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Known to be mischievous and destructive, gremlins are fictional reptile-like creatures that sabotage aircraft or any other machinery. Since World War II, gremlins bring nothing but mischief and mayhem to people, especially to pilots.
See the fact file below for more information on the gremlins or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Gremlin worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
- John W. Hazen believed that gremlins got their name from the Old English word greme, meaning “to vex or annoy.”
- In the book Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia by Carol Rose, the term came from a combination of names from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Fremlin Beer.
- In the early 20th century, the term gremlin, which refers to creatures that cause aircraft malfunctions, originated from the Royal Air Force (RAF) slang among British pilots in Malta, Middle East, and India.
- On April 10, 1929 in Malta, a poem about gremlins was published in the journal Aeroplane.
- Another reference is from the 1938 novel The ATA: Women with Wings by Pauline Gower, referring to Scotland as the “gremlin country” where these scissor-wielding creatures sabotaged biplane engine wires.
- On April 18, 1942, Hubert Griffith’s article published in the Royal Air Force Journal also mentioned the presence of gremlins.
- World War II airmen from the UK’s photographic reconnaissance units of RAF Benzon, RAF Wick, and RAF St. Eval popularized gremlins, blaming them for inexplicable accidents during their flights.
- They were also portrayed as opportunistic tricksters, taking no sides in a disagreement, and displaying mischief from their own selfishness.
- Martin Bressi, author and historian, believed that gremlins helped build morale among pilots of the Royal Air Force, helping them win the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe (German military force) in 1940.
- While author Roald Dahl should be acknowledged for popularizing gremlins worldwide, it was the 1984 Gremlins movie that made these creatures unforgettable.
APPEARANCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
- Their physical attributes vary, but some describe them as little human-like elves with red or green double-breasted frock coats, feathered hats, and pointy shoes.
- Some have green, gold, pink, or red skin; others are perceived to look more evil and ferocious – with furry bodies, large pointy ears, gleaming red eyes, and horns.
- Others say they look like reptiles with nude-grey skin, wide mouths, and dagger-like teeth. Oftentimes, they are reported to look like hares, bull terriers, or a mix of both.
- Some accounts mention they are composed of mist or smoke, describing them as having syndactyly (webbed hands and feet) and bat-like wings.
- A gremlin’s height can range between 6 inches to 24 inches. They may have suctioned feet or leather shoes with hooks, enabling them to walk or hang upside down.
GREMLINS IN MEDIA
- The gremlin from the 1943 movie Falling Hare, with a color scheme that reflected the U.S. Army Air Force training aircraft, gave nothing but grief to Bugs Bunny.
- A year later, the cartoon Russian Rhapsody featured gremlins causing aircraft malfunctions to planes piloted by Adolf Hitler. This same year, gremlins also starred in the romantic comedy movie Johnny Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
- In 1981, the animated film Heavy Metal had a segment titled “B-17” where gremlins appeared, along with the surviving pilot who was haunted by the corpses of his fellow crew.
- The famous 1984 movie Gremlins by Steven Spielberg, followed by Gremlins 2: The New Batch, featured hideous monsters (gremlins) which mutated from small creatures (mogwais).
- The movie Hotel Transylvania had one old gremlin acting as the activities director of the hotel. In the third movie, there were some gremlins that ran an aircraft service.
- In the episode “Jake Takes the Cake” from the cartoon series American Dragon: Jake Long, gremlins messed with any type of mechanical device and caused a lot of chaos until they were put to sleep.
- A gremlin appeared in the Halloween special of The Simpsons when it tried to ruin the wheel of Bart Simpson’s school bus.
- In the episode “The Tale of the Curious Camera” from the series Are You Afraid of the Dark?, gremlins inhabit the camera given to Matt, causing something bad to happen to anything he takes a picture of.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the gremlins across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Gremlin worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the gremlins which are fictional reptile-like creatures that sabotage aircraft or any other machinery. Since World War II, gremlins bring nothing but mischief and mayhem to people, especially to pilots.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Gremlin Facts
- What are Gremlins?
- Gremlin Life Cycle
- Gremlin Mutants
- Facts of a Troublemaker
- 1984 Gremlins
- Dahl Versions
- Gremlins of WWII
- Gremlin Air
- Gremlin Comics
- Gremlin Spotted
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Link will appear as Gremlin Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 10, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.