WALLENPAUPACK - A second grade class of animal lovers, spent some time learning about chickens last month. After researching jobs in their community, the students in Angela Ey’s learning support class studied farmers and what they do over a course of six weeks.

To conclude their lessons, the students became caregivers to chicks that they tended to since incubation, to hatching and sometime after birth, before they were given back to a farmer who raises chickens.

As part of the lesson, the students learned about the concept of farm to table, how food grows at a farm and ends up with the consumers. To expand on their learning, the children created a bulletin board decorated with information about gardening, farming and food.

Ey collaborated with a farmer from Lake Ariel, who lent the students an incubator that allowed the students to incubate the eggs for over 20 days. In that time, the students discussed the life cycle of a chicken, as they start as an embryo, becoming a chick eventually food.

Once the eggs hatched, Ey said watching the students care for the babies was awesome, as they became “obsessed” with them. One student who went to Disney World, was more excited about how the chicks were doing, then his vacation a parent told Ey.

Once they hatched, the chicks helped the students academically, as the caregivers read to the chicks while practicing their reading. The chicks, Ey said brought a calming effect to the classroom as the students connected with the chickens. What was an additional bonus, was how the project of working with the chicks, coincided with the curriculum so all second grad students were studying occupations in the school and were able to enjoy the chicks.

To learn more, the farmer gave the students a presentation and then, the students asked question. From that, Ey said the students could learn if they would like to be a farmer.

When the project began, Ey said she wasn’t expecting the level of success that came from the experience. In the meantime however, the entire school became engaged, stopping in to see the babies from time to time.

All total, there were 24 chicks, all of which the students named with the likes of: Lucky, Bella, Jasmine, Princess, John Cena, Terminator, Rufus and more.

Ey who has the students for learning and support with reading and math, said the students response was impressive since some sat with he chickens during the silent independent reading periods. While the students were more engaged, the “calming effect” brought the experience to another level, so they were focused and simply loving the chicks.