Each spring, Sunview Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Tina Zawacki provides her students an exciting way to learn about the concept of life cycles in the natural world through the hatching and study of baby chickens! Beginning in March, Mrs. Zawacki “sets” the batch of eggs which are purchased online by letting them sit at room temperature in the classroom for half a day. The eggs are then placed in an incubator which keeps the eggs at a consistent temperature and turns them on a regular basis. After the first five days, Mrs. Zawacki is able to hold a flashlight up to the egg to enable the students to observe the baby chick moving inside! Students also watch and discuss a daily YouTube video which visually explains the development.
After about 21 days, the baby chickens have hatched from their eggs. The students are thrilled for the opportunity to hold, feed, and play with the chicks on a daily basis. Students from other classrooms at Sunview are also invited to stop by and see the chicks once they are hatched. This year’s group of chicks includes a rooster who naturally, likes to crow! The annual project incorporates several science objectives, including, observing, and asking questions about the natural environment, communicating about observations, investigations, and explanations, and understanding that living things have specific characteristics/traits, grow, and reproduce. Students also develop their writing skills through recording their observations using complete sentences, punctuation, and capitalization.
Mrs. Zawacki has been incorporating this unique and engaging learning opportunity for the past twenty-years and was inspired to do so by her mentor teacher, Pat Angeline, who conducted the same activity in her own classroom. A big thank you to Mrs. Zawacki for her creativity, dedication, and efforts to provide this wonderful learning activity for students each year!