Charlene Marshall, a 2nd grade teacher at Federal Terrace Elementary, recently completed a project with her students based on the lifestyle of a chicken.

She wrote:

All of us have cracked open an egg. But ask any of my students and they will be able to tell you about each part of the egg, like the chalaza, and what it does.

In room 11 we have been studying the life cycle of chickens, learning the parts of egg and their function, and watching the eggs in our incubator do… well, nothing for that last 20 days. 

Even though candling the eggs doesn’t show us much, we have been researching and calendaring what has been going on in the egg every day. Just when I thought they might be getting tired of chickens, the first crack in the egg appeared and we could hear chirping.

We now have twelve baby chicks in our classroom and amazing stories to go along with them. If they start chirping too loud one student or another says, “there go those interrupting chickens again,” referring to a story were ad earlier in this unit.

When they journaled about what it might be like to be a baby chicken, we got to hear about the giant that took off the roof of their house, referring to the top of the incubator, and grabbing them out with their big giant hands.

The experience of hatching eggs in the classroom has created excitement for school and exploded beyond my expectations. Students are checking chicken books out at the library, researching on the computer, they want to weigh and measure the chickens and they are writing fiction and nonfiction stories all about chickens.

After all of the research though we still have not decided which came first, the chicken or the egg. This has truly been an egg-ceptional unit that I have enjoyed just as much as my students.


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