Search form


Build literacy skills with this fun role play activity! Students read a play script and answer key questions with followup activities

Grade Level: 3-6

Materials:  Printable Student Handout Script 

Story Preview: The Little Red Hen is looking for an apprentice to help her run her nationwide chain of bakeries. She appears with Donald Trumpeter Swann on a show called Boss Me Around and meets three candidates for the position. Who will she hire as her apprentice?

Roles: Announcer, Donald Trumpeter Swann, Little Red Hen, Bernard (a dog), Kitty (a cat), and Mallard (a duck)

Setting: television studio, present day

Theme: folk tales

Additional Resources

Find more folktales and other stories online through these resources.

* Myths, Folktales, and Fairy Tales This site from Scholastic offers tales as well as background from authors who have written contemporary stories based on classic myths and more.

* Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By With its large collection of folktales and fairy tales, many with accompanying writing assignment pages, Whootie's site is a favorite of both teachers and parents.


  • CEO: chief executive officer
  • apprentice: a person who works for another to learn a trade
  • harvesting: gathering crops
  • poultry: birds raised for eggs or meat
  • manicurist: a person who takes care of hands and fingernails
  • demeanor: manner of behavior
  • pursuits: occupations or pastimes
  • catbird's seat: a position of power
  • fowl: bird of any kind

Props: microphones for the announcer and Donald Trumpeter Swann (optional)

Follow-Up Questions:

  • Why does the Little Red Hen need an apprentice?
  • Does the apprentice have to be a bird?
  • What kind of animals are Bernard, Kitty, and Mallard?
  • Why is Kitty the "one to call" if a rat is around?
  • Why did the Little Red Hen fire Kitty?
  • Why did the she fire Bernard and Mallard?
  • What do the following bird-related phrases mean: something to crow about? bird of paradise? ruffle feathers? lay an egg? fly the coop?

Follow-Up Activity: Working in small groups or pairs, have students design a want ad for an assistant to a familiar folktale or fairy tale character. For example, an ad for Humpty Dumpty's apprentice might include: should not be afraid of heights, must enjoy putting puzzles together and be skillful with paste, and should be comfortable working with horses.

Additional Notes: This story might be contrasted with a more traditional version of The Little Red Hen provided by PBS's Between the Lions.

Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
Copyright © Education World