Students can easily relate to the “I’ll trade you” theme throughout this lovely fall picture book.


When Chicken meets Scarecrow and he says he would swap his hat for a walking stick she quickly sees a great opportunity. But solving Scarecrow’s problem takes solving the problems of several friends in the barnyard along the way. After many trades, all the characters end up with just what they wanted thanks to clever Chicken.

Read Aloud Questions for The Scarecrow’s Hat

Before Reading

  • What is a scarecrow?
  • Where would you find a scarecrow?
  • What is the job of a scarecrow?

During Reading

  • What does it mean to swap?
  • Have you ever swapped someone for something? What did you swap for what?
  • Why do you think chicken is doing all this swapping?

After Reading

  • Do you think the swaps in the story were fair?
  • Why did the chicken want the scarecrow’s hat?
  • Do you think it was worth all the work chicken went to get the hat?

Connecting Standards to The Scarecrow’s Hat


Each character traded something to get something else they wanted. You might want to create a chart to help students record the characters and then fill in the swaps. Have them retell the story to a partner.

Narrative Writing

At the end of The Scarecrow’s Hat story, Chicken tells Duck she wouldn’t swap her nest for anything. What is something you have that you wouldn’t swap for anything and why?


As Chicken visits each character up until the end, it says she didn’t have what they wanted. At the end of the story, Chicken says she wouldn’t swap her nest for anything. Use this opportunity to introduce or review contractions.

The Scarecrows Hat contractions
Scarecrows Hat Vocabulary Directed Draw
The Scarecrows Hat definitions

More Fun With The Scarecrow’s Hat 

Want to watch a video of the story? This one is a fun choice where the reader does voices or all the characters and students will feel welcome to join in the refrain.

Create a class circular story with The Scarecrow’s Hat as your model. You can replace the chicken to help guide the story. Choose a student that has something you want and have them tell you something they want. Then move on to other students and see what they are willing to swap. You can just do it orally or keep track on your whiteboard or chart paper. Later type up your story and add it to your class library.

If you’re looking for more activities for this book, check out the Learning Through Literature book companion in the Resource Ranch store.

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Rhonda is the author of Resource Ranch. Most of her classroom experience has been in early elementary. She has also taught Title I Reading, ESL, and gifted students. She is certified as a Texas teacher in grades 1-8 and as a K-12 librarian.