“I liked watching them hatch,” explains Ella, smiling as she stands in front the 17 fluffy, recently hatched chicks in her classroom. “It was kind of slow, but we saw the shell moving up and down.”
It’s all part of the life cycles project teacher Jeanne Jennings has been doing with her lower primary classes at Whonnock Elementary for the last two decades.
“It’s part of our curriculum. We started at the old school, and now we do it here. Each spring we incubate chicken eggs and learn about the development and life cycle of chickens. We also grow frog’s eggs and plants. It is a nice fit for spring and a renewal of life,” she said.
The eggs are supplied by a parent of a student who was in Jennings’ class 10 years ago and has been involved ever since.
Jennings says the project allows young students to make observations, care for the chicks and make announcements about the new hatchlings.
“We also integrate language arts and math into our theme.”
That means reading books about chickens, frogs, farming and doing various writing activities.
The children also present the play, “The Little Red Hen.”
“When our unit is complete the chickens go home to families from our class that have the facilities to nurture our new babies. As this is a rural community, we have not ever been without caring homes for our class chicks.”