When my own kids were small I used to tell them to “remember the Little Red Hen,” any time they needed some encouragement to cooperate or help with a job. The timeless message of this fairy tale – that everyone needs to work together and help, makes it an essential story for Kindergarten! I also thought it was important to expose my Kindergartners to classic stories like this.
There are so many versions of this story that are available at libraries and bookstores. The main difference I found was the cast of characters. The setting, problem and overall theme was usually the same. There are a few copy-change books that have been published. I used one called Who Will Help published by Creative Teaching Press, I bought it from a teacher’s store.
The theme was the same but it was a mouse who asked for help (if I remember right) and he was making applesauce instead of bread. It was a great step by step story about the process from picking the apples to making applesauce! It is really interesting to see if your children can make that text to text connection when you read a similar story.
Like most fairy tales, The Little Red Hen is great for acting out. It was one of the stories that my class acted out for our end of the year program. I tried to avoid stories with one main character because I didn’t want to have one child stand out as a star – so I took a little liberty and the main characters in my version were the hen and one of her chicks.
Here is the adaptation that I used to act out this story:
I made headbands with pictures of the characters stapled to the front. Usually I cut out the animals for the headbands, but these pictures would work just as well!
I would copy them onto cardstock – or glue them on with rubber cement (works great!). Then I would ” bubble cut” around each character, and laminate it, to make it stiff enough to stand up when stapled onto the headband.
Here are these pictures to print:
Here are pictures that you can use to sequence the story – or you can enlarge and color them to use when you are telling the story to your class. You could also have the children write a caption for each picture to retell the story.
These pictures have a pig and duck instead of a cow and dog. No problem! It would be fun to make a class story using different animals! Here they are to print:
Check out the post about the Three Billy Goats Gruff too – you might want to change the titles on those projects and ask your children to write about their favorite part of the story, or use the little booklet to sequence and write about it.
We had a big discussion about things that Kindergartners can do to help – both at school and at home. The children made a cut and paste red hen, then they wrote about one way they could be helpful. I loved doing craft projects like this with my class – they had to follow step by step directions to make the hens, and these projects gave them lots of great fine motor practice using scissors, tracers, etc. Developing those fine motor skills really makes handwriting an easier process!
We always did a cooking project to go along with this story too! Sometimes we made yeast rolls, other times we baked biscuits. You could even buy frozen bread loaves and the children could form them into rolls. You could make biscuits with Bisquick, or even just bake the refrigerated roll biscuits! The important part of the cooking project is including all the children, and finding opportunities to ask “Who will help me …”
Here are some bread machine roll recipes (really yummy!) and the recipe I used for rolls made from scratch.
So, the next time you are looking for a little help around your house, you might want to remind your own family of the little red hen!