Lesson Plan: Egg Hatching Into Sequencing

a lesson plan for all learners, with technology options

Grade levels: K-3

Subjects: Science, Language Arts

National Standards:
NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

National Science Education Standards K-4 Content Standard C - LIFE SCIENCE

In this lesson, you will build an egg with your class, later hide a pretend snake inside, and then "hatch it" together.  As the egg hatches, you will take pictures to later tell the story of the hatching of the snake.  This is a hands on activity that gets kids talking, excited, curious and eager to learn.  Not only is it easy to do, but you can create a whole unit around it in all areas of your curriculum.  This will provide an excellent start to capturing most of your children’s interest, which is imperative if you want to reach children with special needs.  Once you have their interest, maintain it through visuals. Most kids with special needs thrive on activities that pique their interest and are very tangible.  Let all the kids explore this egg using four of their five senses—skip tasting it!


  • Each child will help build a model egg.
  • Each child will research and explore snakes using various multimedia.
  • Each child will participate in the discussion about snakes.
  • Each child will sequence the events of hatching using pictures.
  • Each child will write sentences/words about hatching. 


  • Glue/water mixture—approximately 50/50
  • Enough newspaper strips (2” across) to fit at least 3 good layers around your balloon
  • Balloon
  • a snake (rubber or stuffed)
  • digital or film camera
  • pictures of each stage of the hatching for each child—I recommend color because they are more visually appealing and/or clearer to see
  • Construction paper—one for each picture and title page
  • Lined paper -- or provide lines on the construction paper
  • Clear tape
  • Note to parents discussing project and their contribution

Anticipatory Set:

The anticipatory set for this lesson is immersion in snake-related information through many media. These can remain available throughout the lesson days.

  • Place pictures of various snakes up on the walls to pique student interest before they come in.   Avoid telling them why there are snake pictures everywhere.  Provide a slot of time for them to rotate around the room in groups looking at the various media provided showing snakes in their various forms (hunting, hatching, sleeping, roaming around, curled up, stretched out).  Depending on your age group, include words or phrases with those pictures.
  • Computer: on the student computer place shortcuts to age-appropriate internet sites that show lots of snake pictures or are interactive. See technology options for sites.  
  • Books: provide non-fiction books, but filled with pictures of snakes. 
  • Listening Lab: provide audio books that include different snake sounds or talks about snakes (stick to non-fiction, if at all possible). 
  • Video:  If you have a classroom computer bookmark sites for students to watch short videos about snakes or use a projector to show the entire class. See technology options for sites.
  • Do a whole-class movement activity to music. See technology options for link.
  • Touch Table or Tactile Center: place egg shells, snake skins or dead skins in a bin; or place sand in a touch table or bin with rubber snakes, so they can explore the trail a snake can leave behind. 


