Outdoor and garden education can be tied to all subjects in academics, especially in grade school. My lessons have included art, math, history, science and more! Today I brought one of my beloved chickens to class and she prompted some very lively and rarely-spoken-of topics of discussion. Primarily the kids were just thrilled to be in the presence of a live animal. We observed her for a few moments as she pecked and scratched and checked out the students. I held class in the Socratic method; I didn’t prompt, I simply invited questions… and the kids didn’t fail me!
We talked about what chickens eat, how and when they lay eggs, hens vs. roosters, edible eggs vs fertilized eggs, chicken poop, chicken life expectancy, etc. A few students even mentioned eating chicken. No secrets in the garden! We gathered weeds around the garden to place in her cage in case she was hungry.
It was a very exciting day for the students AND the chicken. She is now safely home with her coop-mates.