Monday, July 20, 2015

Hatching Chickens in the Classroom

40 fertilized eggs
3 incubators
70 excited children
21 days of anticipation
1 amazing outcome


The students in the 4 third grade classes were thrilled to see the final life form in front of them. This activity was the first thing many students asked about when entering the 3rd grade and it has finally arrived. The 3 weeks of watching eggs carefully to discover what happens inside.

Chicks are very simple to hatch if you have all the proper tools and patience.  It is crucial you have incubators that work properly. I suggest a little more for self-turning incubators to save your sanity. The eggs can be super sensitive while they form and anything that can prevent teacher's brain would be a benefit.

Be sure to watch the incubators during the process that they are working. This may cause a discussion that you wanted to avoid. (2 of our 3 incubators died).  We talk throughout the unit about how this can happen and that all eggs may not hatch. It is very important that even through this exciting time you explain that it is sensitive and that even though there are 40 doesn’t mean all 40 will hatch.

Sargent Multicolored ( my boys named him)
We talked about the saying “ Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” and what the literally meaning is and non-literal meaning.  We had a discussion about why this may be a saying.

Anyways, back to the cute chickens. I traced on my smart board enormous pictures of each stage. The first step is candling the egg. I used a projector to shine the light through. If you see a black dot, you are forming a chicken. If we did not see the dot we labeled it with n and left it in case, it was still forming. Note that the green eggs are hard to see through. Brown and white eggs are easier to see through.
Clipart that was traced on my SmartBoard
and put up throughout the unit. 

We began brainstorming what we thing was happening in the egg. This is a great time to start writing fictional stories or even opinion pieces of what will happen. If you live in a farming community like I do, you may need to set some ground rules. Some kids do in fact already know what is happening, but you do not want to ruin the surprise either for kiddos who do not know.

We had a blast with all the activities that lead up to the chicks hatching.  It was late May when the chicks finally hatched. We had 11. The kids were so happy. We each had the container for a day or 2.

When you see the black dot, you have a chicken growing inside! (ignore the messy desk)


They are beginning to hatch!



When you have 11 chicks in your classroom, it can get very loud. I must say those days were nearly impossible finishing any work. I was, however, thrilled to see the engineering skills in my classroom. One of my kiddos who love to create things while I teach decided to make a chicken go pro. He used my document camera and hooked it into the box for the kids to watch. We watched the chicks most of the day while we completed our daily task. It wasn’t until someone screamed it’s like the puppy bowl, but instead we should call it the chicken bowl. Y'all I tried so hard not to spit out my seltzer laughing. It sounds like we were eating dinner.

Little chicks are enjoying their 100th meal of the day!

Little chick living in Miss Stetson's Classroom

Add a net on the top to keep them
contained!



Even I was a little happy! 



























The excitement and joy brought to my classroom could not be expressed in one posting. They were so happy and it was a pleasure to watch my students learn. This unit was one reason I love my job. Seeing kiddos learn and watching the light shine in their eyes.




The kiddos invention!


Love,
Miss Stetson



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