For the past two weeks, we've been learning a lot about chickens and eggs, and oviparous and viviparous animals in preparation for our egg hatching project. On Friday, our egg hatching project started. We placed 30 sex-linked eggs into our classroom incubator. Each child got to place several eggs into the incubator, which was very exciting for all of them.
After placing the eggs in the incubator, talked about how long the eggs would be in the incubator and calculated the chicks anticipated birthday date on our calendar. We also counted out 21 unifix cubes to signify, visually and mathematically, the number of days until hatching. Each day we will add to our calendar and add a unifix cube to a twin unifix tower to watch our countdown progress. We also made predictions about how many eggs we thought would hatch, how many hens and how many roosters we'd have. The neat thing about sex-linked chickens is that you can tell the gender at hatching. Roosters will have a yellow spot on the top of their heads.
Our incubator has an egg turner, which slowly turns each egg to make sure the embryos don't get stuck in one location and stop growing.
I'm looking forward to the hatch date. Until then, we will be monitoring the temperature and humidity in the incubator, weighing the eggs to see if there is any change in weight, candling the eggs to check for growth...and crossing our fingers that the process works and we end up with some little chicks.
Leading up to our first day with the hatching eggs, we read the books "Chickens Aren't the Only Ones" and "Animals Born Alive and Well." Both are written by Ruth Heller and introduce children to oviparous animals (those that hatch) and viviparous animals (those born alive and well, i.e.: mammals). We completed a sorting activity that I found on the My Montessori Journey blog. We also had an oviparous animal egg hunt. Each egg was filled with a picture of an oviparous animal. The children collected the eggs and then recorded which oviparous animals they found.
Bulletin board with our oviparous/viviparous animal sort.
Working on our oviparous animal egg hunt.