Wow April was a wonderful whirlwind! It is hard to believe we begin round two today! Let me take you back to the beginning...
Back in December, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Linn County (ISUEO) and Linn County Farm Bureau Education Outreach created a partnership with support provided by Farm Credit Services of America to offer a unique, up-close agriculture experience to kindergarten and first grade classrooms during the months of April and May. Classrooms are provided a kit that includes materials to incubate seven fertile chicken eggs.
The program includes four classroom visits from program staff, support for teachers, and curriculum with cross-curricular activities, lessons, books, games, and resources. Interest in the hatching program exceeded expectations with interest spreading across Linn County. We had the opportunity to hatch chicks with 6 teachers from 5 schools during the month of April. We will increase our reach in May by visiting 9 teachers in 4 schools totaling our reach to 300+ students.
The hatching program meets both Iowa Common Core Standards and National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes. Students participate in all steps of the 21 day hatching period beginning with the setup process. Through our program, students gain an understanding of the poultry industry and life cycle. Not only does this curriculum allow students to better understand living things and agriculture, it also allows the class to explore food and nutrition topics and ties easily into math, science, and literacy lessons.
What are the teachers saying?
"I hope we can have this experience for years to come! My class was the one that did the hatching, but we opened our door to the entire school and had most of the classes walk through at some point. It was truly amazing!"
"It was a wonderful program all around, but I especially loved the curricular materials that came with the kit. It was awesome to tie reading and math to science."
"Hatching kit had amazing high quality activities. Great read aloud and the life cycle eggs were AMAZING!"
"Students anticipation to see the baby chicks has built their curiosity to learn and discover each day of the hatching cycle."
Stay tuned for May updates! All of the hatched chicks will be donated to 4-H members, FFA students, or local farmers.