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April 18, 2016

Teach the Life Cycle Of a Chicken With EGGcellent Activities

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Some of the most exciting days in our school year have to be when we hatch chicken eggs. I really can’t think of a better way for children to learn all about chicks and oviparous animals than by giving them the opportunity to experience chicks hatching right before their very own eyes!

    Read on to see how we accomplish this mini miracle in our own classroom and you will see how easy it is to adapt my plan for your own classroom no matter where you live.

     

     

     

    Getting Started

    Ordering the Eggs

    The first thing you will want to do is order your eggs. We get our chick eggs from Dunlap Hatchery in Caldwell, Idaho — they will even ship the eggs to you! We had ours overnighted and not a single one was broken!

    Getting an Incubator

    This year we got a new incubator and we LOVE it! It is a Brinsea Mini Advance Automatic Egg Incubator and now we don’t even have to turn our eggs! No more coming in on the weekends — this incubator has a fully digital menu and a countdown to hatch day with an auto-stop. It also has the advantage of taking up very little space in your classroom.

    Finding a Forever Home

    You will want to find a family or families that will take your chick babies off your hands after they are born. Do this early — well before they're born — by telling your students, talking about it in your class newsletter, and what seems to work great nowadays to get the word out: Facebook! We keep the baby chicks in our classroom for about one week after they hatch and after that, they go to their forever homes to enjoy the rest of their little lives.

    A Cute Little Video to Get Them Excited

    This is a great video to show your kids as they eagerly await the hatching of their chicks. It’s hard for kids to understand what is happening inside the egg and this short video does a fantastic job highlighting the embryo development over the 21-day incubation period.

     

    Oviparous Animals

    Anchoring Learning

    As my sweet students wait eagerly for their eggs to hatch, we begin our study of oviparous animals. We read lots and lots of books about oviparous animals and learn that many animals, not just chicks, come from eggs. Before reading the books, I have the kids help me fill up our egg anchor chart with the names of animals that hatch from eggs. After reading the books, we add more animals to the chart. Studying oviparous animals is a very natural place to begin when you are teaching the life cycle of a chick.

     

    A Great Book

    Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones is such an interesting book, introducing the concept of oviparous creatures including chickens, other birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arachnids, insects, and even the two mammalian exceptions to the rule. The rhythmic prose and beautiful illustrations make this a really fun book to read aloud with children. It teaches a little bit about science in a fun way. Our class really enjoyed this book!

     

    Free Printables

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Students will know plenty about both once they have experienced all of these great ideas and activities from Scholastic Printables. These activities will definitely enhance the learning of chick life cycles in your classroom!

     

    More Quick Chick Fun While You Wait

    Chick Anchor Chart

    I love anchor charts and use them all the time! Anchor charts make learning visible and build a culture of learning in the classroom. They help remind students of prior learning and enable them to make connections as new learning happens. I used this cute little chart to help my kinders with describing words and when we finally did our fact writing about chicks, I saw many of them referring to this chart to help them do their writing.

    Chick Handprint Craft and Writing

    The fact that the wings of these chicks are made from the handprints of my little sweeties makes me love this super easy chick craft even more! If you would like to have your students write facts about chicks after they do this fun craft, please use this writing paper for your convenience.

     

     

     

    Hatching Day . . . Finally!

    People may think you have to be crazy to hatch eggs in your classroom, but I am here to tell you that you definitely are NOT! The hands-on learning and excitement you bring into your students’ lives, is definitely well worth the effort you will put into having these fluffy friends in your classroom. The memories my students have made are priceless, and the inexplicable joy in our class when they do FINALLY hatch fills my heart with so much happiness. I think I might just love these chicks as much as my students do! 

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Hugs,

    Shari 

     

     

     

     

    Some of the most exciting days in our school year have to be when we hatch chicken eggs. I really can’t think of a better way for children to learn all about chicks and oviparous animals than by giving them the opportunity to experience chicks hatching right before their very own eyes!

    Read on to see how we accomplish this mini miracle in our own classroom and you will see how easy it is to adapt my plan for your own classroom no matter where you live.

     

     

     

    Getting Started

    Ordering the Eggs

    The first thing you will want to do is order your eggs. We get our chick eggs from Dunlap Hatchery in Caldwell, Idaho — they will even ship the eggs to you! We had ours overnighted and not a single one was broken!

    Getting an Incubator

    This year we got a new incubator and we LOVE it! It is a Brinsea Mini Advance Automatic Egg Incubator and now we don’t even have to turn our eggs! No more coming in on the weekends — this incubator has a fully digital menu and a countdown to hatch day with an auto-stop. It also has the advantage of taking up very little space in your classroom.

    Finding a Forever Home

    You will want to find a family or families that will take your chick babies off your hands after they are born. Do this early — well before they're born — by telling your students, talking about it in your class newsletter, and what seems to work great nowadays to get the word out: Facebook! We keep the baby chicks in our classroom for about one week after they hatch and after that, they go to their forever homes to enjoy the rest of their little lives.

    A Cute Little Video to Get Them Excited

    This is a great video to show your kids as they eagerly await the hatching of their chicks. It’s hard for kids to understand what is happening inside the egg and this short video does a fantastic job highlighting the embryo development over the 21-day incubation period.

     

    Oviparous Animals

    Anchoring Learning

    As my sweet students wait eagerly for their eggs to hatch, we begin our study of oviparous animals. We read lots and lots of books about oviparous animals and learn that many animals, not just chicks, come from eggs. Before reading the books, I have the kids help me fill up our egg anchor chart with the names of animals that hatch from eggs. After reading the books, we add more animals to the chart. Studying oviparous animals is a very natural place to begin when you are teaching the life cycle of a chick.

     

    A Great Book

    Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones is such an interesting book, introducing the concept of oviparous creatures including chickens, other birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arachnids, insects, and even the two mammalian exceptions to the rule. The rhythmic prose and beautiful illustrations make this a really fun book to read aloud with children. It teaches a little bit about science in a fun way. Our class really enjoyed this book!

     

    Free Printables

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Students will know plenty about both once they have experienced all of these great ideas and activities from Scholastic Printables. These activities will definitely enhance the learning of chick life cycles in your classroom!

     

    More Quick Chick Fun While You Wait

    Chick Anchor Chart

    I love anchor charts and use them all the time! Anchor charts make learning visible and build a culture of learning in the classroom. They help remind students of prior learning and enable them to make connections as new learning happens. I used this cute little chart to help my kinders with describing words and when we finally did our fact writing about chicks, I saw many of them referring to this chart to help them do their writing.

    Chick Handprint Craft and Writing

    The fact that the wings of these chicks are made from the handprints of my little sweeties makes me love this super easy chick craft even more! If you would like to have your students write facts about chicks after they do this fun craft, please use this writing paper for your convenience.

     

     

     

    Hatching Day . . . Finally!

    People may think you have to be crazy to hatch eggs in your classroom, but I am here to tell you that you definitely are NOT! The hands-on learning and excitement you bring into your students’ lives, is definitely well worth the effort you will put into having these fluffy friends in your classroom. The memories my students have made are priceless, and the inexplicable joy in our class when they do FINALLY hatch fills my heart with so much happiness. I think I might just love these chicks as much as my students do! 

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Hugs,

    Shari 

     

     

     

     

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