ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chickens Thematic Unit

Updated on March 20, 2015
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Although this chickens thematic unit study is written for homeschoolers, it can be used by anyone. Suggestions have been given on how to adjust it to older children as well as younger.


The median age for this unit study is from about second through fourth grades. Don't be afraid to adjust the lessons to fit your personal homeschooling needs; after all, that is why you are homeschooling! You will need to add math.


A quick word about copyright. Everything within this article is my own work. Please don't copy it to your blog, your chat board, or anywhere else without my written permission. Web content is copyrighted just like published content is...it is just easier to steal. This is an experiment for me, if it works I will be glad to write free thematic units on a regular basis. If I have to spend too much time hunting down copyright violators I cant write unit studies.


This is meant to be a quick, week long unit study. You can add books and projects to look more in depth if you like. If you have property where you can keep chickens then using an incubator to hatch eggs is a great educational experience. If not, then there are so many other ways to study chickens.

Barred rock hen (c) marye audet
Barred rock hen (c) marye audet

Chickens Unit Study: Language Arts

Vocabulary

  • Fowl
  • Poultry
  • Egg
  • Chick
  • Poult
  • Rooster
  • Cockerel
  • Pullet
  • Broody
  • Nesting box
  • Flock
  • Free range
  • Beak
  • Crop
  • Vent
  • Heritage breed
  • Chicken tractor
  • Beak
  • Chalazae
  • Cloaca
  • Oviduct
  • Nest egg
  • Nest
  • Zoning laws

Handwriting

Have you student choose one of the following quotes. You should go over any vocabulary they may not know, and read it aloud together. Talk about what it means, or why the person might have said it. The student will then practice writing the quote daily in his best handwriting.

On Friday have them write the quote and then illustrate it.

  • Don't count your chickens before they are hatched ~ Aesop
  • Which came first, the chicken or the egg? ~ unknown
  • I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens. ~E. B. White
  • “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost” ~ Robert Southey

Reading

Please carefully review the books listed to make sure that they fit in with your family's beliefs and are something you want to read. Some books listed are written on an adult level and some are written on an elementary level. If your child seems to have a particular interest in something from one of the books use it to create a more in depth chickens thematic unit.

Choose a book to read aloud:

  • Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance
  • From Egg to Chicken
  • Pocketful of Poultry
  • The Plot Chickens
  • Chicken Little
  • Still Life with Chickens (adult/older students)
  • The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
  • Mother Carey's Chickens
  • Horton Hatches an Egg
  • Green Eggs and Ham

Science

Classify the chicken:

Kingdom-animalia

Phylum- chordata

Subphylum-vertabrata

Class- Aves

Order -Galliformes

Family- Phasianidae

Genus -Gallus

Species - G. domesticus

Print out a drawing of an egg and label the parts

  • Print out a drawing of an embryo and label the parts
  • Make a bouncy egg: Cover a raw egg with vinegar. Allow it to sit in the vinegar for about 72 hours, or until you stop seeing bubbles. The egg will feel rubbery...and it will bounce. It is still raw so it will break eventually, be careful. Why does it get rubbery? The vinegar dissolved the shell of the egg, leaving only the membrane.
  • Chickens are omnivores. What does that mean? What do they eat?
  • What are some predators of chickens?

History

What are heritage breeds and why are they important?

Have your student write a paragraph on various heritage breeds of chickens and what their strengths are, where they developed, and how they were used.

  • Use a blank world map to mark where the various breeds developed
  • Why did they develop some of the unique characteristics that they have (each breed)
  • Make a lapbook of the various heritage breeds.
  • What are the differences between the egg layer, the meat chicken, and the dual purpose?
  • Why would the dual purpose chicken be more valuable to the small farmer or homesteader?

Projects for the Chickens Thematic Unit

  • Coloring page
  • Images of a chick hatching
  • Make your own incubator
  • Visit a small farm, or someone who raises chickens if you don't have any of your own
  • Buy free range, organic eggs, and commercial, conventional eggs. If you have access to eggs from a neighbor get one of those too. Compare the shells, color and hardness. Which shell is hardest? Break each egg onto a separate plate. Compare the color of the yolks, how much they stand up above the whites, and the density of the whites. Which egg seems freshest? Which has the darkest yolk? Why do you think this is?
  • What is a chicken tractor? Consider building one if you have chickens.

Final Thoughts

This is not an all inclusive chickens thematic unit study and it isn't meant to be. Use it as an introduction to chickens for your students, and add to it as you see fit. After a week of studying chickens go on to something else if you are ready, or look more in depth into raising chickens with Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens.

Make it fun!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      I am a newbie and I have several thematic units. Good unit and thanks for the great idea.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      9 years ago from United States

      This looks fun. My mom did a lot of unit studies with my siblings and I. I remember most of them very clearly.

      I have linked to this article, here: https://pethelpful.com/farm-pets/The-Life-of-a-Chi...

      It is an account of my mom raising Cornish Rock chickens for eating. I thought your readers might find it a nice addition to your unit study, depending on their angle.

      Good work! Looking forward to more.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)