“Not I, said…”

The Little Red Hen was my absolutely favorite childhood story. My mother had a folktales & fables compilation book (that looked straight out of a early 70’s flea market stand! Peace, Mom!) that I looked at repeatedly as a child. In fact, The Little Red Hen portion of the overly thick book showed the most wear and tear.

“Let’s Start with the Side”

Book: The Little Red Hen by Carol Ottolenghi (or any other classic version of the story)

Age Level: Approximately age 3-8

Side Dish Reading for Mom & Dad: Parent Involvement in Early Literacy by Erika Burton. It is a terrific, short read for any parent! Please take the time to click on the hyperlink within the article (“a 2007 report by National Endowment for the Arts”) — the statistics are staggering…and troubling.

Literacy Activities:

(All of the activities for this section this week were found from PBSkids.org – BETWEEN THE LIONS Early Literacy Activity Guide)

Before Reading the Book:

  • Preview the Story – Read aloud the title of the story. Next, explain to your child that it is about a little red hen who asks her animal friends to help her make bread. Then ask the following questions:
    • Have you ever helped to cook or bake something?
    • Who did you help? What did you cook or bake?
  • Show the cover of the book and point to the words as you read the title. Name the author and illustrator aloud. Define and explain the terms author and illustrator.

While Reading the Book:

  • Pause reading when the little red hen asks who will help her plant the wheat, who will help her bake the bread, etc. Ask your child to predict what the little red hen’s friends will say.
  • Pause reading when the little red hen asks her friends if they will help her eat the bread. Ask your child what they think her friends will say? Ask your child what they think the little red hen will do (i.e. share or not share)?

After Reading the Book:

  • Ask and discuss the following questions with your child:
    • Have you ever helped to cook or bake something?
    • What did you think of the story? What part did you like best?
    • Why do you think the little red hen’s friends didn’t want to help her? What were they doing while the little red hen was working?
    • What do you think the little red hen’s friends will do the next time she asks them to help? Why do you think that?
    • What would you do if your friend asked you to help make something?
  • As an extension activity at the end of the story, explain that one way to let someone know how you feel about their help is with a thank-you card. Model the process by writing a thank you card to someone who has helped you, preferably someone your child knows. As you write, talk about the parts of a letter (greeting, message, and closing). Think aloud as you write your message. Write the helper’s name and address on an envelope and show your child how to put the card in the envelope. Encourage children to think about a friend or grownup who has helped them and whom they would like to thank. Your child can draw and write or dictate their thank-you messages to you. Help them write their names at the end, place their letters in an envelope and write their helper’s name on it. Talk to your child about how they can deliver their thank-you notes.

Parents, Add  A Side Dish of Literacy to Your Home:

While searching for this week’s article for parents, I stumbled upon this resource for parents/young children. I highly recommend that you check it out. Obviously, we all know the importance of limiting screen time and keeping screen time valuable. I love the Reading is Fundamental website so I was excited to find that they had a kids section. They have finger plays, short “explore” clips and other goodies for toddlers and preschoolers. I recommend exploring and using the website with your child to aid in their Web 2.0 literacy development. This past week in my graduate course we read Selecting “APP”ealing and “APP”ropriate Book Apps for Beginning Readers by Maria Cahill & Anne McGill-Franzen. If you have access to academic articles, I recommend you take the time to check it out. The article discusses how to appropriately choose book apps for beginning readers.

Finally there are signs of spring being displayed by Mother Nature in upstate New York. Because of my intense case of spring fever, I am also posting this super Summer Alphabet Book idea for parents to consider using.

Family Fun Activity:

“For the Main Dish”

The Recipe: Sweet Dinner Rolls. I realize this is not a main dish recipe but it correlates perfectly with this week’s book. Plus, it is always a terrific experience for little ones to take part in the baking process of yeast to dough to bread. And, let’s not forget the way freshly baked bread makes your home smell. #devine I make these dinner rolls religiously. They are superb and pretty much fail proof. If you eat one with real butter and honey, I promise you will want a second.

Enjoy your family dinner (eh, or for this week: bread!) and a side of literacy!

“Not I Said,”



Burdick, S [Susan]. (n.d.). [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82542605642761680/.

Burton, E. (2013, January). Parent involvement in early literacy. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/parent-involvement-in-early-literacy-erika-burton.

Koenig, K [Karen]. (n.d.). [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82542605643683175/.

Norris, M. (2007, October). Sweet dinner rolls. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/sweet-dinner-rolls/.

Pace, P [Patricia]. (n.d.). [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82542605642761741/.

PBS Kids (n.d.). Between the lions early literacy activity guide. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from  http://pbskids.org/lions/parentsteachers/pdf/ELAG_LittleRedHen.pdf.

Read Write Think (n.d.). Write summer alphabet books. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/write-summer-alphabet-books-30165.html?main-tab=1#tabs.

Reading is Fundamental (n.d.).  Reading is leading. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.rif.org/kids/leadingtoreading/en/preschoolers/read.htm.

Rosin, K [Kelly]. (n.d.). [Pinterest post]. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82542605643683489/.


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