Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cutest Chick Found in Fayette County Classroom

Pre-K students in Dana Wren’s class watch as the baby chick pecks its way out of its shell.

The cutest chick in Fayette County is in Dana Wrenn’s pre-K classroom at Brooks Elementary.

Wrenn’s 20 students watched in amazement on October 9 as a baby chicken broke through its eggshell and hatched after two days of pecking.

“Finally the beak came through and we began to see a wet feathery creature appear, it looked like an alien to me,” says Wrenn. “When she was gathering her strength for the next portion of her hatching, we could see her heart beating and the rise and fall of her chest. She stretched her wings and poof; she arrived. It was so amazing.”

The hatching of the chick coincides with a life science farming unit Wrenn is teaching this month. A family of one of Wrenn’s former students raises chickens as a hobby and brought in three fertilized eggs. The eggs were kept in an incubator in the classroom but only one hatched after 21 days.

“What an incredible life lesson it is to see the magical wonder of an egg becoming a living chick. Children who are growing up in a techno world crave opportunities to experience life outdoors. I try to offer opportunities for exploration of life experiences and the wonder of our marvelous world,” says Wrenn.

As soon as the baby chick arrived, students began researching how to care for her. They knew they had to keep her warm and place her in a larger environment.

“We learned chicks must be kept at 95 degrees for their first week of life so we rounded up a plastic aquarium and rigged a lamp from the classroom to keep her warm,” says Wrenn.
The students also learned that chicks drink sugar water and eat starter scratch.

“They are keeping her watered and fed. We also discovered that we had to teach her how to drink and peck at her food,” says Wrenn.

The class named the chick Bemmie after a chicken character from the book “Love, Ruby Lavender,” a tale about Ruby Lavender, her grandmother and three stolen hens in the township of Halleluiah, Mississippi.

Bemmie will stay in the classroom for two weeks before she is transferred to the school’s butterfly garden. In the meantime, the students are waiting for a new batch of fertilized eggs in the hopes of getting another chick so Bemmie will have a companion.

Not only are students getting a lesson in life science, but they are also cultivating their writing skills by journaling about the experience and enhancing their vocabulary by learning new words. The students plan to publish a story, complete with pictures, about Bemmie’s transformation from a chick to a hen.

“Our Bemmie is growing by leaps and bounds In fact, she’s already getting pin feathers and trying to fly,” says Wrenn.

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