Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Who Fed the Chickens?

Barbara Northcutt
Sumter County Schools


Use Ella Jenkins' song “Who Fed the Chickens?” to help students learn the pronouns I, you, we, she, he, and they.


The student identifies frequently used words.

The student uses spelling approximations in written work.

The student uses eye contact and appropriate gestures to enhance oral delivery.


-Cassette tape of -Who Fed the Chickens?- ©1981 words and music by Ella Jenkins Ell-Bern Publishing Company Chicago (song is also on the album, -I Know the Colors of the Rainbow- (EA 595)
-Book: WHO FED THE CHICKENS? ©1993 By Ella Jenkins, pictures by Loretta Krupinski, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company
-Teacher made worksheet, 1 per child
-Word cards with the pronouns: I, you, we, she, he, they
-Tape recorder


1. Obtain a tape of “Who Fed the Chickens?- by Ella Jenkins.
2. Obtain a copy of WHO FED THE CHICKENS? Illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
3. Prepare pronoun cards/signs
4. Duplicate writing paper, 1 per child.Paper should have area at the top for drawing a picture. Title reads: Who Fed the Chickens? On lined paper leave a space and neatly write ____did. ____did. ____did. _____did. _____did ____did. so children will be able to write a pronoun in front of each did to make senetences.


1. Gather students together and ask them if they have ever watched Barney on television. Explain that a black singer named Ella Jenkins has been on Barney’s show. Tell them that you have a cassette of one of the songs and that you would like them to listen carefully to the song to see if they have heard the song before.

2. After allowing them to listen to Ella Jenkins’ song -Who Fed the Chickens?- ask probing questions like “What can you tell me about the singer by listening to the voice? Is the singer male or female, a child or a grownup, happy or sad?” Listen to the song again. Ask, questions like “Did you hear any words repeated over and over again? Did you hear any people names mentioned?- Be sure to tell the children when they say there were no names mentioned, that the song used special words called pronouns that stand for people’s names. Tell them the special words I, she, we, he, they, and you and when to use the words. Ask: Who heard an asking sentence? Where might the singer of the song be? Allow time for pupil responses.

3. Allow children to sing the responses to the questions asked in the song. Remind children that we do not look at someone’s' feet when we are speaking to them but we look at their faces. They need to make eye contact with and point to the correct person or persons identified in the song as directed to do so by Ella Jenkins in the song. They answer the questions: Who fed the chickens?; Who stacked the hay?; Who milked the cows? When singing “I did” children point to themselves. When singing “you did” children make eye contact with another person and point to someone else. When singing, “we did” have children point to their group in a circular motion starting and ending with themselves. When singing, “she did” explain they can make eye contact with and point to any females other than themselves. When singing, “he did” they make eye contact with and point to any males other than themselves. When singing “they did” children point to people outside of the classroom or toward another room.

4. After singing the song several times select a student or a group of students and have them hold up the appropriate pronoun card and practice reading the words. Explain “we”, “she”, “he”, and “I” are open syllables. There is no consonant after the vowel to hold in the sound and make it short so the vowels are using the long sound. Examine the pronouns “they” and “you” and explain they are sight words because they cannot be sounded out. We have to know the word just by how it looks.

5. Sing the questions from the book, WHO FED THE CHICKENS? and allow the children to sing a response back while pointing to and making eye contact with the correct people that the pronoun you hold up pertains to. (I, she, he, we, they, or, you).

6. Display the list of pronouns for the children and explain to the children that they are going to add the pronouns I, she, he, we, they, and you to the beginning of some sentences to answer the question “Who fed the chickens?” Remind children that since they are using the words to start a sentence that the first letter in the pronoun they write must be capitalized. When they are finished adding the pronouns they may draw a picture that also answers the question.

7. Ask children to circle a sentence on their page that goes with the picture they drew and share the answer with a friend.


This is an introductory lesson about pronouns. By observing student participation and interaction (pointing, looking and singing) the teacher can determine which students are looking at and pointing to the correct group most of the time. The teacher should be watching to see which children are correctly identifying the words on the cards. A formative assessment can be made about whether or not the child has learned to recognize and write any of the pronouns by quietly going to each child as they are working on their papers and asking them to read a sentence or sentences from the paper.


Students may read their writing to their reading buddy. At center time they may cut out picture of groups of people or individuals and sort them and label them with the pronoun words.
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