> Letter H > H
is for Hen
links to animals in the story
depending on the version chosen
Books > Folk tales |
Tales | Online stories
> The Little Red Hen
Community Helpers > Baker
Several printable Crafts for the story
Animals Coloring Pages > For felt board
characters and | or puppets
Nutrition > Grains food
The Little Red Hen is an English folktale that has been passed
on from storyteller to storyteller for many generations before it was
A writer and expert on English folklore by the name of Joseph Jacobs
is believed to have been the first to write and publish the story in
the late nineteenth century. Many other writers and artists have
recorded various versions of the story.
In all versions, the little red hen is
a hard working character. Most of the versions have a lazy cat,
but depending on the storyteller or writer the other characters may be
a mouse, a dog, a goose, a duck, a cow or a horse. Sometimes
these characters are dozing off, sleeping or just playing.
Sometimes the hen bakes bread, or a cake, and yes in one version
the hen bakes a pizza! The animals don't want to help and the
hen does not share what she has baked, well, with one exception.
The hen does share the pizza in a contemporary version you may want to
Preparation for activities:
Secure a book and/or video from the library that best meets the needs of
the children's age and tastes. A book with rich illustrations is
highly recommended for this activity, followed by the use of flannel
board characters and other support materials. Below are a number
of book suggestions with age guidelines.
Review and prepare all materials: printable crafts, coloring
pages and other online resources to select those that match the
characters in the book selected. Review all other craft
materials needed. You may want to include a cooking/baking
activity, sampling different types of bread or other baked goods for
a snack or a visit to a local bakery.
Here are some book suggestions: all of these should be available at your local library or school
Little Red Hen by Byron Barton, 1993 -This version is ideal
for toddlers & preschool level. It is a favorite of young
children and emergent readers
Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone, 1985, ages 4-8, but this
can also be enjoyed by children 3+. Available in video
format (length: eight minutes) by Weston Woods/Scholastic, the
video is an exact representation of the book - these videos are
usually available at the local library.
Little Red Hen: (Makes Pizza) by Philemon Sturges -
Ages 4-8 (younger readers may enjoy it as well) This time Little Red
Hen shares with her lazy neighbors, after which they help with the
dishes and instead of baking bread or cake, it is pizza! Hurrah! A fun and great lesson in sharing.
Little Red Hen (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Lucinda McQueen
- Ages 4-8 Another wonderful choice, very colorful and not easily
This is a short list and there are many other wonderful versions to
choose from at your local library. You may consider presenting
more than just one version.
Activity > Online Story time > Two versions
Version 1: The
Little Red Hen at Starfall
Here is a beautifully illustrated version online. In this
version the Little Red Hen's friends are all birds: a duck,
a goose and a turkey. The Little Red Hen
bakes muffins instead of bread. This is an opportunity to focus
on the theme of birds, autumn and Thanksgiving holiday.
Version 2: The
Little Red Hen at Gullah Net in English and Gullah language
Little Red Hen's lazy friends are: a duck, a dog,
and Kitty the cat. Little Red Hen bakes delicious bread.
Here are a series of activities for The Little Red Hen. This
story can be revisited again and again as children grow to explore
different aspects of it and other educational themes.
Activity #1: Reading / Story Discussion and Possible Themes
to Explore (Age Recommendations)
Reading and discussing this story will greatly vary depending on the
age of the children.
For children ages 2-3 is probably best to keep the discussion
simple, focus on:
1. The repetition of the story and having them
participate in role playing with (an easy craft below) puppets and/or felt board
2. Some basic discussion about the process of planting, harvesting and final product, the baked good and how
important it is to eat wheat and other grain related products (have a
stalk of wheat for demonstration-found at craft store).
3. Sharing and helping is good!
4. Snack Time: A fun and easy baking
or bread tasting activity. Suggestion: Bake bread in a bread
machine if available, easy and children can help measure the water,
5. Music: Singing a portion of the
story - link below.
For children 4-6 there's a great deal more that can be discussed
during separate activities or depending on the age.
