Monday, April 15, 2024
Handa's Hen

Handa’s Hen

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Eileen Browne

Handa is searching for her grandma’s black hen, Mondi. Every morning, she feeds Mondi her breakfast, but this morning Mondi hasn’t come for her food. So Handa and her friend Akeyo begin to hunt for Mondi. While searching, they find all sorts of other animals.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Use the speech in the story to make a playscript. Can you perform your script to an audience?
  • Look at the use of speech marks in the story. Can you write your own sentence / paragraph that includes speech?
  • Akeyo describes the animals using adjectives (e.g. stripy, little, beautiful). Can you make lists of adjectives to use in your writing? Could you make a list of adjectives to describe different creatures?
  • Could you write a new story about Handa that features different numbers of objects?


  • Look at the symmetrical wings of the butterfly. Can you draw your own symmetrical images?
  • Count the creatures mentioned in the story. How many of each type are there? How many are there altogether?
  • Find out about the sizes of the creatures included in the story. How long / tall are they? How much might they weigh? Could you put this information into a graph?


  • Find out about the creatures mentioned in the story. What kind of habitat do they live in? How are they adapted to living there? How do they move? What sounds might they make?
  • What kinds of butterflies / mice / birds live in Kenya? What kinds of butterflies / mice / birds live in your local area? How are they similar / different?
  • The beautiful sunbirds are camouflaged in the flowering trees. Can you find out about camouflage? What other animals use camouflage in their habitats?
  • The children find some footprints. Could you draw some footprints for different creatures?
  • Look at the illustrations and find different creatures that are not mentioned in the text. What might these creatures be?


  • Use painting software to draw some of the creatures mentioned in the story.

Design Technology

  • Look at the children’s clothing in the illustrations. Could you design your own clothes in a similar style?


  • Draw sets of pictures that show scenes from different places around the world (including Kenya and your local area). What different objects / wildlife have you included in your pictures? Why?
  • Use different materials / techniques to create pictures of the animals in the story.
  • Use the grid template? (see Resources below) to draw a picture of a hen.


  • Could you use the tune from ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and the different numbers of items in the book to make a song?


  • Find Kenya on a map / globe. How far is it from where you live? How could you travel there? What route would you take? How long might the journey be?
  • Find out about people who live in Kenya. How are their lives similar / different to where you live?
  • At the end of the story, the family have breakfast. What kinds of foods might they be eating?


  • Can you find out what languages are spoken in Kenya? Could you translate different words into one of these languages?


Draw a Hen

Draw a Hen

Download File

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