Jack and the Beanstalk – Story Ideas

Jack and the Beanstalk

Story ideas for Autumn Term 2021: Week One

This week we’re kicking off the Autumn term with one of my favourite stories to tell (hehe, you may have gleamed this from the business name!) the tale of Jack, his beloved cow and that towering Beanstalk!

I love this tale as it has so many different magical elements in it, all ripe for different musical interpretations, actions and movement! We start with a big of old McDonald’s farm to set the scene, row our boat to market with the cow, meet a mysterious stranger and annoy our mum, before growing our Beanstalk up to the clouds!

My version has a cheeky visit from Boris the Bird, and often skips out the golden goose and the musical harp, as we spend so long growing our musical Beanstalks. I hope to see many of you in person (whoop!) this week, but if you’re further afield or can’t make it to see us in real life, you can catch our Beanstalk Arts version of Jack and his Beanstalk on our story podcast here:

….or if you fancy having a play with this story at home, here’s a video I made for Groundswell Arts in 2020 using this story with ideas for making music in your own house:

And if you are really enjoying this tale, here are a few ideas for follow up activities at home or in your classroom if you’d like to continue your beanstalk clambering, giant dodging antics! 


  • Why not do some bean or seed planting? Do you have any seeds you can plant…or even some apple or orange pips to see what might grow?  Try sprinkling on a bit of magic, and see if anything grows?
  • For little ones – how about a sensory tray of beans and pulses – can you plant them in play doh or plasticine? Maybe put in some leaves and sticks to make a garden?
  • Can you find your biggest ‘giant’ toy and your tiniest ‘Jack’ toy?

Arts and crafts: 

  • Can you make a beanstalk…? Roll up some paper to make a tube, and then attach lots of paper leaves to make it tall? Or even put a bit of string from floor to ceiling and then make some magical leaves and stick them on..





  • GIANT DANCING: put on some loud stompy music and stomp like giants – Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony is a good one for this – it changes between dramatic giant stopping, and gentle ‘Jack climbing up the beanstalk’ sections in this movement when the violin gently plays the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgUmpSWB-fc


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