Adapting an Adventure Story to Your Locale
Adventure stories are stories that move from place to place as you tell them. Each place represents a different locale in the story.
Where do you find adventure stories? Well, you can make up your own adventure story. You also can search for an existing story that has multiple settings, and you can adapt a story to make it work in multiple settings.
“Take a Little Walk, Bear” is a story I found in one of Margaret Read MacDonald’s wonderful books, Five Minute Tales. I selected this story for its sweetness and simplicity – making it the perfect adventure tale for toddlers.
But, I have found that school-age children relish this story as well, so it is suitable for all ages.
As with many adventure stories, I needed to adapt the story to my particular environment.
Adapting the Story
The original story was first set in Bear’s home. Then, chasing a bee, Bear goes over a stream, across a meadow, and up a tree. This is followed by bees chasing Bear back along the same route until he reaches his home and into the arms of his mama.
I had a tent and a play structure already in place in the backyard. I added a few more moveable sets: a thicket, a bridge over a stream, and a cave.
The tent became Little Bear’s den.
I had this branch fall off of my enormous eucalyptus tree. So, I stripped it of its leaves, staked it in the ground and called it a “thicket” in the story.
More branches from my eucalyptus tree after a tree trimming became the “bridge.”
I had on hand these squarish wooden boxes. I put them along Bear’s route and called them “caves.”
The play structure, already in place, and also fashioned from eucalyptus tree wood trimmings, became the “tree” in the story.
So, as you can see, the story structure remains the same, but the locales changed and were expanded in my version.
It’s hard to see, but at the top of the play structure, hanging from the arc-shaped branch, I fastened a bee hive prop – which was simply a spool of yellow cord.
When acting out this story, an adult can play both the mama bear and the bee chasing the Little Bear(s), who are played by the children.
So that completes the set up that I did for this adventure story.
The point is, you can adapt a story to your environment, and adapt your environment to your story, in whatever combination that works.
Also, if possible, keep your adventure story sets out for awhile as children may like to revisit the story multiple times over several days.
Here is the version of the story that I used for my backyard adventure:
Little Bear Takes A Walk
Little Bear wanted to go out and see the world. He peeked out of his cave. [TENT] “You may go out, Little Bear,” said his Momma. “But pay attention to what I tell you now: STAY AWAY FROM THE BEES.”
“Oh yes, Momma. I’ll stay away from the bees.” So Little Bear went out the door. The world looked big and wonderful! “Ohhhhhh!”
Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear. Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk. (3x)
Suddenly….BZZZZZZ there was a …..BEE!
“BEES! BEES mean HONEY!” said Bear. Little Bear forgot what his Momma had told him. He started following that bee. The bee flew threw a thicket [BRANCH]. Little Bear followed right after.
Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear. Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk. (3x) The bee flew across a bridge [LOGS]. Little Bear went right after it.
Take a little balance Bear, balance, Bear, balance, Bear. Take a little balance, Bear, balance, Bear, balance. (3x)
The bee flew in and out of two caves [WOODEN BOXES]. Bear chased right after.
Take a little skip Bear, skip, Bear, skip, Bear. Take a little skip, Bear, skip, Bear, skip. (3x)
The bee flew into a hole in the top of a big tree! [PLAY STRUCTURE]
Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb, Bear. Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb. (3x) Little Bear smelled something.
Take a little smell, Bear, smell, Bear, smell, Bear. Take a little smell, Bear, smell, Bear, smell. (3x)
“It smells like honey! It looks like honey! It is honey!
…YOW! BEES! I want my MOMMA!”
Take a little climb, Bear, climb, Bear, climb, Bear.
Take a little skip, Bear, skip, Bear, skip, Bear.
Take a little balance, Bear, balance, Bear, balance, Bear.
Take a little walk, Bear, walk, Bear, walk, Bear.
“MOMMA! MOMMA! BEES STUNG ME!!!”
“Well then….take a little hug, Bear, hug, Bear, hug Bear. Take a little hug, Bear, hug, Bear, HUG.”
~ THE END ~
When I told this story to my nephew who just turned 3, he said one word in response: “Again!” with a big grin 🙂
Have you found a story that would work as an adventure story? Please share.
Here is another post about adventure stories from Storytime Crafts: