It’s been a great fun week – with our 10 little chickens growing each day, from the tiny balls of fluff to 10 energetic, chirpy little chickens - we watched them grow and develop, we talked about how their wing feathers were growing and how they were starting to try and fly about in the Brooder, but that they still needed to have the warmth of the light globe to keep them warm, which was what the mother hen would do on the farm. We talked about their Life Cycle, what they eat and how they are able to look after themselves very quickly, finding their own food. We were able to hold them this week which was very exciting, and all the children were able to do this if they wanted, some children were very confident, others were hesitant and needed encouragement. The children learnt how to hold them very gently - supporting their feet on one hand so they felt safe, and enclosing them gently with the other hand – the children discovered if they sat very still and quiet, and gently stroked the chicken they were holding, the chicken would be calm and content, and in some cases even went to sleep. Unfortunately, they went home on Friday, (we had had them for two weeks) – some to an AELC family some back with the farmer. We were sad to see them go, but the children had had a great hands on learning experience, and had been encouraged to care for and respect small living things.
One of the children’s favourite activities is drawing, and the children very cleverly sat in front of the chickens and drew the chickens from real life – although the children said it was hard as they wouldn’t stay still. This exercise required the children to observe, concentrate, remember, and to be able to put these thoughts down on paper – quite an achievement.
We also experienced another life cycle this week – our Stick Insect which lived in our room died. We talked about this and showed it to the children who were able to look closely. This led to some very interesting discussions about what happens when something dies – it’s body stops working, and all the things the body does, stop. Why did it die – probably because it was very old. This was not a frightening experience, but an interesting one for the children. We learnt that every living thing eventually dies - somebody then said – but batteries die!! We left the body of the stick insect for the children to look at and discuss with each other. We did tell the Mothers about this episode so they would be prepared for any questions. We will discuss other life cycles to increase our knowledge. So we experienced both ends of life this week – the beginnings with the eggs hatching and the end with the death of the stick insect – real life!!
What will happen next week ?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.