Hatching Chicks in Room 6
written and photographed by Caroline Arnold
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Mrs. Best is a teacher. The children in her class are learning about chicks and how they grow from eggs.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? If you are a student in Mrs. Best's kindergarten class, the answer is easy. The eggs came first because Mrs. Best brought them from her backyard where she keeps chickens. In this appealing coupling of photos and text, we get a tour through the process of what happens during incubation and after hatching for the chicks. I certainly like all of the teaching opportunities presented by this book. In the spread about the incubator, it's accompanied with labels that explain the purpose of each part. For example, there's a motor that moves the rack and allows the eggs to turn. This keeps the chicks from being on only one side of the shell. So now you can talk about captions and text features. A couple of pages over, a cracked open egg provides a lesson on what's inside. Did you know that egg whites are called albumen and that they have a purpose other than being talked about constantly on Food Network? The albumen cushions the embryo. This book doesn't shy away from using big words for its kindergarten audience which is great because they will play with words like albumen and embryo and stun their parents. So that covers vocabulary. Do you or someone you know hatch chicks in their classroom? Think about how well those students will be prepared, after reading Hatching Chicks, when they witness this life cycle process for themselves. You're building invaluable background knowledge. Plus, you can compare your classroom experience with that of Mrs. Best's class. See, you're cracking open knowledge at every turn. In the back matter, there are questions, a listing of books, vocabulary, and websites to further your learning. Like a rooster, your class will be crowing for this book.