For Years 1-4 our nature study programme is designed to encourage observation and put back a sense of wonder and awe into science. It begins simply with the senses and the elements and then develops into study of plants, animals and the harmony of the universe. A very practical approach is taken and there are frequent outings to engage with nature and the man-made world.
The recent hatching of chickens from eggs was a fantastic learning experience for Year 2 students and children from the Ficino Preschool alike. Year 2 hosted the ‘guests’ from the moment the fertilized eggs arrived in the classroom to their departure as 7 day old chicks.
The children learnt about the importance of keeping the incubator warm at 37.7 degrees, and what the chicks would need after they were hatched. The brooder was set up with water, wood shavings, chick food and paper towels. As the chicks were moved into the breeder, children saw some interesting behaviour – “One of them fell asleep standing up with its beak on the ground!”.
For the Year 2 students, it offered an opportunity to examine creatures who were egg born vs non-egg born. The children used their observational skills to track the chicks’ physical changes, noticing how they were “soggy and wet” when they hatched with “small weak legs” and how each day “they grew their wing and tail feathers” and “the wing feathers are longer and a bit stronger”.
It encouraged them to develop respect for life and let them demonstrate their caring sides as they experienced what the chicks needed to help them develop pre- and post-hatching. They got to hold the chicks and described them as “warm, soft, cheeky, cheepy, loud and scared”.
It was a truly egg-cellent experience!