Teaching With Leo Lionni
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
This lesson focuses on Leo Lionni's book An Extraordinary Egg. This lesson can go along with animals that lay eggs during science. It can also focus on friendships and what makes a friendship.
1. Listen to the story An Extraordinary Egg and answer questions during the reading.
2. Brainstorm for qualities of a good friend.
3. List the good friendship qualities about themselves on a silhouette of them.
4. Investigate an egg.
5. Label parts of an egg.
6. Create their own and the creature inside.
- An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni
- Brainstorming printable (PDF)
- Black construction paper
- White crayons or gel pens
- Eggs (3-4)
- Parts of an Egg printable (PDF)
- Egg pattern (I use cardstock)
- White construction paper
Set Up and Prepare
- Have the silhouettes already drawn of each student (I use an overhead projector and I sit them in front of it with a side profile and I trace their shadow).
- Place an egg in a cup of vinegar at least 24 hours prior to the lesson.
- Read the book An Extraordinary Egg to the students. Stop and ask questions during the reading. The kids love to guess what creature is in the egg.
- Discuss why Jessica and Chicken are such good friends. Talk about what makes a good friend. Hand out the brainstorming printable and have the students list qualities that make a good friend.
- Let the students cut out their silhouettes. Next, have them list the qualities they possess that make them a good friend. They will need to use white crayons or milky gel pens on the black paper.
- Have the students name different animals that lay eggs. Show them a chicken egg. I walk around and let them hold it, feel it, smell it, even shake it. We share our observations.
- Talk about what is inside the egg. Break open an egg in a glass bowl. Let the students come up and identify the different parts of the egg. Label the parts of an egg together on the printable. Next, show them the egg that has soaked in vinegar. The shell has become soft and they can see through it.
- Hand out the egg cutout. Let the students design their own unique egg and the creature that is inside of it. At the end, have them share their eggs and creatures.
Supporting All Learners
More advanced learners may work on the labeling independently. ELL learners may work with an English-only student. All learners can make observations and participate with the experiment for hands-on learning.
- Use the Internet to find one type of egg (not chicken) to print and share.
- List the different ways to cook eggs.
- Poll the class to see which ways of cooking eggs are their favorites and make a graph.
Ask your parents what they think makes a good friend. Have them tell you at least 3 qualities they have that make them a good friend to someone. Tell your parents the parts of an egg. If they will let you, break one open together and show them the parts.
- Make a list of animals that lay eggs.
- Draw and label the parts of an egg.
- Were the students able to list qualities of a good friend?
- Were the students able to identify and label the parts of an egg?
- Were the students able to create and design a unique egg and creature?
- Can the students list qualities of a good friend?
- Can the students identify and label the different parts of the egg?
- Can the students design a unique egg and creature?