Introducing the Life Cycle of a Chicken to Preschoolers

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We are learning about birds this month, and the first activity we did was to look into the life of a chicken.  Chicken, especially a hen is a popular subject for bird study because it’s convenient and always available for nature-study.  Take for example in our case, Vito got really interested into chickens during our visit to the park weeks ago.  He just can’t stop talking about his experience with the chickens in the park, so I decided to borrow some books in the library about chickens so we can talk about this bird more.

Vito’s first chicken encounter.  He can’t stop touching, caressing the chicken and even chasing them when they were freed for feeding.  We then borrowed books from the library about farm animals and how to raise a chicken.
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This is really a good book if your child wanted to learn the life of a chicken in a farm.  Everything they wanted to know about poultry, how some eggs turned out in the supermarket, and others are retained for for further breeding are discussed in this book.  My eldest appreciated this book more though, because he can relate, Vito was more attracted to the pictures and the brief discussions that I had with him.
We then proceeded to the life cycle of a chicken.  We own Safari Ltd. TOOB Life Cycle of a Chicken and used it for presentation and some hands-on activity.  I presented this to Vito and talked about the cycle.  Nothing scientific, but a straightforward discussion that the hen lays eggs, and the baby inside grows, becomes a chick and would later become an adult chicken.  As I talk about each stage, I would ask him questions like what happened to the egg when the baby chicken is growing inside?  Is the chick a bigger version of an adult or a smaller version?  What’s the color of the chick?  These questions could help a child understand what he’s seeing or reading even if he’s not personally witnessing the growth of a chicken.
When we were done, I gave him the figures so he can try arranging them in the boxes similar to our control chart.  He did arranged them correctly but I was impressed in the manner on how he did it.  He placed the figure one at a time and he would describe the stage in his own word, in short he’s mimicking my actions. Despite that some of it I can’t truly understand, I heard a lot of words and thought that it did make sense.  Like when he described the egg cracking because the baby is growing.  And he talked about how fluffy the chick’s yellow feather areOpen-mouthed smile
Another extension we worked on is the Life Cycle of a Chicken Layered Puzzle.  Such an engaging educational material for kids.  He’s too big to work on all the four layers so I am just assisting him on this one.  Layered puzzles are his favourite!  I talked about the other puzzles he’s using in this post, "Educational Puzzles for Preschoolers", in case you are interested.  He loves this puzzle so much!
He showed me how the figure matched to the puzzle
Because he begged that we paint, I printed some outline cliparts of the life cycle and made the boys paint it.  They worked on these over the weekend and when the images dried up, they cut it and glued the cliparts on an A3 paper to make a poster.
Doing art work is an opportunity to practise fine motor skills.  They get to practise their pincer grasp, hand muscles for squeezing and cutting skills.DSC_8982
Now, this is Vito’s final poster work.  When he saw that I made some arrows, he immediately took the figures and matched them in the poster.  He was so happy to see his work, he looked proud and with a sense of accomplishment!
And that’s about it!  Simple yet engaging activities for the kids.  We will revisit this life cycle next year and we’ll add some more depth into it. For now, it’s all about exposure and he surely had a great one!

For other animal life cycles you can also check my old posts with FREE learning materials, FREE Life Cycle Matching Cards and Animal Life Cycles (with FREE Learning Material)

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