Subject Area: Social Studies, Language Arts
This is a tale of friendship between a chicken and a hedgehog. Henny desperately wants the hungry Tomten (a mischievous elf) to stop eating her eggs so that she can have chicks of her own. Hedgie comes to her aid with a plan to frighten the Tomten away for good.
Children will discuss the importance of friendship while focusing on literacy concepts such as main characters, setting, story sequence, and main idea.
Show the group the book Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett . Can they identify the two types of animals depicted on the cover? What type of coat does the hedgehog have? What covers a chicken body? Now ask the children to predict what Hedgie's surprise might be. Record their predictions on chart paper.
- After reading the story, ask the children to describe who the main characters were in the story. Ask them to describe something about each of the characters. What do they think a Tomten is? (You can tell them that it is an elf that lives in a barn and creates mischief.)
- Now ask the group to describe the setting of the story — where the events take place.
- Discuss the sequence of events with the children. How does the story begin? What happens next? What happened when Henny saw Goosey-Goosey? Ask the children to describe why Hedgie wanted to help Henny. Can they name all the items that Henny and Hedgie gave the Tomten instead of eggs?
- What finally happened that caused the Tomten to run away?
- How does the story end? What was Hedgie's surprise?
- Do they think this was a good title for the story?
- What did they learn about friendship from this story?
Other Books About Friendship
Little Bear's Friend (I Can Read Book Series)
by Else Holmelund Minarik
This lovely tale of friendship using large type and simple vocabulary is perfect for emergent readers.
Toot and Puddle
by Holly Hobbie
A wonderful tale that highlights the unique friendship between two pigs that are as different as night and day.
Just Me and My Friend
by Mercer Mayer
An afternoon play date teaches Little Critter about the reality of friendship.
Other Books by Jan Brett
Annie and the Wild Animals
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Teaching plan written by Risa Young