“Who will help me plant the seeds?”
“Then I’ll do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen. And she did.
What do you do when your mom or dad asks you to help fix dinner – do you say yes and hop to it? Or do you dream up an excuse to say no?
You might recognize the story of the Little Red Hen from classic versions by Paul Galdone or Little Golden Books. Here’s a hen who wants to make a loaf of tasty bread. Here are her friends, who don’t want to help out, but they sure do want to eat that tasty bread. Sound familiar?
Of course, this kind of thing has been going on since people were people. The story is an old one from maybe Russia, maybe Ireland or England, or maybe from people anywhere and everywhere in the world. It’s often been told as a moral about the values of hard work versus the perils of laziness, but you could also use it to ask questions about the choices you make. For instance, do you follow through on a great idea when nobody wants to help you? Will you ever say yes to requests from your friends and family?
If you’re the hen - will you keep for yourself the bread you worked so hard to make, or will you share it? Perhaps you don’t share the bread, but you do show your friends how much happier everyone will be if they help out next time around?
If you’ve got a few minutes, enjoy seeing how these questions are answered in this fabulously classic Silly Symphony, featuring - Ta Da! - the screen debut of Donald Duck:
How will you tell this beloved tale? Color and cut out these printables, glue them onto some Popsicle sticks, and find out. You might have one answer today and a totally different one tomorrow – that’s great! Who knows what you’ll say when dinner rolls around next time?
Here are some fine books about fables in general and the Little Red Hen in particular to give you some ideas. Our database Teachingbooks.net offers additional story resources. We also have some information about the history of Golden Books in Oxford Reference.