Ten Hens Write with Ten Pens

Ten Hens Write with Ten Pens
Target text


Read and write words ending in -en.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • hen
  • pen
  • ten
  • men
  • den


  • Ten 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)

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children they 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 hen, pen, and ten. Point out that the words end with -en.
  • Give a numbered hen name tag to nine children. Keep the "Hen 10" name tag for yourself.
  • Read from the All Hens Got a Pen target text as you pass out a  pen to each of the "hens" (children).
  • Hold up a pen as you read the last lines of the text.
  • Have the children take turns writing en on a piece of paper as they say, "Hen 1 wrote -en! Hen 2 wrote -en!" etc.
  • Ask, “Do you think Hen 10 could write en with ten pens at the same time?"
  • Write, holding ten pens in your fist.
  • Let each hen try writing with as many pens as they can hold.
  • 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,", etc.

Read target words and patterns

  • Read the text A Hen Gave Away Ten Pens.
  • Repeat, fading support.
  • 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 previous activity to dictation.
  • 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.).
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SEEL Target Texts

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!
Read More



SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.