Hi everyone! The good news is, I finally graduated on Friday! I am officially done with school, and will receive my certification over the summer! The bad news is, of course, that I really miss my class at Tree Elementary!
Even though I'm done student teaching, I have to catch up on posting the things I did in the last few weeks. So today, I thought I'd share some of the things I did during our Egg Unit!
The unit was actually kind of scrawny, because by the time it started, we had so many other things going on. One week was only a three day week because of conferences, and the next week we had two field trips! However, here is what we did manage to do.
On the first day we did something the kids really enjoyed, although I don't have pictures of it. I dissected a raw egg! I didn't let them do it themselves because this particular group has a lot of kids who stick everything in their mouths, and I didn't want them getting salmonella. But they did watch very closely, and they liked it a lot!
First, showed them an egg, and we talked about the differences between the eggs in our incubator, and the eggs in the grocery store. A lot of the kids thought that the eggs in our incubator came straight from the grocery store, and that if they ate eggs they were eating baby chicks. I explained that the grocery store eggs are just "practice eggs" that were never fertilized and do not have chicks in them.
Next, I asked them what they thought would happen if I squeezed the egg as hard as I could. They thought it would break, of course! So I took the egg and squeezed it (over a bowl, just in case) with all my strength! It didn't break! You can try that at home if you don't believe me. The shape of the egg makes it really strong, so that they don't break under the pressure of the hen sitting on them.
Next, I took out a safety pin and chipped off some of the egg shell, so that they could see the membrane inside. They were very interested, because they never knew that an egg had this part. I explained that this membrane protected the baby chick from germs. After that, I actually broke the egg open into the bowl, so that we could talk about the parts. I peeled the membrane away from the inside of the shell so they could see it even better. We talked about how the egg white is actually called the "albumen" and that it acts as a cushion for the yolk. The yolk provides nutrition and water to the chick. We talked about how the chick doesn't have a little fork in there to eat the egg with, but the nutrition is absorbed through his skin. I showed them the little spot where the chick would be, if the egg was fertilized.
I had an extra egg with me (just in case I messed up the first one) and, at the kids' request, I broke that egg for them to examine as well. They really loved the lesson... I heard lots of "Wow!" and "Whoa!" and "Cool!" The best part was, my professor was there observing that lesson, so it looked really good that the kids were that into it! Afterwards we did a little art project where they colored, cut, and pasted the layers of the egg on top of each other, so they had their own little egg diagrams.
Okay. So that was kind of the introduction to the lesson. Another thing we did was play the game, "Chicken, Chicken, Where's Your Egg?" This game is played exactly like the old "Doggie, Doggie, Where's Your Bone" game that many of us played in elementary school. One person goes out into the hallway, while the rest of the group gets into a circle and chooses one person to hide the egg. (We used a plastic Easter egg!) Then the person in the hallway comes in and stands in the middle of the circle. The traditional poem goes, "Doggie, doggie, where's your bone? Somebody stole it from your home! Guess who? Maybe you! Maybe the monkeys in the zoo!" For the purpose of our Egg game, I changed the words to "Chicken, chicken, where's your egg? Somebody stole it from your nest!" I just stuck with those two lines, so it would be easier for the kids, many of whom have speech delays and short term memory issues, to say. (I also made a poster with the words, along with little pictures, to help them remember the lines. The person in the middle, aka the chicken, has to guess who is holding the egg. Traditionally, the person gets three guesses before they have to give up and be "out" or start over. But for our group, they had unlimited guesses. Otherwise probably nobody would have ever guessed correctly. We played until every kid had a chance to be the chicken and the hider. For the final turn, Mrs. Eagle got to be the chicken! The students loved it! When it was their turn to be the chicken, they would flap their arms and make clucking noises! It was a nice exercise on working together and problem solving.
For the sake of not making this blog entry five hundred pages long, I'll cut this short for now, and continue the egg unit description later. Thanks for reading!