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Chickens Storytime

Chickens don’t hold the same mystique as owls, at least not in my opinion. They’re also not plastered all over this season’s fashions. However, they do make great subjects for picture books, and we do have a chicken kit, so Chickens got to star in last week’s storytime.

We read:

Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke

I abjectly adore Minerva Louise. She’s happy, doofy, and hilarious. In her original outing, she makes herself at home in the farmhouse, where she mistakes the cat for a cow and a pie for a warm nest.

Interactivity factor: High. Everytime Minerva Louise makes a mistake, ask the kids what she’s really seeing or interacting with, then all say together, “Silly chicken!”

 

 

Across the Stream by Mirra Ginsburg

In this short rhyming story, a hen and her three chicks escape from a fox by riding a duck and her three ducklings across a stream too deep and wide for the fox to ford. The fox is described as a “bad dream,” so it’s sort of unclear whether the entire story is the chickens’ dream or is really happening but is framed as a bad dream to make the story gentler. Either way, it’s a cute book.

Interactivity factor: Low, but it’s a short book with catchy rhyming text and funny pictures of chickens riding ducks.

 

 

Cock-a-Doodle-Moo by Bernard Most

When the rooster loses his voice, a friendly cow tries to learn to crow so she can wake the farmer and the other animals. The best she manages is Cock-a-doodle-moo, but it turns out to be a hit with the humor-loving farm.

Interactivity factor: High if you get the kids to make the animal noises with you, low if you do your own sound effects, but hilarious either way.

 

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker

A big fat hen and her adorable chicks act out the classic “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” rhyme.

Interactivity factor: Medium. Ask the kids to fill in the next part of the rhyme and to help with counting.

 

 

 

Action Rhyme:

You can find quite a few fingerplays involving chickens, but my group is a little young for complicated fingerplays, so I try to stick with action rhymes. With chickens, you don’t get as many of those, so the two we wound up doing were very similar.

The Chickens in the Coop (“Wheels on the Bus”)

The chickens in the coop go bock bock bock,
Bock bock bock, bock bock bock
The chickens in the coop go bock bock bock,
All day long.

The roosters in the coop go Cock-a-doodle-doo….The chicks in the coop go peep peep peep…

The other one wasn’t really a rhyme. We just practiced being chickens, roosters, chicks, and finally eggs. I thought about teaching everyone the Chicken Dance, but I was afraid the moms would have me drawn and quartered for getting the song stuck in their heads.

Flannel Board

Five Eggs 1 FiveEggs2

Five Eggs

Five eggs and five eggs, that makes ten.Sitting on top is the mother hen.
Cackle, cackle, cackle, what do we see?
Ten fluffy chicks, yellow as can be!

The nest is from an Accucut die, but I free-handed the chicken, eggs, and chicks.

Craft: Simple Shape Chicks

Yellow construction paper oval. Wiggle eyes. Orange paper beaks. Feathers. Glue. BAM, instant chick.

How It Went:

They may not have the enigmatic grace or the whirly-around head of the owl, and they may not get the excited initial response of themes like dinosaurs or trucks, but chickens are stars in the book arena. Everyone loved the books for this storytime and laughed at all of them, especially Cock-a-Doodle-Moo. I did have some confusion from the littlest ones at the end of Other Side of the Stream, though, because they didn’t quite grasp that the chickens were trying to escape the fox. On the last page, which shows the fox looking wistfully after the chickens, they wanted to know how the “doggie” was going to get across now that the ducks were gone. Oh, and I had one little girl who seemed to be stuck in the past, specifically last week’s Owl theme, because she kept insisting on hooting instead of making chicken sounds and calling all of the chickens owls. Hey, kid, I prefer the owls, too, but we have to learn to let go.

Next up: Hats, including more Minerva Louise!

 

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3 responses »

  1. I realize this post is 3 years old, but I’m really wanting to use the “Chickens in the Coop” song for my chicken storytime this fall. What sound and/or motion did you do for “the eggs in the coop go……..”? Thanks!

    Reply
  2. I realize this post it 3 years old, but I’m wanting to use your “Chickens in the Coop” song for my chicken storytime this fall. What sound/motion do you make for the “eggs in the coop go…..”? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello, there! I don’t think I used an egg component, so good for you for that awesome idea! My thought: The eggs in the coop go HATCH, HATCH, HATCH! Make an egg with your two hands and pop them open and closed, or you could get super industrious and construct a chick/egg hatching puppet. Or, I think there is a puppet that is a dino baby hatching out of an egg, which could be a hilarious ending. I hope you and your storytimers have fun!

      Reply

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