Cool Schools: Washington Discovery Academy hatches chicks in the classroom
PLYMOUTH, Ind. –
Teachers at Washington Discovery Academy are bringing project- based learning to life. They’ve hatched chicks right in the classroom to give kids a lesson in agriculture.
In some first grade classrooms, you’ll find some chicks under a heat lamp.
“It’s just been a really fun project,” said Kendall Hoover, a first-grade teacher at the school who came up with the idea.
“We have a lot of kids who don’t have those experiences in our building,” said Hoover. “We are a Title 1 school, high poverty level and it’s just been a personal passion of mine to help kids learn where their food comes from.”
She wanted to host an Ag Day for the students, and started by bringing an incubator into her classroom.
“That created a lot of excitement about animals,” said Hoover.
“I’m really happy we have them,” said Scarlett, a first grader at Washington Discovery Academy.
Students were able to watch over 21 days as new life took form.
“We had to put it on the calendar, we counted down, we candled them just to kind of help us learn and also to say ok we’re making progress, we’re getting to that day,” said Hoover.
When the eggs finally started to move, Hoover says her kids screamed with excitement.
But even now, as the chicks grow, so are the lessons.
“The kids are reading books and researching and writing down information,” said Hoover.
That’s because they’re practicing their presentations for the school’s first ever Ag Day, which is happening next Thursday in the school parking lot.
“They will each take a turn at the station and they will get to present about the animal that they’re standing by, as children come by and listen and learn,” said Hoover.
The chickens that were hatched in class will be part of the Ag Day, but so will other animals. Hoover says they have a pig, a mini horse and several other animals coming.
Hoover says because this is the first time they’ve done an event like this, she doesn’t know exactly how it will go, but she hopes it’s a learning lesson that will stick with kids for the rest of their lives.
“With live animals and our kids presenting, who knows what is going to happen,” she said. “But I know it’s going to be a lot of learning and a lot of fun, and I think it will be an experience that they’ll never forget.”