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The Scarecrow's Hat

Last updated Monday, September 26, 2016

Author: Ken Brown
Date of Publication: 2001
ISBN: 1561452408
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2016

Synopsis: A resourceful chicken seeks the help of her farm animal friends to solve a problem, while giving something of herself along the way. Chicken really admires Scarecrow’s hat. Scarecrow would gladly trade his hat for a walking stick to rest his tired arms. Chicken doesn’t have a walking stick to trade—but she knows someone who does. Thus begins her quest to find items to trade among her farm friends, all to obtain a walking stick to swap for Scarecrow’s hat. But why does Chicken want an old straw hat?

Note to readers:
•  Introduce the book as a story about characters on a farm that want to trade items with each other.
•  Do a picture walk and have the kids identify the characters.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a scarecrow? What is it's job? (to scare birds and other animals that eat the crops)
•  Where do you find scarecrows?
•  What are some other things you would see on a farm?


•  swap - trading or exchanging one thing for another
•  prop - (verb, as in prop a door open) - position something underneath (someone or something) for support.
•  wool - the fine, soft, curly hair that forms the fleece of sheep and certain other animals
•  ledge - a narrow horizontal surface projecting from a wall, cliff, or other surface
•  swat - to shoo flies away

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Each time an animal says what it would rather have (e.g. walking stick, ribbon, wool), ask the kids what they think the animal could do with this item.
•  Why does the chicken want the scarecrows hat?
•  If you could swap something you have at home, what would it be? What would you swap it for?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a scarecrow hat. Cut out hat shape (wide band) from brown paper. Decorate with paper shapes. Add yellow yarn or curling ribbon for straw "hair".
•  Make a scarecrow with paper plate or paper bag. Use markers, paper or craft materials (buttons, scraps of cloth, etc.) for the face. Cut out a hat and attach it to the plate. Add yellow curling ribbon for straw "hair" and a colorful paper or cloth bandana.
•  Draw a scary pumpkin for Halloween to hang in your home.
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/october-2016-crafts/

Special activities:
•  If there are enough kids, act out the story by assigning a character to each student. Use props to represent the objects that are swapped.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!