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Kindergartners learn facts about baby chicks

Cary Ashby • Apr 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM

MONROEVILLE — The kindergartners in Melissa Fries-Seip’s class learned many interesting things as they studied baby chicks, such as having an air pocket in the egg and that mother hens lay one or two eggs each day.

“When they hatched they’re still wet, so we had to put them in the incubator,” said Oliver Myers, one of the Monroeville Elementary School students.

The eggs stayed in the incubator for 21 days at 100 degrees.

Twenty-two chicks hatched on a Thursday in Fries-Seip’s classroom. About half of her students had held one before.

Raegan Schafer enjoyed holding the chicks; it was a first-time experience for her.

“It felt like it was tickling me,” she said.

Kinsey Schafer (no relation) was nervous about holding a chick for the first time. But she said she had pet chicks many times at her aunt’s house.

Another fact the students learned was the chicks use an egg-tooth to break out of their shells.

“I think it stays,” said Cara Kinn, when asked if the chicks keep the teeth as they get older.

Fries-Seip has been teaching a unit on baby chicks for each of the 21 years she has taught kindergarten. She first was at St. Mary Elementary School and has been at Monroeville for the last 18 years.

The cross-curriculum project includes reading, math activities, writing stories about eggs and creating life-cycle timelines.

On the Friday after the eggs hatched, the class had an egg drop. Don’t worry; they were ones that Fries-Seip purchased — not the newly hatched eggs.

The students had a month beforehand to build a contraption with their parents that was used to protect their egg. 

Jeremy Loose, known as “Jeremy our janitor,” dropped each apparatus from the roof of the school — about 15 feet. The students predicted if the egg survived the fall, giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

“Most of them didn’t break,” Fries-Seip said. “Students (shared) how they practiced at home by throwing them out of upstairs windows and dads climbing up to their rooftops and throwing them off.”

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