From Egg to Chick


Isn't it Eggciting? - Raising chicks and activities for the classroom with eggs


Raising baby chicks in the classroom can be a very exciting unit for children in the spring.  There are several things to keep in mind when deciding to raise chicks in the classroom.


You need to have a home for the chicks once they are ready to leave the classroom.  Do not send the chicks home with the students.  They are not pets.  Try to find someone who lives in a rural area who will care for the chicks.


If your incubator does not have an automatic egg turner, you will need to have access to your classroom to turn the eggs during the weekend.


You can obtain fertile chicken eggs for incubation in the classroom from Carolina Biological Supply.





Have a supply of plastic eggs which will open.  These are easily obtained around Easter.  Make a set labeled #1-21.  Open the egg and trace the diameter of the smaller egg onto cardstock.  Glue the circle onto the opening of the smaller egg half making sure that the egg will still close.  On the circle, glue a picture showing the daily development of the egg corresponding to the number on the egg.  Store the eggs in an egg carton.  You can make a set for each student in the classroom.  Each day you can open a plastic egg to see how the real chicks in the incubator are developing.

I like to make a large chart in the room which we use to countdown the days until the chicks hatch.  We also use it to keep a record of the times we turn the eggs each day and the temperature inside the incubator each time we turn the eggs.   You must be sure to turn the eggs three times a day, or the developing chick will stick to the side of the shell.  It is a good idea to put an X on each shell so that you make sure you turn them completely.

Beginning on the third day, you can have the children candle the eggs to see if any of them are infertile.  

Flashlight and Black Paper Candler




Once the chicks have hatched you can have the children make a baby book for each chick.  Make birth announcements, give them a name.  Write about all their firsts - first step, first food, etc. Take pictures of the chicks each day and put them in their baby books.  You can also include information on a growth and weight chart.  


The University of Illinois Urban Programs Resource Net has lots of information about hatching eggs  and several wonderful worksheets and activities to download.


Math Activity: Make  graphs showing the percentage of the eggs that hatched,  and the number of eggs that hatched on each day.


Creative writing:  Have the students write a conversation between two of the chicks in their shell in the incubator.


Math Activity:  Have the students measure and weigh each of the baby chicks.  Next, have them graph their results and compare the weight of the chicks.


Math Activity:  Weigh and measure the chicks each day for two weeks.   Graph your results.


Inside an Egg (A Lerner Natural Science Book) -- Sylvia A. Johnson

Text and photographs trace the development of a chicken egg from the time it is laid until the chick is born.  An excellent resource!




eggsMiscellaneous Egg Experimentseggs


eggsEgg in a Bottle



Wad up the paper and drop it in the bottle. Light paper or matches, allow to burn out and immediately put the egg in the neck of the bottle. The egg will make a slurping sound and be  sucked into the bottle. This happens because as the air inside the bottle cools; it takes up less space. The pressure outside the bottle will force the egg into the bottle in order to balance the pressure.  To get the egg out of the bottle, turn the bottle upside down with the egg resting on the inside of the mouth of the bottle. Place your mouth over the mouth of the bottle and blow hard. When you stop blowing, the egg will pop out.


eggsWhere's the shell? - an experiment in chemical reactions and osmosis.



Place the raw egg into a small jar.  Pour enough vinegar over the egg until it is completely covered. Watch the egg for several minutes. You will notice that the shell on the egg appears to bubble. After three  days, remove the egg from the jar or glass. Gently remove the shell while you rinse it under cool water. If the shell does not come off completely, return the egg to the jar or glass. covers the entire egg, and try to rinse the egg the next day.  Examine the egg and have the students write their observations.  Bubbles will immediately form on the surface of the egg and will increase in number over time. The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas. After 24 hours the shell is gone. The membrane of the egg remains. The chemical name of vinegar is acetic acid and egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate. There is a chemical reaction between the vinegar and the shell.

