Hen, chicks & fox: Helping someone in hardship

Locationat home, Indoor
TopicCooperation and mutual aid
OverviewThis is a motion game in which the children will have to cross a circuit to help a hen and its chicks escape by an evil fox.
Learning objectivesTo develop emotions of joy in the children as they help others. To develop motor skills, such as keeping balance and jumping.
Skills developedPerspective taking, self-reflection, critical thinking, motor Skills, empathy
MethodGame (motion game)
MaterialsA wood plank, chalk to paint on the ground, dry leaves or branches of plants not dangerous for the children, a crate of approximately 40 or 50 cm. of height, paper or fabric bags. Note: the scene can be adapted according to the space and the available resources.
1st Part
Firstly, the facilitator will explain the game  and the following situation to the children:
There is a hen that is being harassed by a fox and it cannot go out to look for food for her small chicks. To solve this problem the hen asks the other animals of the barn for help. They must go through a very dangerous way, in order to hide from the fox and bring food for the chicks. The facilitator shows the children the route they must go through and the actions that they will have to do to pass the obstacles that they are going to find.
The facilitator, then, explains the rules of the game to the players:
• Only the child who has reached the end of the route and has done all the required movements to pass the obstacles can have access to the food, those who do not do so, will be caught by the fox and won’t be able to continue.  Each child can bring only one bag of food.
• On the way back to the hen house with the food, the children will not be chased by the fox.
• The winners will be those who manage to take the food for the chicks completing the route, performing the necessary actions to pass the obstacles, and are not caught by the fox.
2nd Part
Once the children understand the game, the different roles will be distributed: one will play the fox that runs after those who go in search of food for the chicks and harasses the hen and her children, one will be the hen that is together with her little ones in the nest, and several children will be the chicks who will have to remain in the nest (a circle painted on the ground) and cannot leave because, they might be caught by the fox. The rest of the children will be the other animals that go one by one to bring the bags of food which will be placed at the end of the route.
These roles will have to be alternated, so that everyone can play a different character and do the different movements.
3rd Part
After distributing the roles and each participant is in place, the game begins with the threats of the fox to the hen house, then, the hen asks for help, and the other animals start to leave to go through the route, that will be a line drawn on the floor which they must follow while walking, later they will climb onto a crate of 40 or 50 cm. of height and they will jump, later they will walk on an inclined board and then, they will crawl under weeds or branches, until they reach the bags with the food and they will have to take them to the hen house through the same way.
4th Part
The activity ends with an evaluation in which we tell the children that they are all winners, because helping the hen was a beautiful gesture, and that this is the way it should be with everybody.
We will discuss the attitude of the fox because it did not let the hen live peacefully and take care of her chicks.  We will, also, discuss the importance of helping others.
Doing things for others - whether these are small, unplanned acts or regular volunteering - is a powerful way to boost our own happiness as well as of those around us. The people we help may be strangers, family, friends, colleagues or neighbours. They can be old or young, nearby or far away. Why not help the planet as well? Our planet needs us to take care of it… wouldn't it be better if we help it together?
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
Teaching and learning experiences that take place outside of the confines of the classroom walls have a range of benefits for both students and instructors.
This activity, due to the space needed, is initially designed to be done outside the classroom; that is, in the school yard. But it can easily be adapted to small spaces. It depends on the space we can use for the activity
How to apply it online?
Due to the fact that this is a group activity in which movement and interaction are required, it is very difficult to carry it out on-line and/or at home.  We suggest to put in practice the activity called “The lion and the little mouse” which can be also use inside the classroom:
Development of the activity:
After reading the fable, we will have a conversation with the children, during which they will answer the questions asked by the educator about what happened to the characters of the fable. Later, the children will talk about their experiences on the subject of cooperation and mutual help.
1st Part . Reading of the fable "The lion and the little mouse"
There was once a little mouse that lived near the den of a very fierce lion. One day, by accident, it woke up the lion while it was sleeping.
The lion caught the mouse and quickly put it in its mouth,  in order to eat him. The terrified little mouse, asked the lion:
"I beg you, Majesty, do not eat me up, if you let me go, I will be eternally grateful, I swear; moreover, to help others, even if they are as small and defenceless as I am, I will give you a delight in your heart!"
"Listen, listen....” roared the amused lion, "Perhaps you want to help me hunt or do you prefer to roar in my place?
The confused little mouse stammered: "In truth, Majesty, I...."
The lion exclaimed: "It is ok! You are a lucky little mouse, today I feel generous, and I will set you free!"
Days, weeks and months went by, day after day went by, and on a good day, hunters that wanted to capture a lion appeared in the forest. To do this they placed traps here and there.
The lion fell into a trap and became a prisoner in a thick and resistant net. It tried with all its strength to free itself and to break the net that had trapped it, but his efforts were useless. Oh, poor me, the lion said, I cannot escape!
Finally, exhausted, the lion accepted its destiny, roaring in pain and desperation. At that moment, it heard  a little voice saying:
"Majesty, I see that you are in difficulty! Perhaps I can help you! I will nibble the rope that has trapped you until I manage to release you!"
The little mouse worked quickly, it nibbled and nibbled, until it broke the strong ropes of the net and, in a short while, the lion was again free.
Then, the touched lion thanked it friend and said to the mouse:
"I’m glad to have a friend like you, who came to help me when I needed it!”.
After reading the fable, children will be asked about the characters of the story, on the message of the fable, in order to verify if they have understood it.
From the answers that the boys and girls give, the facilitator and/or parents will start a conversation with them on the importance of help, in this example it is possible to make comments on how the little mouse saved the life of a bigger and stronger animal, like the lion. How it was better for the lion to be peaceful with the little mouse. How important it is for everybody to help each other.
3rd Part
Finally, the facilitator and/or parents will give the boys and girls the possibility to tell their own experiences on the subject and how good it is to help each other and cooperate.
As an additional activity for when at home, it might also be fun to prepare masks: https://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2-sept-fox-mask.pdf
AuthorElvira Sánchez-Igual* from AMEI-WAECE. *Cohort 6 #TeachSDGs Ambassador!
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