Who Will Help?

K, 1, 2

The students participate in a shared-reading experience of the literature book, The Little Red Hen. This story illustrates how a variety of social behaviors affect the well-being of others in a group. After reading, students discuss the behaviors and the impact of the behaviors on others. Students also describe the resources necessary to produce bread.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne to Two Thirty-Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
  • identify and label the behaviors of the characters in the story.
  • discuss how one's behavior affects others.
  • identify and define rudeness, politeness, apology and forgiveness.
  • describe the importance of everyone contributing in a community.
  • The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone (see Bibliographical References)
  • Journals or paper
  • Galdone, Paul. The Little Red Hen. New York: Seabury Press, 1973. ISBN: 0899193498.

  • Sturges, Philemon. The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza). Dutton Books, 1999.
    ISBN: 0525459537


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Give one student a bag of candy, a sheet of stickers, or another group of things that can be divided and shared. Tell the student he or she must work with a group to figure out how to fairly distribute the items with the entire class. As you are picking some helpers, whisper specific directions to them. Ask one student to act greedy without actually touching the items. Ask another student to act lazy about helping. Ask another student to be very helpful. After they have worked together, discuss how the behaviors affected how well the task was done. Tell the students that you will be reading a story about a hen that has a job to do, and she needs help doing it.

  2. Read the book to the class. Use a finger to run under the line being read and to point to key picture items.
  3. On selected pages, stop and encourage the children to interact with the book in the following ways:
    • Identify key items in the pictures that will aid in listening comprehension.
    • Hypothesize about what may happen next, what motives of characters might be, and why something is happening.
  4. Ask students to label the behaviors/attitudes of the characters (rude, lazy, greedy, polite, apologetic, forgiving). Discuss the meaning of the word selfish. Have students identify characters who were selfish about giving of their time. Discuss how that behavior affects the community. Have students discuss their thoughts about the character who was willing to share her time, talents, and treasures with others.
  5. Discuss the importance/responsibility of people in a community to share their time, talent, or resources for the common good.
  6. Reread the book and invite children to join in, especially on the repeated lines.
  7. Have students draw and label the steps (resources) necessary to make bread, as described in the story.
As the students work on their pictures, look for the following: Can the students recall the four steps? Do the students have meaningful ideas for text either dictated or written? Do the students work well together and share materials?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.