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4-H Embryology in-Classroom Activities

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In-Classroom activities add another level to your 4-H Embryology project. We are glad to offer numerous educational extenders for this project. They are listed below in order of importance, meaning the closer to the top, the more you really need to do it or miss out on a critical piece of the project.

***Photocopies are provided for your class for these activities. A set of each picture/chapter book per class is provided on loan for the project duration. For 2024, materials for the Volcano Egg Dyeing and Chick Fork Painting are included as activity kits to do with your class. If you do not use photocopies/materials for an activity, please bring them back so we can reuse them next year!***

Incubation Log

Have your students collect data each day of the project from their in-class incubator. The incubation log allows you to collect the date, temperature, and humidity.

Chicken Incubation Timeline

The completed student timelines are about 3′ long and include pictures from each day that they color and paste onto the timeline. It matches up with 21 full-color cards (one set per class) that describe what is happening in the egg that day and has an illustration of the developing chick!

Magic School Bus – ‘Cracks a Yolk’ episode

Hands down, this Magic School Bus episode is amazing! It covers incubation, candling, and the parts of an egg in a kid-friendly way. It’s about 20 minutes long and can be found on Netflix or Discovery Education (if you have a subscription through the school).

Host a Classroom Storytime

Each class will get to loan a copy of three books to use for storytime in their classroom. These are great books that talk about chicks, hatching, and even a quirky story about selling blue eggs. The titles/authors are:

  • Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan by: Frances O’Roark Dowell (chapter book)
  • Where do Chicks Come From? by: Amy E. Sklansky (picture book)
  • Chicks & Chickens by: Gail Gibbons (picture book)
  • Chickenology the Ultimate Encyclopedia by: Barbara Sandri & Francesco Guibbilini (informational picture book)

Chicken Life Cycle Wheel

Tie together this project with a chicken life cycle wheel that actually moves! Students will color this project, cut out the pieces, and then with your help put a metal brad in the middle so their wheel will actually turn through the life cycle phases.

Embryology Journaling Pages

You will be provided with a set of five journaling pages per student. Each page has a different image of part of this process (i.e. egg, chick growing in an egg, hatching, etc.). Use these pages for the writing process and ask your students questions about what they are seeing inside the egg, how they feel about the hatching, and what their favorite part of this project has been.

Career Exploration

Check out these short videos below from NC State Extension profiling different careers you can have in the poultry industry. Fun Fact: North Carolina is #2 in poultry production in the United States!

Volcano Egg Dyeing

***Activity Kit with materials is provided for this project***

Check out the fun of dyeing eggs with baking soda and vinegar.  This is a hit with kids, and feel free to divide the students into groups of 3-4 to get their egg ready and then dip it into the cup of vinegar. The heat from the reaction dyes the eggs super quickly!

Chick Fork Painting

***Activity Kit with materials provided for this project***

Do a simple art project in your class using plastic forks!  These chicks are cute and you can do this craft in many ways on paper to make cards, reflection sheets, etc. with your students.