Target text
Ten Hens Write with Ten Pens


Read and write words that end with -en.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • hen
  • pen
  • ten
  • men
  • den


  • Ten writing pens
  • Container labeled Ten Pens from Ten Hens
  • Sticky notes
  • Hen name tags
  • All Hens Got a Pen target text
  • A Hen Gave Pens to Other Hens target text
  • Book: Hen’s Pens by Phil Roxbee (optional)
  • Book: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin (optional)

The children will play with hens and pens as they read and write words that end in -en, such as hen, pen, ten, men, and den.

Literacy Activities
Write with ten pens

  • Write the words hen, pen, and ten so the children can see them, and point out that the words all have the same -en ending.
  • Give the numbered hen name tags to each of nine children, and keep the "Hen 10" name tag for yourself
  • Say the lines from the All Hens Got a Pen target text as you pass out a writing pen to each of the "hens" (children).
  • Keep a pen to hold up and say the last lines of the text.
  • Invite the children to take turns writing -en on a piece of paper as they say, "Hen 1 wrote en! Hen 2 wrote en!" and so forth until everyone has had a turn.
  • Ask, “Do you think Hen 10 could write -en with ten pens at the same time?"
  • Show the children how to write -en on a piece of paper with ten pens by holding ten pens (or as many as you can hold) in your fist as you write.
  • Let each hen try writing with as many pens as they can hold.
  • Point out that all ten hens got to write -en with a pen, then have each "hen" put their pen in the container labeled "Ten Pens from Ten Hens."
    • Each time a pen is placed in the container, have the children count, "A pen from Hen 1, a pen from Hen 2," and so on.

More Practice
Read target words and patterns

  • Display the A Hen Gave Away Ten Pens target text large enough for the children to see.
  • Read the target text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the text with you.
  • Have the children circle all the words that end with -en.

Identify, blend and manipulate sounds 

  • Write an h on one sticky note and -en on another.
  • Have the children read the initial sound /h/ and then the -en ending, and finally blend the sounds together to make the word hen.
  • Ask the children if they can think of other words that end with -en (e.g., pen, men, den, ten).
  • Write the initial sound from their words on a sticky note, put it in front of the -en, and help the children blend the sounds together to make new words.

Write about the activity using target words and patterns

  • Let the children write the words from the last activity on their own -en word list.
  • Help the children write two or three simple sentences using their lists (e.g., The hen had a pen. The pen is in the den.).

SEEL Target Texts

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A Hen Gave Away Ten Pens

A hen had ten pens.
She gave away her pens.
She gave a pen to ten hens.
Each of the hens got a pen!
All the hens wrote with the pens. 
The hens wrote the words hen, ten, and pen.
Then a hen wrote a word with all ten pens!
Can you write a word with ten pens?

All Hens Got a Pen

Hen 10 had ten pens.
Hen 10 gave pens to other hens.  
Hen 1 got a pen.
Hen 2 got a pen.
Hen 3 got a pen.
Hen 4 got a pen.
Hen 5 got a pen.
Hen 6 got a pen.
Hen 7 got a pen.
Hen 8 got a pen.
Hen 9 got a pen.
Hen 10 still has a pen.
All the hens got pens!



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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)