Child Led Reading
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Suggested reading this week – The Little Red Hen,
Home/Adult Led Reading
Share the story ‘Hattie Peck’ every day with your child – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK7weIwjtCg
Explain that Hattie Peck is a chicken and that chickens are often kept on farms. Many food items
and other products that we enjoy come from animals that are kept on farms. Explain that farm
animals have basic needs that must be met by the humans who care for them. Discuss the ways in
which we can influence the health and welfare of these animals.
Ask the children which food items they enjoy eating. Explain that without farm animals we would
not be able to enjoy eating these types of food.
Explain that farm animals, like Hattie Peck, need humans to look after them. Working in groups,
ask the children to list the things that farm animals need from humans. Follow up the group
activity with a class discussion of the four main things farm animals need in order for them to be
happy. Make comparisons between what the animals need and what the children need from their
parents or carers:
• food and fresh water
• prevention and treatment from disease
• plenty of space and company of other animals of their own species
Introduce children to the natural behaviours for hens, like Hattie Peck, i.e. flapping their wings,
pecking the ground, laying eggs and sitting on them and dustbathing. Can the children act out
these types of behaviour?
Ask child to sit in a confined space, such as underneath a table, and ask them to
pretend to be caged hens. Then ask them to pretend to be free-range hens who can choose
where to go in an open space. Ask the children which group of hens they think is the happiest.
Explain that we can choose whether to buy free-range eggs or those of caged hens. Ask the
children to look at the different types of eggs that are available when they next go shopping and
ask them to think about which type of egg they would prefer to eat.
Explain that there are great differences in the way that other farm animals are treated too, and
that we can all make choices, relating to how we feel about how animals are treated, when we buy
food from the shops.
Discuss how surprised Hattie must have been when all of the rescued eggs hatched. Explain to the
children that all families are different. For example: small families; grandparents; adopted children;
foster care families; step-mother / father or brothers and sisters; only child; lots of children etc. Ask
the children, in pairs or in groups, to make a list about everything they know about families.
Ask the children to think about something that makes their family different, just like Hattie Peck’s.
Ask for volunteers to share something about their family. Also discuss the importance of families
and give examples. For example, ‘My family is important to me because if I am sad, they try to
make me happy.’ Ask the children to think about why their families are important to them.
Give child a piece of paper and ask them to draw a picture of their family. Explain that the
picture must include something about their family that is important to them.
Ask the children to complete a simple Family Tree.
Discuss the things that Hattie Peck did in the story. Explain how lots of things that we do have
consequences, some good and some bad – we have to make choices.
Explain that Hattie Peck made a decision to do something good and that her actions had a good
consequence when all of the abandoned eggs hatched. Explain that humans are responsible for
the health and well-being of farm and domesticated animals. Encourage children to think about
how we can be responsible for making good decisions and that getting help from a grown-up is
sometimes very important.
Ask children how they might feel when they make good choices and ask them to write these down
and draw a picture of their face when they have made a good choice.
Discuss why Hattie wanted to collect all of the abandoned eggs in the world – because she
couldn’t hatch an egg of her own. Discuss how Hattie managed to collect all of the abandoned
eggs on her big adventure. Explain that although she hadn’t laid the eggs herself, big or small, she
loved them all.
Talk about how, like Hattie Peck, we can all help others and animals. Emphasise that we are all
different, just like the animals who Hattie rescued and helped to hatch. Explain that some of the
animals were smaller than others and some were taller or longer. Demonstrate that humans are
just the same, by comparing yourself and another adult, then with the children.
Get the family to line up in height order and then take a photo. Allow child to use a camera to
photograph their family group in height order.
Encourage the use of mathematical vocabulary during the discussions: Big, bigger, biggest, small,
smaller, smallest, tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest.
Ask the children to consider how the sizes of the different animals hatched by Hattie will change
over time. Which animal will be the biggest, or the smallest, when all of the animals are fully
Draw pictures of 6 of the animals that Hattie Hatched, cut them out and order them from;
shortest to longest – longest to shortest
thinnest to widest – widest to thinnest
Write 3 sentences about Hattie Peck.
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