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Chicken observation

Watch a chicken and discuss it's characteristics, needs, body parts, usefulness to humans, behaviour, adaptations etc.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Life Science: Characteristics of Living Things (grade K)
Life Science: Needs of Living Things (grade 1)
Life Science: Animal Growth and Changes (grade 2)
Life Science: Diversity of Life (grade 6)
  • chicken in a display cage with bedding, or outdoors
  • tarp to contain bedding mess if indoors
  • treats to feed the chicken e.g. small tomatoes, seeds
  • chicken feed to show
  • old sheet to cover cage incase chicken gets stressed
  • dustpan and brush for clean up
  • possible images to show: pic of my chickens, chicken life cycle with male, chick development in egg, egg graph

Sit the students in a circle around the chicken cage. Outdoors, allow students to interact with the chickens.
Cover topics as appropriate for the students' age.
Compare to humans often.

Chickens are birds - they have two legs and two wings. Chickens cannot fly but if startled will flap into the air briefly.
Chickens have excellent eyesight (birds have the best eyesight of all vertebrates). Although their eyes are on the side of their head, they can very accurately peck at food.
Their beaks are adapted for how they eat. Other birds have differently shaped beaks adapted to how they feed.
Chickens lay eggs for us to eat. The eggs she lays, are not fertilized as we don't have a rooster. (Human females also have eggs.)
Birds feathers keep in heat and enable flight.
All birds have light bones (often partially hollow) so that they are light.
Chickens are the living ancestors of dinosaurs.

Grades tested: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 4
Gr 7
Lesley Lopez
Nitsa Panago
Teaching site: 
Eton Arrowsmith Camp
ingridscience afterschool
Oppenheimer Elementary
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Oppenheimer Elementary