Our Chicks Are Hatching!

Our Chicks Are Hatching! lesson plan

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Students watch chicks emerge from their shells and make models of them. This amazing event will always be remembered!

  • 1.

    In the incubator. After a hen mates with a rooster, she lays fertilized eggs. In 21 days, these eggs will hatch if they are kept warm by the hen’s body or an incubator. Invite students to find out what happens inside the shell while the embryo is growing into a chick with the read aloud story From Egg to Chicken (How Living Things Grow) by Anita Ganeri. Share the book's illustrations with students and allow them time to discuss what they see.

  • 2.

    If possible, obtain an incubator and fertilized eggs to see what happens next.

  • 3.

    They’re hatching! When the chick is ready to hatch, it pokes a hole in the sac, sticks its head through the shell membrane, and breathes in the air space. Students listen to the chicks peeping inside their shells. Baby chickens use "egg teeth" to peck their way out of their shells. When the chicks hatch, they are wet and tired. Ask students to observe how the chicks quickly change. What is happening?

  • 4.

    Capture the excitement! With white and yellow Crayola Model Magic®, students sculpt a chick coming out of its shell. Use modeling tools and textured objects to make the chick look wet and tired. Add color to the Model Magic from a Crayola Washable Marker to make the shell and chick look realistic. Sculpt a fluffy chick to show what it looks like when it’s dry, too.

  • 5.

    Share the news! Provide an opportunity for students to tell the whole exciting story of the chicks to friends and family. They can use sculptures to help describe exactly what changes were seen. Invite parents to the classroom to observe the newly-hatched chicks and talk with students about their learning.

Standards

  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • LA: Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • LA: Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
  • LA: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • SCI: Use observations and information to classify living things as plants or animals based on what they need to survive.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: The Chick That Wouldn't Hatch by Claire Daniel; Where Do Chicks Come From? by Amy E. Skiansky; From Egg to Chicken by Anita Ganery; Chicks & Chickens by Gail Gibbons
  • Working in small groups, encourage students to sketch the stages of development of a chick inside the shell. Students number the stages on the back of their papers. Shuffle the papers and ask students to put the stages in correct order.
  • A chick has just hatched from the egg shell. Ask students to brainstorm a list of adjectives that help to describe how the chick may feel, how it may feel, what it may be thinking.
  • Invite a local farmer to speak with the class about raising chickens. Students compose questions for the farmer prior to the visit. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog or talk in small groups about what they have learned.