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Pizza! Little Red Hen Style

written by: Pam Cannon • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 6/6/2012

"The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza" book is exciting to read for even the most reluctant of learners. Students can make their own pizzas with or without cooking, create pizza art, learn about fractions and play act in a class pizzeria.

  • slide 1 of 8

    Who is Making Pizza?

    Gather the children together and show them the cover of the book, Little Red Hen Makes Pizza. Ask them what they think the story is about? Have they ever heard about Little Red Hen before? If so, what did she do? Are there any other characters pictured on the cover? Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

    Share the book with your students. Take time to examine the wonderful cut-paper images. Discuss how Little Red Hen gives out consequences. Is the consequence appropriate? Why or why not? Do they like the way Little Red Hen forgives her friends? Did she do the right thing?

    On chart paper make a list of the places that Little Red Hen visits, for example the hardware store and the delicatessen, and some of the things that you would expect to see there. The students will be able to use this as a reference when engaged in their activities.

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    Let's Read and Write About the Story

    Provide large sheets of paper. Ask students to fold the paper into quarters and then in each section draw a picture of one of the characters from the book. They should also print a sentence telling why the character could not help, for example, "Not I" said the Duck, because she was going swimming. Encourage the children to use quotation marks.

    Provide papers with two columns. One headed Problems the other headed Solutions. Feel free to download problem and solution T-charts (with or without lines) right here on Bright Hub. Ask students to write in each column Little Red Hen's problems as she goes about making the pizza, and how she solves each of them. For example, Problem - she had nothing to cook the pizza in; Solution - go to the hardware store and buy a pizza pan. Encourage the children to add illustrations.

    Provide papers with the letters for the word PIZZA down the left hand side of the sheet. Invite students to develop their own acrostic poem using each of the letters as a beginning sound, for example, P - pizza, pepperoni, I - inviting, items and so forth. Ask for volunteers to share their poems. Take words from each of the poems to make up a class co-operative acrostic poem.

    Provide long strips of paper such as those from adding machine rolls. Ask students to make a filmstrip of the story showing scenes in the correct sequence. Students add a sentence to describe each scene or dictate it to a helper.

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    Helping Hands

    Ask students to trace around one of their hands. on a plain sheet of white paper and cut it out. On the palm they should record the title and name of the author. On each finger draw a picture of each of the characters in the story and print how they could have helped Little Red Hen. Display on a bulletin board with the heading Helping Hands.

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    Take My Order Please

    Set up a table with some chairs. Add placemats, menus and table settings. Provide order pads and pencils and invite students to take turns being the customers and staff in a pizzeria. Have available Playdoh and felt or construction paper "toppings" so the waiting staff or cooks can make the pizzas as ordered by the customers.

    Waiting staff should ask how many slices are needed. This provides opportunities for the children to discuss halves, quarters, eighths and so forth - and for the cooks to cut the pizzas into fractions.

    Encourage students to add up the prices for the food ordered.

    Add a telephone book so that customers can look up the phone number of the pizzeria and call in for a pick-up order or home delivery.

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    Become an Illustrator

    After observing the cut-out illustrations in the book with the students, let them become the illustrators by inviting them to try their hand at creating the same kind of pictures. Provide colored papers and scissors. Suggest that they begin with a simple drawing of a person and dress the model in clothes. Then, they add a setting, for example, under a tree in the sun. Last, they add details, for example, birds.

  • slide 6 of 8

    Let's Make Pizza

    Invite students to make up their own pizza recipe. Encourage them to be creative.


    On light card stock, ask students to draw a pizza crust and cut it out. Then add toppings made from felt or fabric scraps, colored paper and yarn. Glue onto cardboard circles for durability.


    Provide half of an English muffin for every student. Have them spread pizza sauce over the muffin and add their choice of toppings. Bake in an electric frying pan with the lid on or in a toaster oven.

    If baking is not an option, make a sweet pizza! Provide any round cookie and spread with red jam or jelly. Add Smarties, M&M's, jelly beans and so forth as toppings.

  • slide 7 of 8

    What Lesson Has Little Red Hen Learned?

    As a wrap-up activity gather the class together to share the original Little Red Hen book. Discuss and compare the two stories. Did the students prefer the original or this one? Why or why not? Did Little Red Hen show that she had learned anything? Do the students approve of the way she treated her friends in both stories? Why or why not?

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    Exploring Other Adapted Stories

    After enjoying this "different" version of Little Red Hen you may like to introduce your students to other "different" versions of well-known tales, for example, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs or Cinderella Penguin. It is fun to find many different versions of the Cinderella story and compare them.


  • Philemon, Sturges, The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.Puffin Books, 2002
  • Author's own classroom experiences
  • Galdone, Paul, The Little Red Hen. HMH Books, 2011
  • Perlman, Janet, Cinderella Penguin. Kids Can Press, 1992
  • Smith, Lane, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Puffin Books, 1991

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