Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the most famous folktales ever told. It is a traditional tale that children have said at bedtime for generations.
Initially, it was an English fairy tale. The basis of the story might be more than millennia old! In 1734, the level of Jack and the Beanstalk appeared in print as “The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean.” Eventually, though, people realized that it was a bit of a long name, and they trimmed it down.
What happens in Jack and the Beanstalk? Plot summary
You might already have a good idea of what happens in Jack and the Beanstalk. After all, it is quite a familiar story – you might have heard it at bedtime or school. There are a few versions of the story with some variations. Jack and the Beanstalk is also a pantomime favorite, so you might get a chance to see it performed one day.
Jack and the Beanstalk summary
Jack and his mother are very poor. Apart from their cottage, all they own is a cow.
One day, Jack’s mum tells him that he has to sell the cow because they have run out of money. However, she reminds Jack that he must get a fair amount of money in exchange for the cow.
However, on the way to the market, Jack bumps into an older man. The old man says he will give Jack some ‘magic beans’ in exchange for the cow. Jack thinks this sounds like a good deal, so he takes the beans and provides the man with the cow.
As you can imagine, his mum was displeased. She throws the beans out the window and goes to bed in a huff.
But these are magic beans. Overnight, a giant beanstalk grows in their garden. When Jack wakes up, he decides to climb the beanstalk.
It takes a long time, but Jack makes it up the beanstalk, through the clouds, and into the sky. At the top, he finds a gigantic castle. It is the home of a giant.
He hears the giant singing a creepy song:
“Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!
Be he alive or dead; I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”
Wisely, Jack decides to hide until the giant goes back to sleep. Then, when the coast is clear, Jack steals some gold coins and climbs back to his mother. She is, understandably, a bit gobsmacked.
Jack climbs the beanstalk two more times to steal from the giant. Some of his nicked goodies include a goose that lays golden eggs and a magical harp.
One day, Jack’s luck runs out. The giant hears him and begins to chase him.
Jack manages to get to the bottom of the beanstalk first. He shouts to his mum for an axe. Jack chops down the beanstalk. The giant falls out of the sky and dies.
For Jack and his mum, there is a happy ending. They still have coins and a supply of gold eggs from the magic goose.
So there you are, your Jack and the Beanstalk summary!
What is the setting of Jack and the Beanstalk?
There are several answers to the question, “what are the Jack and the Beanstalk summary?” This is along with “what is the setting of Jack and the Beanstalk?” One answer is that there is no natural setting – the story takes place in your imagination or wherever you happen to hear it.
You could also say that the setting is the market or the castle at the top of the beanstalk. The story has been told so many times throughout history that many different locations would make sense. One set could be the stage since the story is performed as a popular pantomime.
What do you think? What are the honest Jack and the Beanstalk summary and setting?
Moral lesson of Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk might have a moral lesson, but finding it isn’t straightforward. Jack does lots of naughty things, which no one should do. These include disobeying his mother when she gives him sensible instructions, stealing, and killing a giant.
However, some versions of the story say that the giant had killed Jack’s father. They also say that the giant’s harp and golden goose were stolen. In that case, the moral lesson of Jack and the Beanstalk is that Jack does something terrible to punish the giant.
However, that still isn’t a perfect moral lesson. It might be better to think of the story as telling people to make the most of opportunities, even though they are unexpected. You could also think of it as teaching people to believe in magic because amazing things can happen when we least expect them.
So, another Jack and the Beanstalk summary of morals would be about taking advantage of life’s opportunities. Jack is taking a massive risk when he exchanges the cow for the beans. Their only source of income was the cow, which would have fed the whole family for some time. However, he is courageous in his choices and is willing to take a chance – and believes in a spot of magic!
This could be an excellent topic to teach children about alongside your Jack and the Beanstalk pictures. Learning to take risks with young children helps them build their independence and ownership skills. Risky play helps them learn valuable life skills and move beyond their limits. This then provides room for further learning opportunities for them.
Taking risks in a safe environment builds confidence and helps youngsters to form resilience by bouncing back when those ‘risks’ do not turn out as they’d hoped.
Children who are risk-takers are usually more likely to believe in themselves and think positively about their decision-making skills.
Another moral symbol revolves around good versus evil. Jack is supposed to symbolize good, and the giant, evil. Good conquers evil when Jack rids the world of the giant.