Eggs-periential Learning 2.0: Ducklings Hatch at the Junior School

On the heels of the recent exciting news that our Grade 2 classes successfully hatched a trio of baby chicks, we’re proud to announce that the students also saw the arrival of five ducklings this past weekend.

Cotton Candy, Ginger, Peep, Penguin and Snuggles arrived Saturday and Sunday, much to the excitement of the Grade 2 students, many of whom came in to school on the weekend to see the newly hatched fowl.

“It was so exciting here on the weekend,” says Grade 2 teacher Ms. Pam Yorath.

SMUS-JS-Grade2-Ducklings-02Like the chicks, the ducklings are part of a greater exploration on the topic of life cycles. The new ducks in the classroom are a major part of allowing students to document firsthand how life cycles and appearances are different for the ducks and the chicks.

Many students have noticed that even though the eggs look quite similar, what hatched is very different. They also know that the ducklings will grow up to look very different from the grown-up chicks.

“Throughout the unit, the big idea that we’ve emphasized was that all living things have a life cycle,” Pam says. “The focus of the study was the similarities and differences between different offspring and parents. And for us, we want to make sure our students can communicate what they’re seeing and observing in a variety of ways, and that they can demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world.”

Student Reflections

Molly: “It’s so exciting to see the ducks and chicks grow and change. Also, they are getting smarter.  I like seeing the ducks growing up each day. It’s interesting seeing them react to each other. Their feet are webbed and it feels very different from chick feet. It’s so amazing each morning to walk into your class and see these little fluff-balls.”

Gillian: “I never knew that the eggs were so tough and that the egg shells get thinner as the babies grow inside the eggs. I like learning about the ducks and holding them, because they’re cute and fluffy and interesting.”

Quinn: “I tried an egg experiment at home about how tough eggshells were. I piled books and kitchen objects on top of cracked shells to see if the shells would hold them up without cracking. My favourite part about having ducks is you can hold them. I like having ducks, except for when they quack all the time.”

Braelyn: “I didn’t know ducks already know how to swim and that they know how to survive. I found out that the ducks are calmer than the chicks. The cool part about having ducks is you get to learn about the ducks and get to see them in real life instead of just pictures. It’s fun to watch them run around.”

Ellie: “I found out that they will follow anything big, but it is usually their mother they first see and follow. I learned that the ducks huddle together. I like watching them together. And I like it when they snuggle together under the heater because the chicks didn’t do that.”

SMUS-JS-Grade2-Ducklings-03Ethan: “I learned that they drop the egg tooth when they come out. They eat the egg yolk while in the egg. I like that we have ducks and most other classes don’t have them.”

Sammie: “I did not know that the egg white is comforting to the chicks when they are in the shell. My favourite thing is getting to hold them and hearing them cheep. I also liked choosing their names: Cotton Candy, Peep, Snuggles, Penguin and Ginger. They all look identical.”

Mya: “I did not know that when the ducks are born their eyes are open. The mother duck and the mother chick are both called hens. The best part is when we get to hold them because they’re really soft and cuddly.”

Luke: “In six weeks, the duck is fully grown. The chicks fought with each other, but the ducks all cuddle up together. I like having ducks because they’re fun to hold and play with, and I like watching them run around.”

Georgia: “The incubator is like the mom. I did not know the inside of the egg has a membrane. I found out that the ducks have rounded bills. They’re so interesting and very unusual pets. I know they came from eggs but they’re not the same as the chicks.”

Parker: “I found out that when you hold the chick the toes are sharp. It’s really exciting to see the ducks because when you look at them they’re different compared to the chicks.”

Hasmitha: “I learned that babies need the yolk to survive. I like when we get to hold them and it’s fun when we get to watch them because not many classes get ducks.”

Matthew: “I found out that the dad duck is called a drake. I like learning about the differences between girls and boys. The girls are named the same as a girl chicken (hen) but boys have a different name (drake and rooster).”

Emily: “I did not know there was a hammock, called a chalaza, in the egg. My favourite thing about the ducks is learning about them, like the hammock.”

Matty: “I discovered the the ducks sleep with one eye open.”

Jada: “I learned that they have veins that carry the food and the yolks are very important. I like how the ducks are very fluffy, and they have round beaks so they can’t hurt us.”

(photos by Gordon Chan, Nina Duffus and Kyle Slavin)


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