In this lesson, students use their five senses to explore the Edible Schoolyard Chicken Yard, learn about different types of the same animal, and use their bodies to move through the garden. "Little Hands Love Chickens" is one of three stations in our Kindergarten field trip program. The lesson is designed to satisfy NC Essential Standards for Science; however, it can be easily adapted for other audiences and grade levels.
NC Standards Addressed:
Kindergarten: Science – K.L.1.1, K.P.1.2
K.L.1.1 – Compare the different types of the same animals (i.e. different types of dogs, different types of cats, etc.) to determine individual differences within a particular type of animal.
K.P.1.2 – Give examples of different ways objects and organisms move (to include falling to the ground when dropped): straight, zigzag, round and round, back and forth, fast and slow.
• To explore the Edible Schoolyard garden, using all 5 senses
• To examine different types of the same animal (4 kinds of chickens)
• To use our bodies to move through the garden
• Chicken feed (enough for each student to feed to chickens)
• Fresh chicken eggs
• Prepare a bowl of chicken feed
• Place fresh eggs in a small bowl
Students are welcomed to the Edible Schoolyard in the barn and given a standard introduction with garden/ESY rules. Begin by asking some basic questions – What IS Agriculture? Where is food grown? What is a “farmer”? What do farmers have to pay attention to? Insist that for a day, these students are going to be FARMERS and welcome them to their urban farm! Ask the students to wake up the chickens by yelling “GOOD MORNING CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!” Have students break into groups and introduce each group to their ESY instructor.
Lesson: Barnyard Animals
1. Welcome students to the chicken yard. Explain that this ESY station is designed in order to learn about one particular barnyard animal: chickens! Inform students that we will be guests in the chickens’ home, and ask: how do guests behave? After a brief discussion, explain that we must treat the chickens with respect (walking, soft voices, and gentle touch). Explain that we will also be petting a chicken, and have students practice gently petting a stuffed animal chicken using two fingers.
2. Invite the students into the chicken yard, explaining that we will learn how to feed them. Give each student a handful of chicken feed, and demonstrate how to feed a chicken. After a few minutes of feeding, ask the students if all the chickens look the same? Discuss that there are different KINDS of chickens, and that they have different personality traits, behaviors, and lay different colored eggs. Pick up a chicken, and allow students to pet her as they'd practiced.
3. Exit the chicken yard, and have students form a small circle. Ask students to demonstrate how to hold an egg (two hands in a cup shape), and ask what would happen if we squeezed/dropped/shook an egg? After going over how to hold an egg without harming it, explain to students that we will all hold an egg and then PASS the egg to the friend on our left after we all count to five. Have students raise their left hand, and help any students that have the opposite hand raised. Pass out the eggs, and complete the activity!
4. Ask students to form a line, and explain that we are going to go on a SIMON SAYS walk to the next station. Ask if anyone has played Simon Says before? Use the following Simon Says instructions: “Simon says walk…” - in a straight line, in a zigzag, round and round in a circle, back and forth, and fast and slow.
5. Arrive at the next station!