skip to Main Content

Play: The Little Red Hen

This play, based on a folktale, comes from a collection of plays and skits created by the ACT Japanese teachers’ group for use in their primary and junior secondary classrooms. Students work cooperatively in groups or as a class to prepare and perform the play for their classmates or at a school event.

Story Outline

This is an adaptation of the traditional folktale (which apparently originated in Cuba). It is a simple story (with a moral message) of a little red hen who decides to bake a cake. She asks for help from her farmyard friends several times along the way. However, none of the other animals are interested in helping until the cake is ready to be eaten.


ナレーター×2 narrator ×2
にわとり Little Red Hen
いぬ Dogs (any number)
ねこ Cats (any number)
うし Cows (any number)
ぶた Pigs (any number)
うま Horses (any number)
のうふ Farmers (any number, non-speaking, short appearance)


Script Little Red Hen (Word 27KB) Script Little Red Hen (PDF 234KB)

Cultural Notes

Animals in folktales

when animals appear in world folktales they are usually humanised (ie. they talk, move and dress as humans do) and serve the purpose of teaching a simple lesson about human nature. In Japanese folktales, the key role of animals is similar, although specific animals are generally associated with certain characteristics, virtues and symbolism.

Language Concepts

  • excuses (eg. tsukaremasu, mendokusai, isogashii, nemui)
  • ~ga arimasu/arimasen
  • ~te kudasai
  • ~mashoo
  • ~mashita
Back To Top