The last two weeks before Spring Break were filled with many, many hands-on opportunities to experiment with and observe eggs and record the life cycle of baby chicks. In the Kindergarten class we began by exploring chicken eggs (unfertilized of course) as we waited for our fertilized chicken eggs to hatch. We rolled and spun hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs to observe which type of egg rolled/spun more quickly. We cracked eggs to look at the yolks and albumen, experimented with floating and sinking eggs, and plunked an egg in a glass of vinegar to see what would happen. We used observation journals to record our findings and make predictions, and we spent time in the Meetingroom watching and waiting for the chicken eggs to hatch. We predicted which egg would hatch first based on subtle movements we noticed during our observations. As we all know, nature can be a bit unpredictable and although our eggs were expected to hatch on Monday, all twelve baby chicks decided to arrive on Sunday evening! We came in on Monday to an incubator filled with exhausted little chicks in the process of recovering from a difficult evening!
Since we missed this year's miracle, we located a video of the hatching of our spring 2012 chicks and shared it with the children during Meeting. Kindergarten was fascinated by the process of egg to chick, so we created a life cycle poster to help us remember how quickly the chicks grow. We also drew, painted and crafted chicks during art time. We used plastic eggs for counting and to practice adding combinations of coins during math. We also wrote and then tucked messages of kindness inside the eggs before they were hidden in the play yard. The children enjoyed finding the eggs and then reading the messages inside them.
We also visited the baby chicks every day to watch them grow stronger and to observe their white wing feathers start to grow! To end our study, we acted out the story of The Little Red Hen, with impromptu chicken costumes created by the children.
All in all, it was a fantastic hands-on and integrated learning experience for the Kindergarteners---and for all of the children at Fairville!