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Primary Classroom Ushers in Spring By Hatching 7 Chicks! (VIDEO)

Updated: Mar 26

This year, the Primary 2 class, led by teacher Kelley Gallardo is studying zoology, specifically all of the five animal classes of vertebrates. They began the year focusing on mammals, learning all about what their bodies are covered with, the kind of babies they have, and which mammals have eggs. Next, they studied reptiles, and now birds. (Later in the year they will move onto amphibians and fish.)

You can watch the 2-minute video below, or read on to learn how this project came to life.

Hatching chicks in the classroom brings a lesson to life.

As part of Teacher Kelley’s bird project, the class acquired an incubator and all of the things needed to hatch chicks from eggs, as well as seven fertilized eggs. The eggs, which came from Mille Fleur and Silkie chickens, were placed in the incubator. Students tracked the chicks’ development in their Chicken Books, and learned that it would take 21 days for them to hatch. 

In the meantime, our young scientists enjoyed learning about all the parts of the egg, how strong eggs are, and also how fragile they need to be so a chick can hatch. They dissected eggs to see the different parts including the “bungee cords” that keep the yolk in the center. They disintegrated the shell of an egg to see the membrane which keeps bacteria out of the egg. They cracked open a variety of eggs to see if they looked different inside, or if they looked the same. They learned about calcium carbonate, which is the outside of an egg.

Our students even walked on eggs to see just how strong eggs are–sometimes some broke and sometimes they did not.

The day finally arrives and our baby birds are “aww”-inspiring!

On Day 9 of the incubation period, students were rewarded with a look inside their eggs through a technique called “candling.” Teacher Kelley held a flashlight up to each egg to show that every one of the seven eggs contained an embryo. Students could see the embryo moving around in the egg, and that what was most visible was the very dark eye of the baby chicken. 

On Day 20, one day early, the chicks began to hatch! All seven beautiful chicks arrived by Day 22 to a delighted Primary 2 classroom. Students, faculty, and staff from throughout the school have been frequent visitors to welcome the new chicks with “oohs” and “awws.” Students have been feeding and caring for them with gentle touches. In a few weeks, the grandmother of a student in the class will take the chicks home to raise them.

Egg-cited students give their parents a lesson at home.

Said Teacher Kelley, “One of the most satisfying things about the project was how attached all the children were to the learning. During parent-teacher conferences, it was the thing parents brought up most. Parents talked about how much they had learned from their children at home about the eggs that they buy from the grocery store.” 

Their children were cracking and dissecting them, and showing and naming the different parts of the egg, including the germinal disc which turns into the chick. And many of the students were replicating the experiments they did in the classroom, being scientists at home, and developing hypotheses with their parents to see what might happen.


In addition to the seven chicks in Teacher Kelley’s class, the Primary 1 classroom hatched 12 quail, and the Primary 3 class is raising trout!  

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