One of my favorite children’s books is The Little Red Hen. I read it every year to my class. I often pair the story with this interactive circle time activity, which is designed to improve listening skills, and teach colors. It also gives children an opportunity to follow directions and to participate during large group.
Cut out colored hens to match the colors in the poem (the hen pattern is provided here). I happened to have some extra felt, so I just used that. However, construction paper will work just as well. Glue the hens onto paper plates, add some googly eyes, and coordinating craft sticks. I used watercolors to color the sticks.
During circle time, give each child a hen. Some colors may have to be repeated depending upon how many children are in the circle. Instruct the children to hold up their hen when they hear their color, then read the poem below. This is a fantastic attention grabber. My preschoolers, even my “busy” ones, hold their breath with anticipation, just waiting to hear their color words; they get so excited to spring into action!
THE COLORED HENS POEM
This little hen is brown
You’ll never catch her with a frown
This little hen is black
She’s not a duck, so she doesn’t quack
This little hen is yellow
She’s friends with Mr. Rooster – he’s a happy fellow
This little hen is purple
She likes to walk in a circle
This little hen is green
On the farm she can been seen
This little hen is blue,
She likes to follow me and you
This little hen is red
She’s laid all her eggs in her bed
After the poem is read, and all the hens have been held up, talk about the different colors. To build phonemic awareness, the rhyming words should also be repeated and discussed.