Recently, the Pre-Prep students in ELC explored the concept of life cycles and how living things grow and change over time. The children were introduced to a Chick Hatching Program, providing first-hand experience on how life begins for a chicken.
The unit of inquiry began with the arrival of an incubator containing eight eggs and a brooder box, which housed two chicks. The incubator and brooder box were set up in a shared studio space, allowing both Pre-Prep classes to freely observe the eggs and chicks over a two-week period.
The students enthusiastically observed the eggs in the incubator, eagerly waiting for them to hatch. ‘It’s cracking, it’s cracking on the top. We’re all waiting for you little chick,’ exclaimed Walter as the first chick began to hatch. Over the next two days, and much to the students’ amazement, the remaining seven eggs cracked. Each of the chicks successfully hatched, all looking slightly different to each other. There were stripey chicks, chicks of different shades of yellow, as well as some with black and grey feathers. During the hours after their hatching, the children observed the chicks’ feathers changing from wet to dry and noticed the chicks becoming stronger, chirpier and more alert.
Alongside the hatching program, a variety of experiences were provided in the classroom, to support the children’s learning. The children were invited to draw a diagram of the life cycle, use Playdough to depict the hatching process, and engage in role play re-enacting their observations of the chicks.
The inquiry concluded with a naming ceremony for each of the chicks and class discussions about our care and responsibility for the chicks. This experience proved a valuable learning opportunity for the students, who continue to discuss their observations of the chick hatching process as well as life cycles of other living things.
Charmian Harris & Georgie O’Meara