Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.
In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.
The students then clear their space and walk to take a seat on their assigned spot on the rug.
I sit at the front of the rug area ready with the book needed for the lesson.
The Little Red Hen with pictures by Lucinda McQueen. I like this version as it is easy to see where the story is going. This is necessary in order for the students to be able to successfully predict the ending. There are also some wonderful vocabulary words to discuss – gossip, vain, lazy, thresh, etc.
First I ask the students to raise their hand if they have ever heard of the story The Little Red Hen. A few students usually have.
I tell the students that just like there are many different versions of The Three Little Pigs, there are many different versions of The Little Red Hen.
I explain to the students that they will need to pay close attention to the story because there is a trick to this book. The trick and why
Now I read the story to the students.
While I am reading the book I ask the students questions about some of the vocabulary words as we encounter them. “The author says that the goose is a gossip. What is a gossip?”
I select a student who is following the correct classroom protocol of raising their hand to reply to the question.
"Well done Emily; a gossip is someone who takes a lot. I would like to add that a gossip not only talks a lot, but they also talk about things that are none of their business."
I repeat this process again when we come across the next vocabulary word; “The author says the cat is vain. What does it mean to be vain?”
“Hmm…the dog is lazy. I wonder what lazy means?”
I will also ask the students to predict what comes next especially when the pattern of the little red hen’s friend’s typical response becomes abundantly clear. “Okay the little red hen is asking for help to take the wheat to the miller’s house. What do you think her friends will say? How do you know?”
When it comes time for the little red hen to ask her friends, “Who will help me eat the bread?” I have a paper clip holding the last pages to the end of the book.
“Oh dear. The end of the book is closed. We will have to predict how we think the story will end."
"Does anyone know what a prediction is?"
I select a student who is following the correct classroom protocol of raising their hand to respond.
"Very good Finnley; a prediction is a good guess. For example, in the story The Three Little Pigs I know the pigs usually say, "Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin I will not let you in," when the wolf asks to come in; so when the wolf asks the pig in the brick house to come in my prediction would be that the third little pig will say, "Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin," because his brothers said the same thing."
I tell the students, “I want you to decide how you think the story will end. You will make a prediction, I will help you write it, and then I will ask you why you think the story ends that way. I will write down your response and then before snack we will read the end of the story to see if your prediction was correct.”
“While you are waiting for me to help you with your prediction, you will work on making the main character of the story. By the way, who was the main character of this story?”
Show the students the model of the little red you have made out of the red construction paper pieces. Explain the process to the students. I find it helps to have a Little Red Hen Craft Steps rebus chart set up with the directions for students to refer to if they need reminding of the construction steps.
Before beginning the activity remember to have the supplies ready at the tables to cut down on loss of instruction time. You will need to have a copy of the little red hen pieces, a piece of red construction paper for each student, glue sticks, scissors, pencils and a copy of the lined paper with the prompt for each student.
When I am ready to send the students to the tables to begin working, I like to remind them to take pride in their work by drawing carefully so other people can understand their work. Now I send the students back to their seats a few at a time to maintain a safe environment in my classroom.
"Table number one go have some red hen fun,
Table number two you know what to do.
Table number three I hope you were listening to me.
Table number four you shouldn't be here anymore."
Allow the students about 20-25 minutes to complete the task.
When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above. “When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”
I remind students to put their completed work in the “completed work” bin and those that are not complete go into the “under construction” bin.
Once everyone is seated on their spot I tell the students that we are now going to complete reading the story of the story.
I finish reading the story to the students.
When I have finished reading the story I ask the students to raise their hand if the story ended the same way as they predicted.
I ask two or three students to share how they knew the story would end that way.
“Jo, how did you know that the little red hen would not share the bread with her friends?” You could also ask why they thought the story would end that way. “Jo, why did you think the story would end that way?” Either question requires the student to justify their answer using support from the book.
I let the students know that I will be putting their work on display on our bulletin board so others can see our prediction work.
For this assignment I keep a record of the student’s work. I record what students tell me in response to the question, “Why do you think the story ends that way?” at the bottom of the piece of paper where they copy their dictation of how the story ends.
Recording the student’s response lets me know if the student used the story to justify/support his/her answer or not.
Student Sample One - low student response. Student copied the response of the students around them.
Student Sample Two - middle student response. Student went with what they thought was fair.
Student Sample Three - high student response. Student actually referred to what had previously happened in the book.
Tell the students to pretend that the friends were very helpful to the little red hen. How would this affect the end of the story? What would the hen do now? Is this a better ending?
Have the students think about whether they are helpful to their friends or not. Have them complete the writing prompt, "One way I help my friends is..."
Work on the short /e/ sound as in the word “hen.”
Work on the –en word family words. Ben, den, Jen, Ken, men, pen, ten, then, when, etc.
Find pictures that have the same beginning sound as the word hen and glue onto the shape of a hen. You could differentiate this activity by having other students work on words with the same medial sound, or the same ending sound.