Big Chickens is a wonderful children’s book that was published in 2006. This original story is about a group of chickens that are afraid of nearly everything but mostly a wolf. It also involves other interesting farm animals. It is a funny yet suspenseful tale that keeps children wondering what will happen next. Here are six activities based on this amusing book that all promote early literacy skills.
Activity #1 – Mud Writing
In this very messy activity, children will have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary and practice essential writing skills all while having a lot of fun. On a plastic tray, children create mud with dirt and water. Children will be provided with a plastic Ziploc bag full of dirt, a water bottle, and a stick to be used as a writing utensil. The mathematical concepts of measurement will be integrated while the children measure the amount necessary to produce a consistency conducive to writing.
Activity #2 – Rhyming Game
As a fun way to take attendance at the beginning of class, children will engage in an amusing rhyming game. This activity would probably be best if done during circle time. This is an excellent way to foster phonological awareness. The children will practice their listening skills to be able to hear their name. Once their name is called (sung), the teacher will hold up a piece of cow printed-paper with the child’s name on it. The teacher will point to the child’s name to encourage the concept knowledge of print.
Activity #3 – Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Singing is a wonderful tool for promoting literacy development. Children can be assigned a certain animal that corresponds with the song. They will need to listen carefully for the name of their animal so they can put the animal on the felt board when it is time. As a follow up to this activity, there is another version of this popular song. The new version is called
To further enhance literacy, a book version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm will also be available for the children to read.
Activity #4 – Favorite Farm Animal Chart
In this fun-filled activity, children will select their favorite farm animal. Once each child chooses their favorite, the class will proceed to produce a chart of their findings. Pink circles will represent pigs, brown circles for cows, and yellow circles for chickens. Children will then count how many favorites their are of each animal.
Activity # 5 – “Don’t Be Chicken…” File Folder Game
Letter recognition is an important concept in literacy development. In this stimulating activity, children will match the letters of the alphabet. The letters are coupled with pictures of chickens. The letter and picture are enclosed inside of the image of an egg, tying in with the chicken/farm theme and making it more exciting for the children.
Activity #6 – “Egg”citing Matching Game
Using plastic eggs, usually found around Easter time, children will search for objects that begin with the same sound. Inside of the eggs are pictures of objects that all begin with the letter “C”. Underneath each picture is the written word with the first letter (C) underlined to help children recognize
The children will “crack” open the eggs in an attempt to find matches.
Dayton Library: http://www.dayton.lib.oh.us/early-literacy
Indiana University: Early LIteracy Instruction: Research Applications in the Classroomshttp://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d166.html