Teaching Children's Literature

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference


Bibliographic InformationOne Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference. Written by Katie Smith Milway, Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. Published by Kids Can Press Ltd., Tonawanda, NY, c. 2008

Lexile: 810L

Synopsis: One Hen is the story of Kojo, a young boy living with his widowed mother in the Ashanti region of Ghana.  In this inspiring story, Kojo uses money borrowed from the people of his village to buy a hen in order to make a better life for himself and his mother. The reader then follows Kojo as his investment grows into a yard full of hens and eventually a full scale poultry farm. In the end, Kojo is able to give back to the community that supported him.

Rationale for Classroom Use: Examining Kojo’s decisions and the changes they bring about in his life provide a launching board for discussing characters and the way their actions impact a story.  This book also provides a great example of how sequence can be used in a picturebook, modeling how one event builds on another.  One Hen could also be used within a social studies lesson to talk about economic choices and the way individuals impact the economy of a community.

Common Core Connection:

3.RL.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

3.RL.5 Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.


About Kristen

I am an elementary school teacher with five years of experience in 4th and 5th grades. I am taking a year off from teaching to get my masters in Reading through the New Literacies and Global Learning program at NC State University.

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2013 by in Picturebooks, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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