Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

New Beginnings - Grades 4-6

Things to Learn

Things to Do

Know parts of the egg
  • Break open an egg and point out major parts.
  • Draw an egg and label egg parts.
  • Describe which parts of the egg we eat.
  • Explain why the eggs from the grocery store are not fertile.
Know parts of the embryo
  • Draw an embryo and label parts.
  • Tell what each part does.
  • Tell how a chick gets its food while growing in the egg.
  • With your friends, draw a poster showing how a chick develops from fertilization to hatching.
  • Create a collage or poster on hatching chicks.
Know how to operate an incubator during incubation
  • Describe the functions of the hen.
  • Describe the function of the incubator.
  • Compare the hen and the incubator by explaining what they each provide for the egg and how.
  • Prepare an incubator for eggs.
  • Read a thermometer.
  • Set the thermostat to the correct temperature.
  • Turn the eggs three times a day.
  • Write down the number of eggs you expect will hatch.
Understand changes that occur during incubation
  • Candle eggs each day during incubation beginning at Day 3.
  • Break out one egg on the third, sixth, ninth, twelfth, fifteenth and eighteenth days.
  • Observe and discuss the changes you see in the broken- out embryos.
  • Discuss the major changes you see and decide which changes are most vital.
How nutrition affects living things things
  • Write a list of things that would be good for a chick to eat.
  • What are some things that would not be good to eat and why?
  • Compare this list to things that are good for you to eat.
  • Describe how a chick lives and eats while still an embryo in the egg.
  • Draw the food pyramid showing the basic foods that children need. Try to eat one of each basic food every day and see how your body feels.
Keeping records
  • Keep a record of how many eggs were set, how many eggs were broken-out for study and how many eggs hatched.
  • Use My 4-H Record. Keep a record of incubator temperature and humidity each time the eggs are turned.
  • Keep a record of the weather, the high and low temperatures each day that the eggs are in the incubator. Record any unusual weather conditions, problems, etc.
  • Write word problems about hatching and incubation.
New vocabulary
  • Start a library with books and magazines about eggs, chicks and young birds.


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