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Eggcellent Learning: Birmingham First Graders Watch Eggs Hatch

4/11/2024

Chicks in the incubator.

First graders at Birmingham Elementary are witnessing the miracle of life right in their classroom.

First-grade teachers at Wylie ISD elementary schools participate in a 21-day adventure by acquiring 24 fertilized chicken eggs from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

For 21 days, students observe eggs in an incubator and learn all about the life cycle of a chicken.

The first egg in Birmingham first-grade teacher Robin Laughlin's class hatched a day earlier than expected.

Students observe eggs.

"It takes about 24 hours [for the chick] to completely break out of the egg," Laughlin said. "It takes a while because they get tired.”

Each week, all Birmingham first graders make their way to her room, where she has prepared a lesson about poultry.

Students sit on floor.

While caring for the baby chicks, students learn about the life cycle, proper handling and feeding, and practice skills such as responsibility, empathy, patience and teamwork.

Zachariah Stubbs said he's learned that chickens sleep with one eye open to watch for predators.

Charlotte Starks shared that she's learned that a mother chicken can communicate with her chicks while they're still in the egg by using a specific chirp.

"They eat lizards, and they are omnivores," Dylan Lim said. "Chickens are the closest relative to dinosaurs.”

Students observe eggs.

Chicks in incubator.

Students even learned about consuming eggs.

"If an egg floats in water, you throw it out," Rosalie Reyes said.

After the week’s poultry lesson, each student gets a close-up view to observe the eggs as they incubate and begin hatching.

Students observe eggs.

Every grade level has TEKS on life cycles and this opportunity helps build first graders' understanding of changes that occur.

Lindsey Garner, Elementary Science & PE Learning Specialist, helped set the schools up with the program.

“Students get to see how living things undergo changes and connect academic language to real-world experiences,” Garner said. “We can also make the connection to the agriculture program we offer in high school, but the best part is seeing the students’ excitement when the baby chicks begin to hatch and watching them care for them!”

Once the chicks are ready to be removed from the incubator, the students will take them home to raise.

"We will give the chicks to kids and parents who want them," Laughlin said.