrases in the front of the book was interesting to kindergarteners who are new to this text feature. One asked for a copy so he could practice using the Spanish words.
  • First and second graders who are working on finding the lesson or moral in traditional tales will find this a great fit. 

Kid Thoughts

  • “The goats were so nice! They helped him!”
  • “Prado must be the meadow!”
  • “I noticed her sore toe, too!”
  • Each of the three classes gave this version two thumbs up!

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