Egg-Citing Adventures with Reading, Science, and Spring
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Springtime means spring break, Easter eggs, and excited children. The week before break is always exciting and filled with anticipation. To capture waning attention spans and satisfy the need for a nod to Easter, we filled our week before break with egg-citing egg-ventures.
We started the week discovering the basics of eggs. Groups were given a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg, but were not told which was which. The students were asked to figure out the differences between the two eggs without cracking them open. As students identified differences between the two, someone spun the eggs in exasperation. This lead to the discovery that one egg was spinable and the other would merely wobble. Students discussed which egg they believed would spin, and I ultimately told them to select the fast-spinning egg and smash it on their head (knowing the fast egg spins faster because the contents are moving as one solid object, instead of the insides trying to move independently). We investigated the insides of the raw eggs compared with the cooked eggs and drew the differences in the two.
Students were given an organic brown egg and a regular raw egg. The students were asked to find similarities and differences between the two. Before cracking them, students guessed at what might be inside. They were surprised the eggs were very similar, except for the thickness of the shell. Some students were able to hypothesize that companies were somehow able to make eggs thinner compared to the organic brown eggs that were left on their own.
Floaters and Sinkers
Two clear glasses of water were shown to the students and they were asked what would happen when the eggs were placed in the glasses. Then, students were given the additional information that salt was dissolved in one of the glasses. Students drew their predictions and then we dunked the eggs. The saltwater eggs float due to the density of the water, while the fresh water eggs sink. Students wrote their observations and reasoning.
Soaking an egg in vinegar overnight will eat through and dissolve the eggshell, leaving only the membrane. The egg has a rubbery feeling and some eggs can even be seen through. Students enjoyed playing with the rubber eggs and testing if they truly did bounce like a plastic egg. (They exploded on the pavement, so make sure this is an outside activity!) The students were curious about how the vinegar was able to get through the egg, so we found magnified eggshell pictures that show the pores in the shell.
Need more science? Have students create parachute options for raw eggs that must survive a drop. Test seat-belt design belting eggs into a moving vehicle. Find egg measurements such as how much water is displaced in a cup with an egg, the weight of an egg using a balance, or the circumference of an egg. Determine the use of the egg in cooking and thickening.
Students were given another raw egg to investigate on their table. After carefully cracking the egg into a clear cup, we described the different parts seen on the egg. Students looked in the egg shell and were able to see the air sac and separate the membrane from the shell. Then we layered egg pieces on top of an old sheet of overhead projector film, which became our egg “whites.” Students were able to identify each part on the real egg in front of them as we worked. Then we added egg labels and drew lines to the different parts of the egg with permanent marker, discussing the parts and importance of diagrams.
A close read adapted from the poem about the White House Easter Egg Roll was used. Students had just studied American symbols and easily identified with the Capitol and White House buildings. They were excited to learn about the history of the roll and all wanted to know how they could attend. We furthered our research online, visiting the official White House page to find out how they could attend in the future. Students were also interested in the official memorabilia eggs that could be ordered online. Their purpose was to figure out what the egg roll was and if they would be interested in participateing. Their eagerness to try out egg rolling led into egg-cercise activities.
I used the center of a die-cut letter O to create small paper egg shapes out of cardstock. Students were introduced to the history of illuminated letters. With some background and examples, they drew illuminated letters on their eggs representing their first or last names. We have been studying American national symbols, so students also created an American-themed egg. Other eggs could be small glyphs, spring animals, local flowers, or any topic learned in class.
I purchased small terracotta pots for .77 each and a can of spray foam for under $4. Large divergent branches from my neighborhood were given to each student. They tapped a grid to hold the sticks upright and I sprayed the foam for them. (There are a few tricks to using foam in the classroom!) Students painted the trees white and added clear glitter as they went. After the foam was dry, green Easter grass from the discount store was hot-glued to the pots. Students used clear fishing line to string plastic eggs and their Important Eggs to the tree.
The last day before spring break (and Easter) we took to the fields behind the school. Students were able to participate in different relay race activities using both real and plastic eggs.
Students used spoons to push plastic eggs in a relay. Plastic eggs were prone to splitting apart when hit too hard or driven through the air. For more delicacy, have students use real eggs. Be sure to view the images of past Egg Rolls on the White House website.
Using hard-boiled eggs, students stood facing a partner. They tossed a hard-boiled egg from partner to partner until they reached ten successful catches. Partners in too big of a hurry ended up with squished eggs on their hands.
The final, and egg-hausting, event was a two-footed bunny hop. If feet came apart, students were disqualified. While they were huffing and puffing, they were also excited when they won!
Explore More with Eggs
What eggs-tra special ways do you celebrate spring and quell pre-break egg-citement?