As you can probably tell by the photo I have owned this copy of Stone Soup by Ann McGovern and Winslow Pinney Pels for quite some time. I think I picked this up in my early days as I was just starting out in my teaching career. It tells the folktale of a hungry young man who knocks on a woman’s door and asks for food. Although the woman does have food, she tells him she has nothing to share. He cleverly convinces her to add food from her garden to his ‘stone soup’ to make it taste better. By the end of the story the same woman is setting the table and serving him soup ‘fit for a king’!
I read this story during our snack time and C quickly picked up on the repeated part, “Soup from a stone, fancy that!”
This story easily lends itself to making connections by making ‘stone soup’. I actually do use a stone that I place into boiling water. I usually ask each child to bring an ingredient to go into the soup which reinforces the idea of sharing and building community. I have the children help add items to the pot and they also do a little chopping of onions, carrots and celery. The children have an opportunity to smell and taste the soup as well and its a great way to encourage them to eat vegetables!
After we made the soup, D was playing at the dinosaur and clay table. There were some stones, driftwood and plastic leaves that were part of the dinosaur’s world. D showed me a couple of the stones and said enthusiastically, “We can make stone soup with this!”
I highly recommend another version of this story Stone Soup by J. Muth. It adds a little Chinese culture to the story and if I can get my hands on a copy of that I will read it very soon to follow up. When I have done this activity in the past, I usually find I have more ingredients for the soup than I need. This time I decided to save the extra items and make some soup again very soon. And of course, I saved the stone too.