Witch Hazel proposes you a different way to talk to kids about grammar by using fairy tales! The story below is a version of Little red Riding Hood which has been adapted to explain the "obscure and mysterious" difference between regular and irregular verbs in the English language.

there was a little girl who lived in a cottage on the outskirts of a wood; her name was Little Red Hood. One day her mother called her and said:

“Dear daughter. Your Granny, who lives far away from here, on the opposite side of the wood, is very ill. I’ve prepared this basket of food for you to bring to her”.

“Couldn’t we send it to Granny via the Internet?” answered the clever girl.

Her mother frowned and replied: “Unfortunately New Technologies do not allow us to send baskets in attachment!”


“I recommend you to be careful and take the road which surrounds the wood instead of crossing it”.


“Because it’s dangerous! In the wood there is a big black evil wolf who generally eats little girls for lunch and also for dinner…

So the *obedient* girl set out for the journey to her Granny‘s. After ten minutes’ walk she arrived at the wood and, seeing the straight path before her, she thought: “Why should I take that long and winding road? My mother is too unpractical and naive...I’ll walk straight across the wood!”

After ten minutes’ walk the girl saw that the path was blocked by a small cottage built right there and, even worse, leaning on the cottage wall there was the evil wolf!

“Excuse me, sir!” Asked the girl politely “How can I get on with my journey to my poor old ill granny?”

The wolf: “It’s simple! Just read the sign over the cottage…”

“It’s written: the Cottage of Regular Verbs... What does that mean?”

“It means that either you enter the house and learn the rules for making simple past and past participle out of the infinitive of a regular verb or you’ll die because I will eat you!”

Little Red Hood thought this was a good reason for studying grammar and went into the cottage, learnt the grammar rules and then set out on her journey again.


After ten minutes’ walk she saw a giant skyscraper rising just from the path and  the black wolf was leaning on the building.

Little Red Hood read the giant sign on the giant tower: “Skyscraper of Irregular verbs… oh no!! Does that mean I have to learn all the irregular verbs of the English language or you will eat me?” Exclaimed the intuitive girl.

“Well, not all of them but quite a lot, if you want to survive…” Answered the evil wolf.

So the girl went into the skyscraper hall and started visiting all the floors and on each floor there was a new paradigm… quite exhausting!

But in the end she learned a lot of those verbs and could leave the skyscraper which, incidentally, didn’t even have a lift and so she got a fast breath but, after ten minutes’ walk, she arrived at her Granny’s on her legs and not in the wolf’s belly!!!”

If you want to know what Witch Hazel thinks about using fairy tales and metaphors to explain grammar items to kids just click here!

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