The Little Red Hen is an old folktale, most likely of Russian
origin. folktale that has been passed
on from storyteller to storyteller for many generations before it was
In all versions, the little red hen is
a hard working character. Most of the versions have a lazy cat, the other characters may
be farm animals or animals that may be found at a farm. Sometimes
these characters are dozing off, sleeping or just playing.
Sometimes the hen bakes bread, a cake, muffins, 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 at your libray, video or online version (selections below) 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 printable mateirals printable crafts, 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 picture book suggestions with links @ WorldCat.org to locate at a nearby library:
Little Red Hen by Byron Barton, 1993 - This collage-like version is ideal
for toddlers and preschool level. It is a favorite of young
children and emergent readers. Little Red Hen bakes bread.
Characters > hen's chicks, pig, duck and cat
Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone, 1985, ages 4-8, but this
can also be enjoyed by children 3+. Available reading @ YouTube. Hen bakes a cake.
Characters: cat, dog, and mouse
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. Characters: duck, dog and cat
Little Red Hen (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Lucinda McQueen
- Ages 4-8 Another wonderful choice, very colorful and not easily
forgotten. Characters: goose, cat and dog.
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 >
Version 1: The
Little Red Hen [@You Tube] picture book classic by Paul Galdone, 1985, ages 4-8, but this
can also be enjoyed by children 3+. Hen bakes a cake. Characters: cat, dog, and mouse
Version 2: The
Little Red Hen PBS Between the Lions YouTube channel > focus on colors
This version is excellent to focus on colors with the little red hen,
little black dog, little orange cat and little yellow
goose! Little Red Hen bakes bread!
Version 3: The
Little Red Hen at Gullah Net in English [Flash player required - best viewed on a PC]
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.
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 > Visit the farm theme to find crafts and activities for the
Felt board characters or easy hand puppets using coloring page images (Ages 2+) >
Choose easy to cut and color coloring images for the characters in the
farm animals coloring pages.
Print coloring pages directly to
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. Laminate and use dry erase markers to write letters or words over the characters.
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.
*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) > This activity card can be used at home or as a 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
Little Red Hen
Shapes Little Red Hen
Large & small
Little Red Hen Stand-up Crafts
View pets theme activities
Most versions have a CAT & DOG
Letter H Hen
for hand puppets and flannel board
Many other links to online supplementary materials in the activities column
Optional: Stalk of wheat found at floral or craft shop.