  • After allowing each child time to explore the snake centers, have the kids gather around you at the location where you will build your egg.  If you are able, share a snake site on a projector or whiteboard together. See technology options for link.
  • Ask the children to tell you about what they explored in the centers.  Keep it short (5 minutes) because you will have time to pick their brains while making the egg. 
  • Wrap it up by reiterating that snakes come from eggs.
  • Produce your balloon and explain to them that they, too, are going to hatch an egg to see what kind of snake it will produce. 
  • Demonstrate how they are going to make a class egg by dipping a strip of newspaper into the glue/water mix and placing it on the balloon.
  • Allow each child a chance to build the egg.  Note:  Avoid saturating the strips because it will extend the dry time.
  • All the while, keep asking them about what they learned at their centers through questions and encouraging a group discussion. Technology option: Use a digital camera to record the students creating the egg, continue taking pictures of each step of the project to use later in the lesson for student books.
  • Once the egg is built, let it dry completely (usually 24 hours). 
  • Without the kids around, cut out the smallest hole necessary to place the snake inside.  Tape it up to ensure that it does not reopen and fall out. 
  • Extension:  You can allot whatever time you want before hatching the egg.  During that time use the egg to enrich your curriculum: measure the egg for math, spell egg or snake words, write factual sentences or paragraphs, build instruments that sound like rattle snakes, create snakes using play dough or art materials, etc.
  • Sitting in a circle, talk about the egg, what you’ve learned about it, and what you did to get to this point.  Ask students to predict what will happen, what will emerge, etc.  Technology option: If you have an interactive whiteboard write the student predictions on the board and save to revisit the predictions after the egg is hatched.
  • Pass the egg around for each student to explore. Make sure to take pictures of the egg! If using a digital camera, consider taking a picture of EACH child with the egg.
  • Depending on how hard your egg is, you may need an object to help break it.  Each student should get a chance to try to crack the egg—even if it does crack open. 
  • TAKE A PICTURE that shows a crack in the egg.
  • Once the egg is cracked open, take another picture, but pass it around so all the students can peek inside and see who is in there. 
  • Take a picture of the snake inside the egg. 
  • The last student, or you, should take the snake out and lay it beside the egg.  Take another picture.
  • Print out four color pictures of each stage in the snake’s birth for each child. 
  • Hand out the pictures with the construction paper. See technology options for doing this electronically on your classroom computers or in a lab.
  • Ask the students to paste the pictures on each piece of the construction paper, and then put the papers in order which they occurred.  If they are younger, ask them to look at the pictures all at once.  Show them the broken egg and the snake, ask them what happened first. 
  • Once the pictures are in order, have them write a sentence about each one. Keep this at an age-appropriate level for your class and for your children with special needs.See technology options for ways to do this electronically.
  • Have them decorate and title another page to put in front of their book. See technology options for ways to do this electronically.
  • When the book I finished, staple pages together. See technology options for ways to do this electronically.
  • Finally, make a book for each kid by stapling the pieces of papers together. 
  • With a note attached describing the activity, send the book home with an encouragement to all parents to read the book with their child and talk about what happened first, second, third and fourth.


Use a rubric to assess students, adjusting the rubric for different ages using this lesson:
Rubric for younger students
Rubric for older students
... or create your own.

Technology options and tips:

Snake information sites:
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/CreatureFeature/Anaconda            http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/CreatureFeature/Boa

Whole class snake facts site for start of lesson: http://www.kidzone.ws/lw/snakes/facts.htm (this one has some reading, but they could look at the pictures)

Snake audio book:
http://www.netrover.com/~kingskid/sna0.html. The Snakeman by John Rickey (click the arrow to start, then click the speaker to play the audio version as you advance through the pages).

Snake videos:

Whole-class movement activity:
Play this sound clip from Sally the Swingin Snake by Hap Palmer (turn up the speakers) or purchase the CD:

Technology option for creating the book:
If you have a classroom cluster of computers/computer lab with PowerPoint software, have students create the book in PowerPoint. Here's how:

  • Teacher: Open template (RIGHT-click this link and Save target as to save it to your own computer). Add one digital picture per slide on slides 4,5,6,7. Put the pictures in random order so the students can drag and drop the slides into the correct sequence. Add slide background color if desired or plan to print on colored paper to save ink.
  • As soon as students open their copy, do a SAVE AS and rename the file to add the student's name,
    ex. Snake book- Jake.
  • Slide 1: Students type name (for identification if the printed pages get dropped) and title, add clip art if time permits. SAVE!
  • On slides 4,5,6,7, students will:
    • rearrange (drag and drop) the slides to show proper sequence of pictures
    • click on and delete the incorrect sequence words on each slide
    • add student name in footer
    • type sentence for each picture
    • SAVE file!
  • Printing options for creating student book:
    • print full size slides for each student OR
    • print as handouts 2 per page, cut handouts apart and use staples or punch holes and tie with yarn to assemble smaller booklets for each student.

    You can also save the student files to be shared with parents and others via email. Out-of-town relatives enjoy hearing children read the book to them over the phone as they follow on their computer.

*Standards for the English Language Arts, by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, Copyright 1996 by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.  Reprinted with permission.