Focus Story: Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox
Companion Story: Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins
Companion Poem: 'Hickety, Pickety My Black Hen'


Day 1

Old Favorites:  Reread charts/poems from previous stories

Prior Knowledge:  Ask students to brainstorm types of animals that live on a farm. Explain to students that this week's story is about some farm animals who have a problem.

Focus Story:

 Introduce title, author and illustrator; Show the cover and talk about the type of farm animal that is shown on the cover - Who might Hattie be?  Why might the hen on the cover be looking over her shoulder? Does a fox belong on a farm?; Take a picture walk being sure to stress the name of each farm animal, what each animal is doing, where the fox is located, and the name of the fox's body parts that are showing.  Make sure to stop the picture walk right after the fox jumps up. Ask students to predict what they think will happen next;  Read aloud for enjoyment and to see what happens to the farm animals once the fox jumps out of the bushes!

Companion Rhyme: 

Introduce the companion nursery rhyme 'Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen'; For the first reading, read the poem aloud.  For the second reading, have students echo read.

Day 2

Focus Story: 

Reread Hattie and the Fox and generate a discussion about the events in the story, possibly by asking a few of the following questions..

  • Which parts of the story could really happen?  Which portions of the story were fictional?
  • What was the problem in the story?
  • Why was the fox hiding in the bushes?
  • How do you think Hattie feels when she sees a nose in the bushes?
  • Do you think that Hattie knew from the start that the animal in hiding was a fox?  Why or why not?
  • Why do you think the other farm animals didn't seem to be concerned about the things Hattie saw in the bushes?
  • How can we tell that Hattie is becoming more and more frightened each time she looks into the bushes?
  • How do you think the animals felt when they heard that a fox was on their farm? Do you think that they were prepared like Hattie was to go quickly to a safe place?
  • How was the problem solved?
  • Do you think the fox will return to Hattie's farm again? Why or why not?
  • Why were the animals all quiet at the end of the story?  Have you ever been so scared that you could not say anything? What made you that scared?
  • What lesson did the farm animals learn?  Do you think they will listen more closely to what Hattie is saying next time? Why or why not?
  • How would the story be different if all the animals had payed attention to Hattie from the beginning and checked out for themselves what was hiding in the bushes?
  • What did you enjoy about this story?

Show each page of the story withoutreading the words.  On each page play 'I Spy' in which you assist students in listening for beginning and ending sounds.  For example, on the first page you might say, "I spy something with my little eye, something that starts with /h/. What is it?"  Or you might state, "I spy something with my little eyesomething that ends with /n/."  Stress whether the sound you spy is at the beginning or end of the word.  Ifyou choose to focus on the sounds in the names of the animals, you could review the letters and sounds for h, n, g, s, p, c, f, and x.; Introduce the retelling pocket chart repetitive words that the characters used in the story and let the students reread the story with you. (See below.)

Companion Rhyme: 

Reread the companion nursery rhyme 'Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen' - echo reading


Day 3

Focus Story: 

Reread-Shared Reading (letting students join in on the repetitive wording, pointing to the retelling chart); Have students locate and mask letters in the chart such as g, s, w, p, h, n, c.;  Share the pen and use interactive writing to compose a message with students about the story.

Companion Story:

Introduce title, author, and illustrator for the companion story Rosie's Walk; Take a picture walk making sure to discussthe setting and where Rosie is (using the position words); Stop after Rosie goes under the beehives. Have students make predictions about whether they think the wolf will catch Rosie; Read aloud for enjoyment.

Companion Rhyme: 

Reread the companion rhyme 'Hickety Pickety, My Black Hen' (choral reading)


Day 4

Focus Story: 

Explain to students that they will be acting out the story today. Tell them that you will slowly say one of the animal's names from the story and they need to figure out which animal you are saying (by blending the sounds back together).

/H/ attie  =  Hattie
/f/ /o/ /x/  =  fox
/g/ oose  =  goose
/p/ /i/ /g/  =  pig
/sh/ /e/ /p/  =  sheep
/h/ orse  =  horse
/c/ ow  =  cow

Have students act out the story. Divide the students into seven groups so that there is one group saying the lines/acting out their part for each character in the story (Hattie, fox, goose, pig, sheep, horse, cow).

Companion Story:

 Reread the companion story Rosie's Walk; Discuss with students where the fox is located in each picture and what happens to him.

Companion Rhyme: 

Reread the companion nursery rhyme 'Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen' (choral reading half of the class at a time)


Day 5

Focus Story: 

Reread the story by referring to the retelling pocket chart; Work with students to make their own interactive retelling booklets that have the same wording as the class retelling chart. Students work to write in the missing beginning or ending letter of each character from the story (n, t, l, b, f, g) and then color the booklet.  Reread as a class and then students take home the booklet to share with their families over and over!

Companion Story: 

Reread Rosie's Walk.; Let students take home the printable sheet and move the hen accordingly to retell the story to their families.

Companion Rhyme: 

Reread the companion nursery rhyme 'Hickey, Pickety, My Black Hen';  Have students locate the rhyming words; Say three words and have students listen for which one rhymes with the word 'hen' from the poem.

leg, men, hot
den, ham, pat
lamb, bet, ten
can, pen, sand

Related Read Aloud Stories/Poems

Focus Story: Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox
Companion Story: Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins
Companion Poem: 'Hickety, Pickety My Black Hen'

Henny Penny by Paul Galdone
Jen the Hen by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins
My Hen is Dancing by Karen Wallace
The Hen and the Sly Fox by Beverly Randell
Red Hen and Sly Fox by Vivian French
Hilda Hen's Search by Mary Wormell
The Fast Fox Slow Dog: Hen House, Vol. 3 by Allan Ahlberg
Penny Hen by Barbara Derubertis
Flossie and the Fox by Pat McKissack
Hens by Tessa Potter
The Get Away Hen by Martin Waddell


Possible Cross Curricular Connections


1) Create 'The Black Hen' (from TLC Nursery Rhymes book)
2) Make a Hattie the Hen hand puppet
3) Have each student create one of the animals from the story by tracing a large pattern of the animal, cutting it out, and then using tissue paper or construction paper to make the animals similar to how the illustrator designed them.  (See below.)

    Animal Printables
    Hattie the Hen


    1) Have students count out the correct number of eggs (paper or plastic) to match to the numeral on the sides of each hen


      1) Word family focus - 'en'
      2) Sight word focus- 'I', 'can', 'see', 'a', 'the'
      3) Focus on position/spatial words (across, around, over, past, through, under)
      4) Create a predictable chart for 'I can see a ______.'
      5) Listen to the story at the listening center and use flannel characters to retell
      6) Give students a sheet with all of the animals in the farmyard and then use kid writing to write what each animal said repeatedly
      7) When finished with the story chart, place it in the reading corner for students to manipulate the letters and animal pictures and retell the story!


      1) Learn about farm life and other farm animals
      2) Learn about real hens and foxes (characteristics, where live, what eat, etc.)


        1) Set up a balance beam, cones, stepping bridge, etc. in your gym for students to reenact the movements that Rosie did