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Story Time: The Easter Egg Farm

In the Easter Egg Farm by Mary Jane Auch, chicken farmer Mrs. Pennyworth discovers that one of her hens, Pauline, doesn’t produce eggs of the usual variety. Pauline’s eggs reflect the patterns she sees in her environment, which makes her something of an Easter Chicken. Mrs. Pennyworth nurtures Pauline’s creative egg-laying by exposing her to objects around the farm and in the farmhouse, which inspires Pauline to lay a bounty of eggs with bright, colorful designs. The book’s illustrations are drawn with bold color and children will delight in matching Pauline’s eggs to items they find in the pictures. While fitting nicely into an Easter or Egg theme, this story also provides a natural lead-in to patterning activities. Here, we provide ideas for discussion and reflection before reading, during reading, and after reading.

Book: The Easter Egg Farm

The Easter Egg Farm Story Time Activities

Kindergarten Common Core Standards

Literature: Key Ideas and Details
RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text

Literature: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding

Before Reading:

Prior to reading the book, display the cover picture. Ask:

  • What do you see in the picture? (a woman, a chicken, colorful eggs)
  • Do you notice anything about the woman’s dress and the egg she is holding? (They have the same pattern.)
  • How do you think the egg ended up with the same pattern as the one on the woman’s dress?

Read the book’s title. Ask:

  • Have you ever heard of an Easter Egg Farm?
  • What do you think happens on an Easter Egg Farm?

Explain that the book is written and illustrated by a woman named Mary Jane Auch. Ask:

  • What does it mean when a book is written and illustrated by the same person? (The author of the book also drew the pictures.)

During Reading:

As you read the story, stop on the pages that show each new egg laid by Pauline and encourage children to identify the pattern’s inspiration. For each egg, ask:

  • What is the pattern on this egg?
  • Can you tell me what Pauline saw to produce this pattern?

Continue to turn the pages asking children to match the Pauline’s eggs to the things she sees. As children identify each object Pauline copies, list the items on chart paper:

  • straw
  • wire
  • wood
  • feed bag
  • sky
  • ladybug
  • dress
  • pants
  • blanket
  • lamp
  • teapot
  • art
  • ballet

After Reading:

Let children share their favorite parts of the story and why. Ask:

  • Why are Pauline’s eggs so special? (They match what she sees.)

Review the list of items on the chart paper and then, ask children to name items that they would show to Pauline if she were their hen. Ask:

  • What would you show to Pauline if she was your hen? (Take several responses.)
  • What kind of pattern do you think you’d see on Pauline’s egg if you showed her a ______________? (Take several responses.)

Let children color the egg with a patterns.

Free egg printable

Let children color Pauline with her eggs

Free Pauline with Eggs printable

Then, introduce the following movement activity to shake out sitting and listening muscles.

Egg Patterns Movement Activity

Gather fabric scraps with common pattern elements (see list below) and cut the scraps into squares (or print pattern printables below.) Briefly discuss the qualities of a pattern (repetition, shapes, designs, order) and identify patterns around the room and on children’s clothing. Display the fabric scraps and provide simple child-friendly definitions for each pattern:

  • stripes: side-by-side lines in different colors and thicknesses
  • plaid: crisscrossing bands of color that form overlapping squares
  • polka-dot: set of dots on a solid background
  • argyle: repetition of large and small diamonds
  • checker: crossed horizontal and vertical lines that make squares
  • paisley: detailed teardrop shapes
  • floral: sets of flowers on a solid background

Free Pattern Printables

 

Have children stand in a large circle. Explain that for each verse of the song, the children wearing the pattern called out move into the circle and act out the corresponding movement.  If there are children who do not have on any of the patterns mentioned, give them one to two fabric squares to hold or attach to their sleeves.

“If You’re Wearing Stripes, Touch Your Toes”
Adapted by KidsSoup, Inc.

Recited to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It!”

If you’re wearing stripes, touch your toes,
If you’re wearing stripes, touch your toes,
If you’re wearing stripes and you know it,
Then you will surely show it,
If you’re wearing strips, touch your toes.

Repeat verse with additional patterns (polka-dots, plaid, argyle, floral etc.) and movements (nod your head, clap your hands, reach up high, etc.). 

The Easter Egg Farm Story Extension Activities available inside our KidsSoup Resource Libary:

Hen and Eggs Matching Activity (Members only)

Easter Egg CVC Words Read, Make, Write Activity (Members only)

Preschool Activities: 

Easter Egg Words Emergent Reader Booklets (Members only)

Polka-Dots Easter Egg Artwork (Members only)

Egg Patterns Pre-Writing Skills Printables

 

View more Easter preschool and kindergarten activities, crafts, and games 

 

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