I strolled over to the blog to make our first post for fourth grade and realized that I had several posts from last year hanging. Oops. The next few posts will be my attempt to catch up. I wish the blog wasn't always on the back burner but life is busy. God is good.
The last bird lesson in Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Lesson 6) is on bird courtship, mating, eggs, and hatching. We could have studied birds forever, we love it so much, but alas, only five lessons it was. Luckily, it was one of our favorite of the five.
After reading in the text about "matching and hatching," we grabbed a few more resources to learn from. We read An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston (and so beautifully illustrated by Sylvia Long) ...
... and Usborne's Eggs and Chicks by Fiona Patchett.
During lunch that first day of this lesson, we watched a couple of fun videos. The first was "The Lost Egg" story on this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Breeze from the Trees DVD.
(Here is that same video on YouTube.)
The second video we watched was the "Cracks a Yoke" episode from The Magic School Bus series.
One of the most fun things we did in this lesson was to dissect an egg. Maggie was all too excited about this.
First, we cracked our egg on the pointy end ...
... and proceeded to break away a quarter-sized hole in it.
Next, we dumped the inside of the egg out into our bowl.
We could see the pocket (the air cell) on the opposite side of the egg.
We cracked our egg back further to reveal it better. Maggie enjoyed lightly pushing on it to move the air around inside it.
Using the diagram in our text (page 94), we found some of the other parts of the egg, too.
See the white, ropey strands on the left and right of the yolk? These are the chalazae, which anchor the yolk in place inside the egg. The more prominent they are, the fresher the egg!
Finally, we broke the air cell to release the air inside.
This was a great activity!
Later, we watched some YouTube videos of eggs and chicks. Maggie loved this sweet little video of a robin hatching from its egg.
She was very proud of her "Life of a Bird" comic strip where she illustrated eagle chicks hatching, growing, and leaving the nest (page 85 in the Junior Notebooking Journal).
Later, after we learned how strong eggs are, we tested this theory on an egg from the fridge. Placing the egg in the palm of her hand, I challenged Maggie to squeeze it and break it. With even pressure on all sides, she couldn't. She was quite impressed!
This was a fun lesson!