The Little Red Hen tells the story of a hard working hen who is getting ready to bake bread. She asks her friends to help her, but they all refuse. However they are all eager to help her eat the bread when it is finished. There are countless versions of the tale and children will enjoy reading and comparing several. Use these activities after reading the story out loud with your class.
Here are a few questions to ask after reading The Little Red Hen.
- How would you describe the little red hen? her friends?
- How do you think the hen felt when her friends wouldn’t help her and she had to make the bread by herself?
- Would you have shared the bread with the other animals if you were the hen?
- Do you the think the other animals learned a lesson? What was it?
- What do you think will happen the next time the little red hen needs help from her friends?
After reading two versions of The Little Red Hen have the students complete Venn diagrams comparing the versions. Retellings by Paul Galdone, Jerry Pinkney, Byron Barton and Lucinda Mcqueen are all good choices.
Put students into groups of three or four and give each group a different version of the story to read together. Have them read and discuss the story in their groups and then work together to make a poster about the book they read to share with the class. Use some of the less traditional retellings for this activity.
- Out of the Egg by Tina Matthews
- The Little Green Witch by Barbara McGrath
- The Little Red Hen (Makes Pizza) by Philemon Sturges
- Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman
- With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
After reading The Little Red Hen bake bread or muffins together. Let the children help you measure, stir and pour. When your bread is finished you will have a special snack that the whole class helped make. Cooking is a great way to reinforce math concepts like measurement and fractions.
Extend the cooking activity by encouraging the children to write about how they made bread. Help them copy their recipes onto large recipe cards and put them together into a class book.
As a class write a new version of the story of The Little Red Hen. You can change as little as what the hen is making or change the characters too. Write each page of the story on a large piece of chart paper and then let the children work in pairs to illustrate the pages. When the illustrations are complete bind them into a book and place it in your reading center. It will soon become a class favorite.
As students work together on these fun activities, they will improve their comprehension skills while they practice the story’s moral of cooperation and teamwork.