*Character/Moral message: Cooperation & sharing in more
*Arts & Crafts: Various suggestions for crafts to make to
support the story that allow the children to be creative in making one
of the characters of the story and engage in dramatic play.
*Farm Theme: This story can definitely be incorporated in a farm
themed unit, and the importance and contributions of the hen/chicken
and other characters to the farm.
*Science/Plants: The process of wheat planting, caring,
harvesting, milling process, baking and nutritional value of the final
*Nutrition: The nutritional value of products derived from the
wheat, food pyramid - breads and grains.
*Fun in the Kitchen & Math: Baking bread (a bread making
machine is great for the classroom), cookies, pizza, or
a cake is a great opportunity to practice measuring and counting.
*Music: Singing a portion of the story - link below.
Select from some of the support materials below: crafts, coloring
pages (for flannel board characters and puppets), and online resources
that can be incorporated
for presenting the story and the children will actively participate in
Activity #2: Arts & Crafts:
**Story Character Crafts:
Below is a selection of crafts to make all the characters in the
story. If you have a large group you may want to divide the
group so you have smaller groups representing each character and they
will use the craft to participate during the reading, discussion,
dramatic play and music activity. Make a drawing to help
in the process of selection -- a small bag or basket with
pictures/images that children pull out to determine what
character/animal they will get to make for art/craft activity.
First-School's Crafts Characters - Ages 3.5+ with help
Visit these links for instructions and
templates for related crafts - choose depending on the characters of
the book version selected.
All of these crafts have printable templates (color version and black
DLTK's Printable Craft Characters - Ages 3+
These crafts require a toilet paper tube - or paper towel tubes.
All the templates for these character are available in black &
white to color or in color. Choose from:
1. Cow Craft
3. Mouse Craft
4. Horse Craft
**Suggestion: Alphabet Letter Practice - Before or after completing the crafts write the first letter of the animal in
the body template.
Felt Board Characters or Easy Hand Puppets using Coloring Page
Images (Ages 2+):
Choose from these coloring page images those characters that apply to
the book selected and suggestions for use below:
For other choices and/or additional images visit the Animal
Coloring Pages index.
Easy & Quick Felt board Characters:
The coloring page images listed above can be printed directly on
construction paper or craft paper in a complimentary color and then
cut out, glue or tape a piece of sand paper to stick to a flannel
board. Also you may wish to cover with Contact paper.
Using dry erase markers write the names of the characters on
Easy Hand Puppets & Coloring Painting Activity
*If you have limited time, this could be an easy craft/coloring
activity using crayons or paints and some additional materials to
decorate the coloring page images suggested above.
*Children can help cut out the
images after decorating/coloring them (great scissor practice for
older children) and glue or tape to a craft stick/Popsicle stick
or drinking straw to make a puppet.
*Do the same as suggested
above, divide the group and make a drawing to select the image for
each child. Have the children work in teams to color and
decorate the puppet.
Online resource: Webbing
into Literacy: The Little Red Hen Activity Card: (PDF Format only)
Here is an activity card that can be used at home or as take home
activity to reinforce the story.
Complementary Lesson Plans:
Letter H Hen printable activities
Introduce or practice letter H with a set of printable activities
Helper - The Baker Activities
Little Red Hen is a baker in the story. A complimentary set of activities to this story would be to introduce the baker
as a community helper.
Helper - The Farmer Activity (and Little Boy Blue Nursery Rhyme)
The Little Red Hen exhibits the typical responsibilities of a farmer. A complimentary activity to this story would be to introduce the farmer
as a community helper -- refer to this activity which includes an Easy
Farmer Shapes Craft.
Baking | Sequencing | Nutrition
Suggestion for a baking activity, a printable baking sequencing
First-School's Crafts Characters - Ages 3.5+ with help
7. Turkey (online story
for Felt board Characters & Puppets
Many other links to online supplementary materials in the instructions.
Materials: Each craft link has a list of materials needed.
Optional: Stalk of wheat found at floral or craft shop.