hen pen

Hen Pen
Target text


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -en to make words such as hen, pen, and ten.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • hen
  • pen
  • den
  • ten
  • men


  • Hen headbands* 
  • Name cards* 
  • Hen Pen sign*
  • -en eggs*

*Items included below. 

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children they will pretend to be men and hens as they add sounds to the -en ending to make words such as hen, pen, den, ten, and men
Literacy Activities
Click here to view a video demonstration similar to this lesson.
Let men get hens in a pen

  • Write and read men, hen, and pen. Point out that each word ends with -en.
  • Invite the children to read the -en names on the headbands and name cards. Assign some children to be hens and others to be men. Give them headbands or name cards and have them read the names aloud.
  • Have the hens stand in one corner of the room, and have the men stand near the Hen Pen sign.
  • Call one of the hens by name, and name one of the men to take that hen to the hen pen.
  • Let the men take hens to the pen while the children chant,  "Jen, go to the hen pen,” “Gwen, go to the hen pen,” etc.

Play the game What Can You Find in the Hen Pen?  

  • Put the -en eggs in a pile.
  • Have each child take an egg and write one of the following letters before the -en: h, m, p, d, t.
  • Have the children blend the sounds together to make an -en word (e.g., p + en = pen).
  • Choose an area of the room and mark it as the hen pen using the sign.
  • Let the children take turns taking their eggs to the hen pen while all the children quietly chant, "Go to the hen pen!” What's in the hen pen?"
  • Have the children chant “What’s in the hen pen?” as they take turns reading a word on an egg.

Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • Have the children blend individual sounds into words by clapping  once for the beginning sound, once for the -en sound and once to say the whole word (e.g., h + en = hen).
    • p + en = pen
    • m + en = men
    • t + en = ten
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SEEL At Home



Blend a beginning sound with -en to make words such as hen, pen, and ten


  • -en eggs*

*Items included below.

Activity: Hen Pen

  • Cut out the -en eggs and put them in a pile.
  • Have your child write a letter before the -en on each egg (e.g., h, m, p, d, t).
  • Have your child blend the sounds together to make an -en word (e.g., p + en = pen).
  • Mark off an area of the room and label it "Hen Pen."
  • Let your child take the eggs to the imaginary hen pen and chant together, "Go to the hen pen! What's in the hen pen?"
  • Help your children read the word on each egg and say, "We found the word ___ in the hen pen."
  • See if you and your child can make ten -en words that can be put in the hen pen.
  • en-eggs
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.