Next, fill a jar with corn syrup.  Place the egg in the syrup.  It will probably float.  Observe the egg ever few hours and notice the changes.  Keep the egg in the syrup for three days.  Remove the egg and rinse it under cool water.  Examine the egg and have the students write their observations.

Next, place the egg in a jar of water.  Keep the egg in the water for three days.  Remove the egg.  Have the students examine the egg and record their observations.

Click here to see another osmosis experiment using eggs and karo syrup


eggsEggstra Strong Eggs - Try to see how much weight a raw egg will hold



Weigh the four raw eggs. Cover the table with a plastic cloth.  Place the eggs in a bottle top.  Place the four bottle tops in a rectangle, about 8" by 6".  Put the piece of poster board over the eggs.  Begin placing books on top of the poster board.  Record how much weight the eggs hold before they break.  Compare the weight the eggs held to their actual weight.


eggsFloating Eggs - an experiment with buoyancy



 By adding the salt to the water you increase the density of the water. The buoyant force is equal to the egg's mass

eggsBalancing raw eggs on the Equinox - myth or fact?

Either of the two times each year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length everywhere. During the spring (vernal) equinox (about March 21), it is said that an egg will stand on its small end. Although some people have reported success, it is not known whether such results were due to the equinox or to the peculiarities of that particular egg. Others insist that some eggs will stand on their small ends at any time of the year.


eggs  The Incredible Egg Drop

Students will create a package that will protect a raw egg when dropped.

Have students brainstorm a list of materials they might use in creating a container for their egg.  Next, have them draw an illustration of their container.  Begin collecting materials in the classroom to create the packages.  Have the students work individually or in pairs to build their containers.  Once the containers are built, take the students outside and drop them from a height you have decided upon - I recommend at least 8 feet. 


eggsBungee Egg Drop 

The object of the BUNGEE EGG DROP is to drop an egg from a height of one meter into a bowl of water without breaking the egg. An egg without any visible cracks or damage is scored. 

Each class divides into teams. Each team is given a raw egg. Using any number of rubber bands and only 10 cm of masking tape, the teams create a BUNGEE EGG. One end of the rubber band cord is attached to a point exactly 1 meter above the bottom of the bowl. The other end is attached to the egg. The egg is dropped (free fall except for the rubber band tether) from the 1 meter point into a bowl filled with water to a depth of exactly 5 cm. The 1 meter distance is measured from the top of the egg. Plumb lines are allowed for aiming but may not be attached to the egg.

The specifics:

Teams are allowed a maximum of 2 official drops. The best of these 2 drops is counted. Repair of the egg for the second drop is allowed using an additional 15 minutes. An egg that hits the water but does not sustain a crack will be judged a successful drop. Cracks sustained during the recoil are considered breaks. The class result is the average number of successful teams participating.


eggsInternational Egg Toss

In the "International Egg Toss," teams of students create packages to protect raw eggs when they are sent by surface mail to other participating classes.


eggsEgg Obstacle Course (OM activity)

This Group Activity is designed to enhance your ability to solve an assigned problem using  problem-solving techniques 

The Rules for the Egg Obstacle Course: 

1. You have five minutes to complete the obstacle course.

2. You may talk or work as you wish.

3. This is an obstacle course for an egg. You will be provided materials to move an egg through the course. You may not touch the egg. During the five-minute period you are to complete as many obstacles as possible.

4. Each team member may select from the items given. Only one member may use an item. You cannot use items and pass them to someone else when you are finished.

5. A different team member must move the egg for each obstacle.

6. If the egg breaks or cracks, the team must stop at that point.

7. You will receive 20 points for each obstacle successfully completed. You may take the obstacles in  any order you wish.

8. The following materials will be supplied to each team:

The Obstacles 

Another neat Egg Obstacle Course Activity



eggsEgg Experiments on the Web

Egg Art Activities


  Organic Easter Egg Dyes



It is really fun to make organic Easter egg dyes.   Place each of the liquids in a jar and add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of dye to each jar.  Place the hard boiled eggs in the jar and allow them to soak 1-2 days.  When you remove them from the jar, you will have beautifully colored eggs.


