Lesson Plan: Egg-Laying Animals
a lesson plan for all learners, with technology options
Grade levels: 2-6
Subjects: Science, Language Arts
NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts
Reading for Perspective
Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
This is a simple activity that brings the subject of egg laying animals to a new level. Any grade can do this activity; just change the objectives and assessment portion to a greater depth of understanding. It brings science to life and motivates students to learn more through research. The hopes of this lesson plan are to allow special needs students to grow and expand research skills, work creatively, and work together with their peers.
- Student will work with a group to create model eggs and model habitat.
- Student will gather research information on egg-laying animals.
- Student will communicate newly-obtained information in the form of a report, outline, sentences, pictures, (however you want them to display it)
- Student will give an oral presentation to the class.
- for egg:
- Balloons (one for each group and back ups) You can find oval or circle shaped balloons if you want to be specific.
- glue/water in 50/50 mixture
- for animal: have children make the animal or provide plastic animals to put inside their egg
- for habitat:
- Construction Paper
- Tissue Paper
- Paper Bowls/Plates
- anything to create with
- Research: books, periodicals, reference books, Internet sites
Build a sample egg (instructions below) and place a bird figure inside the egg. Build an environment where it would most likely be in (a nest, a hole, the water) using creative materials. Do a little research on the bird, where it lives, what it eats, how big it is, what type of environment does it thrive in, etc. Present/model these findings to the class as you explain the task. Teacher options: Do you want it to be a presentation that highlights their research? Do you want to have the egg hatch first? Do you want the class to guess what type of animal might be in the egg at the end of the presentation?
- Divide the class into groups of varying levels.
- Depending on the grade level of your class, assign each group an egg laying animal. Tell them to keep it secret and explain to them how you want them to research their animal.
- Give each child a job, so that you are in control of the appropriate tasks for each child. For special needs and for children who struggle with writing, you may want to assign a more visual task that includes fewer words or words they recognize. If a student struggles with writing, have him/her record information on a recorder to refer to it later. Providing lower level books to all the groups, and pairing children up for support, for example, could involve and challenge your special education children.
- After the research has been completed and displayed in the way you want it to (sentences, outline, PowerPoint, paragraph form, report, wiki, etc), have the children complete the egg.
- Blow the balloon up .
Using newspaper strips dipped in a glue and water mixture , cover the balloon with two or three layers (the runnier the mixture, the longer it takes to dry). Allow to dry.
- Afterwards, cut small hole in it and place the animal inside. Tape up the hole.
- Paint the egg the color that it would be in the wild.
- After the egg has been completed, have the children make a habitat in which the animal would likely live. Encourage them to be creative using materials they have at school and at home. I would suggest giving as little guidance in this creative arena as possible.
- Have the children present their material to the class. Encourage the children to not tell what the animal is and have their classmates guess before the egg "hatches." This will keep the listeners engaged and encourages participation.
During building of eggs and habitats and during oral presentations, use this rubric (or one of your own creation) to assess student's achievement of objectives.
Reviewed websites suitable for research (click to open the TeachersFirst review in a new window and choose those best for your class):
Animal Exploration: See Who’s Out There
Sea World Animal Facts
Instead of paper mache, have students use PowerPoint to create a show that tells about the animal. As the student group presents information, use custom animation and clip art to build the slide and illustrate the facts. See example.
Or create a class wiki, with separate pages for each animal group. Use Paint or a similar program for the group to create a visual "habitat" for their animal and ask students to write about their animal on their wiki page. Share the pages on a projector or interactive whiteboard during student presentations. Learn more about wikis in the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Add a final page on the wiki with digital pictures of each group with their egg and animal as it "hatches." If your wiki is password-protected (private), you will not need to worry about safety issues of including student pictures. Or take the pictures showing only the students' hands. Be sure to share the address/password to see the finished wiki with parents, so they can share in the excitement.
*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.