When exploring any text or picture book for your literacy lesson, getting the most value out of any whole-class reading is important. By exploring the text in multiple ways, you can help solidify student learning and reinforce any literacy concepts you have been exploring so far.
Here are 11 ways to use The Little Red Hen in your next literacy lesson.
Create a word wall with all keywords, terms and character names. Using images with your word wall cards is helpful to young children still learning to read and spell. This word wall of cards will also be helpful with any written activities you aim to undertake with your students as they can be used as a reference point.
2. Sequencing Cards
Helping students sequence the story as they read along can help early readers understand what is happening in a text. Often during a reading group, I ask students 'why are they doing this?' or 'where is the setting now?' and often students can't answer as they struggle to picture the story in their minds. Pulling out sequence cards during a reading is so helpful to the cause and affect concepts and their understanding of what exactly is happening in the story.
3. Cut and Paste Sequencing Activity
Create some independent work to check for understanding by providing picture cards of the events in the story and see if students can sequence it correctly. This activity calls on two skills; cause and effect and visual comprehension. Encourage students to look closely at the picture to understand what is happening. Where is the setting? What is the character doing?
Get students to cut and paste the story correctly in their literacy books and then colour.
4. Cause and Effect
Drill down to one particular plot point, in this case the steps Little Red Hen goes through to bake the bread and let students number the events in the correct order.
5. Integrate your literacy lesson with your other units of study
Use activities, such as these colour by number sheets, to integrate the text characters into other areas of study in your classroom, such as with your numeracy lesson. This helps build engagement and create a fun-themed lesson.
6. Explore Parts of Speech
Use the text to identify nouns, verbs and adjectives to help build character knowledge. What activities do the characters typically do? (verbs) and how do they act/look? (adjectives).
7. Model, model, model
Young students need a LOT of modelling. You can model concepts you wish to discuss further by using large cutouts of the characters on the board. Typically I print and laminate these for longevity and attach a magnet to the back. I then place these on the board as I read or re-read the text. I move the characters around when I want to emphasise a plot point and often get students to come to the board and move characters around during the story. This is how I check for understanding cause and effect, plot points, and character traits in the story.
8. Introduce a Venn Diagram
By using a Venn Diagram, students can explore the characteristics of each animal in the story. Yes, they are all animals. Only the Little Red Hen is hard-working. How do we know this? The text tells us ... (introduce text evidence to support your statement, a concept students will rely on throughout their schooling). However, the other animals are lazy because... (text evidence). Don't forget to show students how you know these things by both the words AND the pictures in the texts, encouraging them to look at both.
9. Keep it fun!
Try some puzzle pieces (from The Little Red Hen pack) to keep students interested in the picture book.
10. Create story retells
Encourage students to retell the story in multiple ways. By moving the large whiteboard images (mentioned above), through puppets on popsicle sticks, face masks for readers' theatre or by creating a small world set up with foldable images.
11. Use some craft to finalise your book study
You can download this free Little Red Hen craftivity at the link below. Let students create their characters and place them on the classroom wall.
Subscribers can download this Little Red Hen craft activity above in the Freebie Library.
You can find the Little Red Hen Activity Pack here.