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Introducing the Chick!
With spring and Easter right around the corner, March is the perfect month to teach your preschooler about various life cycles. Children love learning about fluffy baby chicks. Chick preschool theme ideas are fun for any child around the Easter Holiday.
To begin the unit, ask the children what they know about chickens. Proceed with some basic animal facts. A chicken is a bird. A bird has feathers. Birds hatch from eggs. An adult male chicken is called a rooster and a hen is an adult female. Baby chickens are called chicks. Encourage students to lead the discussion. Show photos of different chickens, chicks and eggs. This entire lesson can be spread out over a one week period.
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Reading and Writing Weekly Lesson Plan for Chick Preschool Theme Ideas
- Introduce the letter Ee for egg and the long and short vowel sounds.
- Read a sample of the book that the kids will make with assistance. The teacher will have a copy already finished.
- The first page will say, "Eggs are warm inside a nest." Students will trace the words that are prewritten onto their paper and cut out premade eggs and straw to glue on for an illustration of the nest.
- The second page will say, "The mother sits on them to rest." Students will trace the words that are prewritten and trace around hen, cut the hen out with proper assistance and glue the hen and straw (mini wheats cereal) onto the paper.
- The third page will say, "Eggs are big, eggs are small." Students will trace the words that are prewritten. Teacher will have a premade egg and yolk available. Students will glue the egg and yolk to the paper. Next the teacher will supply some broken egg shells for students to glue on the paper. Label parts of the egg, shell, yolk and white.
- The fourth page will say, "Eggs hold babies, I like them all!" The children will trace the words. The Teacher will assist students in cutting out chick and egg. Students will glue them to the paper.
- Students will trace the words "Eggs" that are prewritten onto the cover of their book. Students will trace around an egg, cut out the egg, and glue it to the front cover of their book.
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Science Weekly Lesson Plan for Chick Preschool Theme Unit
- Read "The Egg" A First Discovery Book. Have students place chicken eggs inside an incubator and discuss the necessary steps for hatching to occur. Remind students it will take 21 days for the eggs to hatch. Temperature should be kept at 97 degrees. Discuss the life cycle of a chicken with the class.
- Read "Chickens Aren't the Only Ones" by Ruth Heller. Show different sizes of eggs if possible. Weigh the eggs. Discuss size.
- Check on eggs in the incubator, discuss ways students can find the circumference of an egg. Let students measure with yarn and ruler.
- Place an egg in vinegar to dissolve the shell. Students will observe the shell membrane the next day.
- Review parts of an egg (shell membrane, albumen (white), and yolk. Break an egg at each table and have students record the egg parts they see by drawing them on a piece of cardstock paper.
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Math Weekly Lesson Plan for Chick Preschool Theme Ideas
- Students will participate in an Easter Egg Hunt. After each child has found one plastic egg, they will count the number of jelly beans inside and, sort them by color, and graph the number of each color on a egg graph premade by the teacher
- Easter Basket nest of 55 baby chicks used as counters (I get them from a craft store). There are 11 plastic Easter eggs (the ones that open/are empty inside), so put numerals on each of them, 0-10 (in place of numeral cards or as an addition). Invite the children to bring the materials to a mat on floor or long table. Place numeral cards in mixed array. Teacher says that they are going to put the numerals 1 - 10 in order along the top of the mat. The numeral name is said as it is placed in sequence. Teacher tells child that they will put the corresponding number of counters under each numeral card and shows how to arrange the counters in pairs and sets of two. Teacher points to "1" and says, "This is one". She places two under "2", counting "one", "two", as she places them. This procedure is followed through "10" when all the counters are used. Collect all counters, then numeral cards, in an orderly fashion and replace them in the basket. Put basket and mat away.
- Review the life cycle of a chicken. Have photos of chick at different stages until hatching occurs. Have students put them in the correct order.
- Students will color several Easter eggs and cut them out. Using the eggs they will make different patterns.
- Students count eggs that teacher places in the nest and start doing simple addition problems with the guidance of the teacher.
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Additional Language Ideas for a Chick Preschool Theme
- Read the book Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. Have the children get up and practice going under, through, around, beside etc. This can be done outside on the playground or inside the classroom.
- Introduce "ch" blend and the sound it makes. Discuss other words that have the "ch" blend and write them down.
- Discuss other animals that are born from an egg.
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Arts and Crafts for a Chick Preschool Theme
- 2 sheets of yellow construction paper
- 1 sheet of orange construction paper
- 2 paper fasteners
- 2 large wiggle eyes
- White craft glue
- Safety scissors
- Trace child's hands onto yellow construction paper and cut out.
- Use the oval pattern or draw an oval onto the other yellow piece of construction paper. Cut out.
- Lay the oval on the table and position the wings (hand cut outs) behind it, using the photo as a guide.
- When the wings are where you want them, carefully poke the fasteners through the construction paper to attach the wings. Using fasteners allows the wings to flap up and down.
- Cut out the beak (use a diamond shape) and legs from the orange construction paper.
- Fold the diamond in half to create the beak and glue one side of the diamond to the yellow paper so that the beak is three- dimensional and can open and close.
- Glue wiggle eyes above the beak.
- Position the legs under the oval. When you have them where you want them, glue them in place.
- Use the marker or dark crayon to write a message on the front of the card.
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Songs and Additional Resources for A Chick Theme
Circle time is the perfect opportunity to learn new poems, songs and fingerplays. Several songs and fingerplays along with additional crafts can be found online. Here are a few that I like to use.
I'm A Little Chick - sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"
I'm a little chick inside an egg
I'm always sleeping - snoring away
Soon you'll hear a pecking, pecking sound.
The egg will crack and out I'll pop!
~Submitted by Yolanda in KS
Five Hungry Chicks
Said the first little chicken with a queer little squirm, "I wish I could find a fat little worm."
Said the second little chicken, with an odd little shrug, "I wish I could find a fat little bug."
Said the third little chicken with a sharp little squeal, "I wish I could find some nice yellow corn meal."
Said the fourth little chicken with a sigh of grief, "I wish I could find a little green leaf."
Said the fifth little chicken with a faint little moan, "I wish I could find a wee gravel stone."
"Now see here", said the mother, from the green garden patch,
"If you want any breakfast, just come her and scratch!"
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- Students understand the life cycle of a chicken.
- Students can name the different parts of an egg.
- Students can name two other animals that hatch from eggs.
- Students can create an ABAB pattern using colored eggs.
- Students will be able to identify the name of a female chicken (hen), male chicken (rooster) and baby (chick).
- Students can identify two other words that start with the letter Ee
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References and Resources
Chickens - http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/ChickensPrintables.htlm
Chickens Preschool Theme - http://stepbystepcc.com/animals/chicks.html
Photo courtesy of Lisa King