William Tell Told Again {Free eBook & Go-Along Activities}

William Tell Told Again {Free eBook & Go-Along Activities}
William Tell Told Again {Free eBook & Go-Along Activities}

Most children are familiar with the legend of William Tell, the Swiss hero who successfully shot a cross bolt through an apple placed on his son’s head gaining his and his son’s life from the evil Austrian, Gessler. William Tell Told Again by P.G. Wodehouse gives the legend new life.

Apparently written for the daughter of a friend, Wodehouse retells in prose an earlier picture book illustrated by Philip Dadd told in verse. The story stays close to the legendary events, while humor takes center stage. This can be a good option for moms with sensitive children.

Free eBook:

  • Read a different version of the legend for comparison. You’ll find a couple of options below.
  • Have your child write a humorous version of a different legend; perhaps “King Alfred and the Cakes” or “The Blind Men and the Elephant.”
  • Listen to the “William Tell Overture.” How does the music fit the story?
  • Read the original verse version. What is the rhyme scheme? (ababcdcd) (To read the verse, go to Gutenberg, read the book online (HTML), and click on the “one is a picture book” link.)
  • Re-write a humorous poem into prose; perhaps “Casey at the Bat” or “The Spider and the Fly.”
  • For a challenge, re-write the humorous version of a legend you chose above into poetry. Keep the ababcdcd rhyme scheme, if desired. You may also want to add illustrations like those in the book.


Stapleless Book
Interactive at ReadWriteThink that helps you make an 8-page illustrated foldable. Helpful for the last suggested activity above.

William Tell’s Never Miss Apple Cake
OK. This is an admitted stretch! But oh, so yummy!


The Story of William Tell
Brief telling for younger readers taken from Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin.

William Tell
Longer retelling for older readers taken from Heroes Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie.

The Apple and the Arrow

The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff
A much more serious version that finds its way on many homeschool reading lists told from Walter’s (William Tell’s son) point of view and with a focus on character. Newbery Honor winner.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Introduction to Music Unit: William Tell Overture: Finale
Three lesson plans to go along with the Classics for Kids show linked to above.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Shape Books {Free}
Apple shape book for younger students for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

William Tell Told Again Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.