As an old riddle says, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Science says the egg came first! The first bird was a reptile from the Jurassic period. Mind-blowing! Today we decided we were ready to learn more about eggs and chickens. It was extremely enriching and fascinating. We came to be fond of chicks, and have a greater appreciation for hens, and their eggs.
For this lesson, we used:
- Alison’s Montessori Parts of an Egg puzzle and nomenclature cards
- Safari Life Cycle of a Chicken
- Learning Resources Chick Life Cycle
- From Egg to Chicken book
- Farm Anatomy book
- A real egg
- Suggested: 4D Master Chicken Anatomy
We had just visited a local zoo where many chicken were running around freely. We were able to pet this beautiful hen below, but didn’t dare to approach the roosters. The children have always been dreaming of raising a chicken like many of their friends. This lesson on parts of an egg, combined with life cycle of a chicken was overdue.
What did we learn in this lesson? Just to name a few things:
- That hens are caring and protective mothers
- That chicks take 21 days to form
- That a chicken lifespan is 7 years
- That a hen can lay 260 eggs a year
- That it takes 25 weeks for a chick to reach reproductive age
- How yolks get fertilized and go through a part called the oviduct
- That chicks are born with a tooth to free themselves from the eggshells
- And most interestingly, as elementary children like to know the “how,” we learned all parts and functions of the amazing egg! You won’t believe how sophisticated it is.
We first read about the 21 days of incubation and observed the different growth stages in each of the 21 eggs. I generated questions to make them notice the evolution of the embryo without saying it for them. The retention is better when the discovery comes from the children.
We observed the different chicken breeds and combs in the book Farm Anatomy, and talked about the potential predators of chicken. They already knew the fox is a predator, thanks to the book “Sonia’s Chickens”. 🙂 We tested old eggs/new eggs in a bowl of water, and it works!
We then started the serious business. We built an egg from the yolk to the shell using the Parts of an Egg puzzle, and the nomenclature booklet. As we read the description for each part, we added a part. This really helped the children understand each concept clearly. For example, we could see how the chalazae (cuh-LAY-zi) acts as yolk support system. We looked at a real egg, and distinguished each part. Finally, we read a cute little book “From Egg to Chicken,” which consolidated our knowledge, and added additional facts. We have the Chicken Anatomy model, but I couldn’t find it. I highly recommend that you use it if you have multiple students. It is very interesting to see how the yolk spirals, and where the shell is created.
Alison’s Montessori set includes nomenclature cards and a blackline diagram that the children can use to work independently. My presentation was done. The children started coloring the diagram. They will probably choose to work with the puzzle and cards tomorrow! Please enjoy additional pictures below. 🐣
Disclosure: This experience has been enhanced by Alison’s Montessori that kindly let me try their new puzzle on Parts of an Egg, at no cost, no conditions. I write unbiased, honest reviews for my Montessori fellows 💗
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