  Great Electronic Schoolhouse International Decorative Egg Exchange - this is a really neat activity


  Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Before doing this activity, I suggest reading one or both of the books below.

Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco.





The Bird's Gift : A Ukrainian Easter Story
Eric A. Kimmel, Katya Krenina (Illustrator)
From Horn Book
Villagers shelter golden birds in their homes during a bitter winter and are rewarded with gorgeously decorated eggs on Easter Sunday. Exquisitely detailed illustrations complete this engaging tale: pale yellow backgrounds reflect the birds' golden feathers, borders echo the designs on the eggs, and the Ukrainian costumes are lovingly rendered. Copyright 1999 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.




String Art Eggs



This activity is messy.  I suggest doing it outside.  Blow up the balloon.  Soak the string in liquid starch until it is very wet. Begin wrapping the string around the balloon.  Begin first in one direction and then go in another.  You want to almost cover the balloon entirely, leaving small holes about 1/2 inch.    I cover the balloon horizontally, vertically, and then diagonally to make sure there is a nice pattern.  Brush the string again with liquid starch.  Lay the balloons on wax paper and let them dry for at least 24 hours.  It may take longer.  When the string has hardened and dried, break the balloon with a pin.  For extra durability, spray each balloon with shellac.  These look nice hung from the ceiling.

Eggshell Mosaics



Break the colored eggshells into small pieces.  Have the students draw a very simple design on their poster board.  Apply glue to one area of the poster board at a time.  Glue one color of eggshell pieces onto each section.  When finished, allow to dry overnight.  Spray the finished mosaic with shellac.

  Eggshell Chalk

Remove all the membranes from empty egg shells and grind them into a fine powder.  Mix two parts plaster of Paris for every part of shell powder.  Mix in water to make a stiff paste which you will mold into a cylinder shape.  Let harden.  You may add powdered tempera to make colored chalk.  Use these outside as sidewalk chalk.  Do not use them on a chalkboard!

Chicken in An Egg


Put some of the dry tempera pain into a zip lock bag.  Place the cotton balls in the bag and shake them around until they are yellow.  Glue the balls together to make the chick's body.  Glue on two small squiggly eyes and add feat and beaks cut from construction paper.  Glue the chick into the egg shell.

  Little Chicks fingerplay

Five and five eggs
(Hold up hands)
That makes ten.
Sitting on top is old mother hen.
(Fold one hand over the other)
Cluck, Cluck, Cluck
(Clap hands three times)
What do I see?
(fingers around eyes)
Ten fluffy chickens
As yellow as can be.
(hold up ten fingers) 

  Edible Bird Nests



Give each child a piece of wax paper and a handful of oriental noodles.  Have them arrange their noodles into a nest.  Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle the chocolate over the nest.  Allow to cool.  Place a little bit of green coconut and a few jelly beans in the nest.  Enjoy.


  Egg Candle Craft Project


  Easter Egg Dolls Craft Project


  Homemade Egg Paint


  Easter Egg Pin




Egg Games

  Egg and Spoon Relay

  Egg Toss contest

  Penguin Shuffle Races 

With penguins, the daddy penguin incubates the unhatched egg by carrying the egg on top of his feet.  Have the children pretend they are daddy penguins in this fun race.  Give each child a plastic egg filled with sand.  The children will race by shuffling across toward the finish line without dropping their eggs.  The first one to succeed wins.


  Roll the Egg

Place masking tape on the floor for the start and finish lines.  Place a plastic egg on the starting line for each child.  The object of the game is to roll the egg to the finish line with YOUR NOSE.

Internet Projects:

  Great Egg Roll Internet Project

  The 2001 BIG Internet Easter Egg Hunt Entry Form

Visit Mrs. Seagraves' QUEST Class for more lesson plans, thematic units and activities!