Hatching Life Lessons in Kindergarten
"The chicks started out as tiny embryos inside of the egg shell.
The eggs were green, brown, and white, and we had 18 of them. We put
the eggs in an incubator. An incubator is something that will keep
the eggs warm while they grow, at 101 degrees. We added water to keep
the eggs a little moist, just like the mother hen does. The chicks
grew and grew inside the egg. We took a little light thing, a candler,
and shone it underneath the egg to see if something was growing. We
could see blood vessels and dots. That could be the baby chicks. After
twenty-one days, we could see holes in the eggs and little beaks.
We made charts to show what was happening. The chicks peeped and talked
to each other inside their shells just like birds in a nest do. Fourteen
hatched. One chick that hatched tried and tried to live but didn't
make it because he wasn't as strong as the others. Three eggs did
not hatch. We put those eggs into the woods to be eaten by animals.
We put the hatched chicks in the brooder. We put water and chick baby
food in with themit's called starter mash. We put a light on
the brooder to keep the baby chicks warm. At first they just had fluffy
stuff-down. Then they began to grow feathers. There are yellow and
black and gray ones. When they take a drink, they put the water in
their mouths, tip their heads back, and let the water slide down their
"We just weighed the chicks. We put them into a balance scale
and used Digiblocks to see how many would balance with them. The black
one weighed 7 Digiblocks on day #1, 16 digis on day # 6, and 20 digis
on day #8. They are growing a lot. The chicks are changing. They are
growing wing feathers and learning how to fly. We keep a screen on
the brooder so they don't jump out and fly around the classroom.
"The best thing about the chicks is that they are so cute and
adorable. And I am learning things from them."
Teacher's Comment: Our farm unit in the spring includes
study of soil, plants, bees, the life cycles of worms, and, as explained
above, we follow the progress of chicken embryo development from egg
to hatching, recording observations and measurements through drawing,
writing, and graphing. We explore local farms, and we learn about
farming around the world. As we learn about different animals in different
countries, we use fibers from some of them for spinning and weaving.
We read stories about weaving, do word searches on the subject "fiber,"
and create a grid to categorize fibers by color, texture, and use.
A culminating activity is a visit to a local site of the International