The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Written By: Janice N. Harrington

Illustrated By: Shelley Jackson

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Take a moment with your child to peruse the cover and illustrations before you begin your read-through. Let him/her make any initial comments that come to mind and ask questions like these to elicit predictions and observations about the story:

What do you notice on the front cover?

What is the “Chicken-Chasing Queen” wearing on her head?

Why do you think she chases chickens?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?

Activate Prior Knowledge:

Ask your child a few questions about chickens like, “What do you call a female chicken? What about a male chicken? What sound does a chicken make? Can you show me how a chicken walks? What do we get from chickens?”

As You Read

One thing that makes this story so enjoyable and entertaining is the energy and spirit of the main character, the self-proclaimed Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Make storytime fun by exuding her excitement and joy as she tells stories to Big Mama, plots how to catch Miss Hen, and flails around chasing the chickens in the yard. Also, encourage your child to make the different sound effects like “Squawkkkk” and “Pruck Pruck Pruck” with you as you read. The size of the text can serve as an indication of how loudly you should cluck. For example, you want to cluck more when reading “PAH-QUAWKKKKKK!” than you would when reading “Pruck Pruck”.

Making Connections

Ask, “Do you think the chickens like being chased? Do you like being chased? Can you think of a time when being chased is fun?” An example could be playing Catch or Tag with friends. Also ask, “Do you think you would have fun chasing chickens? Why or why not?”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

Allow your child to make any concluding comments or observations and ask questions like these to gauge his/her understanding of the story:

Why did the girl like chasing Miss Hen? Why couldn’t she ever catch her?

Where did the girl end up finding Miss Hen?

Why didn’t she grab Miss Hen when she found her? Would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

Activity: Magazine and Fabric Collage and Catch the Chicken

Magazine and Fabric Collage

Supplies: Old magazines, scrap fabric, glue, scissors, construction paper, paint, a paint brush, markers and colored pencils/crayons

  1. Use old magazine pages and fabric scraps to create a collage that resembles the illustrations in The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County! This is a great way to foster your child’s creativity and show him/her how to bring together different materials to create one image.
  2. Choose what image you want to create. It can be a scene from this story or something completely different. Once you’ve decided, design the background. Your child can either paint the background or cut out magazine landscapes or cool fabrics.
  3. Then create the image in the foreground using the rest of the materials. You can also cut out individual letters in the magazines to create a message on your image. This is a great way to incorporate letter recognition and reading into this activity as you search for letters to create your message.

Catch the Chicken!

This game is a slightly different version of Tag that you can play with just you and your child or with a bunch of your child’s friends. Simply choose one person to act as the Chicken-Chasing King or Queen. Everyone else is a flapping, clucking chicken that is trying not to get caught! The chickens start out wandering around clucking leisurely but the second they see the Chicken-Chasing King or Queen coming, it’s time to run! Whoever gets caught becomes the next Chicken King or Queen and you start all over again.

STEM Extension

Teach your child about chickens and eggs! Search for images of baby chicks on the internet and tell your child about hens and roosters and how hens are able to lay eggs even without mating with a rooster! Explain that the eggs that hens produce on their own are the ones that we eat because they don’t have chicks in them but when a hen and a rooster mate, they can produce fertilized eggs that then become baby chicks! Let your child know that it takes about 21 days for a chick to grow inside an egg and that they need to be kept in an incubator so that they stay warm. When they are ready, they peck at their shells to get out. Check out the video below for more information to share with your child!

See For Yourself!

Here is a video from The Little Chick Company about where eggs come from! Your child will learn about how chickens are raised as well as how their eggs are collected and distributed.