Jack and the Beanstalk Story: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

In this lesson, we'll look at ''Jack and the Beanstalk,'' a story about magic beans that grow into beanstalks that reach a giant's home in the sky, and how a boy named Jack helps his family by climbing the beanstalk.

What Would You Grow With Magic?

If you had magic beans, what would you like to grow? Maybe a new video game? What about a bicycle or skateboard, or perhaps a big old vat of slime?

In ''Jack and the Beanstalk,'', the star of the story, Jack. stumbles onto magic beans that grow into a giant beanstalk. The sprouted beans send him on quite an adventure that includes a massive giant, a golden goose, and a majestic castle. Pretty cool, huh?

Let's dig into the story.

A Giant Beanstalk to the Sky

Jack and his mother live alone on a small farm. Jack was a good kid who helped his mother with chores, but the two of them were very poor and often didn't even have enough to eat.

Jack climbs a magic beanstalk where he finds trouble and a little bit of magic.
jack, beanstalk

One day, Jack's mother tells the young boy he must take the family's cow into town to make some money. They'll use the money to plant crops (or plants that grow food), so they'll have enough to eat.

Jack agrees and sets out the next morning for town with Old Bess the cow.

Talking to Strangers

Along the way, Jack meets a stranger who offers him a special deal. He will give Jack magic beans in exchange for the Old Bess the cow. Jack isn't sure whether to believe the man. He asks the stranger if the beans are really magical. The man assures Jack that they are. So, Jack takes the beans, hands over the cow, and heads home.

Back at Home

When Jack gets home, his mother is surprised to see her son back so soon. Jack tells his mother he's received magic beans. She is sorely disappointed in the boy's lack of judgment (his decisions) and bursts into tears. Jack feels sad to have made his mother cry. Feeling foolish, he tosses the beans out his bedroom window.

The Big Beanstalk

The next morning, Jack awakens to discover a giant beanstalk has sprung up outside his window. The magic beans really worked! He rushes outside and climbs up, up, up the beanstalk until he reaches a new land with a castle off in the distance.

Exploring the new land, Jack encounters giants: a lady giant and her husband. When the husband smells the boy, he wants to eat Jack for breakfast! But, the lady giant protects Jack from her husband's hungry jaws.

While Jack hides from the hungry giant, he sees a hen (or goose) that lays golden eggs and a magic harp with a girls face inside the home. Both the goose and the harp must do everything the giant says. After the giant falls asleep, Jack starts to sneak off, but then goes back for the hen and the harp to rescue them from the giant and his demands.

Down, Down, Down the Beanstalk

Jack makes his way back to the beanstalk and is determined to get home. Just then, the hen cackles (or cries) and the giant wakes up. He begins to chase after Jack, chanting:

I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll have his bones to grind my bread.''

Jack gets to the bottom of the beanstalk and begs his mother for an axe. He's going to chop down the beanstalk before the giant can get to the bottom. The beanstalk comes crashing down, and the giant falls to the earth, cracking his head.

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