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Duck Hatching in the Classroom


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A talk about the Mink Hollow Farm School Duck Hatching Program and the benefits of hatching ducks in the classroom.

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Duck Hatching in the Classroom

  1. 1. The Missing Link: Ducks in the Classroom This session will explore the benefits of having live animals in the classroom (with a focus on ducks). Dr. Katrin Becker
  2. 2. overview <ul><li>My background </li></ul><ul><li>NOT reasons I am here </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons I AM here </li></ul><ul><li>Why live animal experiences are important </li></ul><ul><li>Curricular connections </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the curriculum </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background (mine): <ul><li>Raised ducklings as a child (once). </li></ul><ul><li>Also raised 4 (which we ate) in 1984 in the city. </li></ul><ul><li>Started to raise ducks in 1988. </li></ul><ul><li>1989: Approached by friend of friend for eggs to hatch in class. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand grew – saw need for resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Gathered, assessed (based on teacher feedback & requests) supplementary materials. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1995 we were supplying 50-80 schools per year. </li></ul><ul><li>2001: started to move print materials onto the web. </li></ul><ul><li>2002: began to get feedback, requests, etc. world-wide (have received phone-calls from all over N.America; emails from Australia, UK, Spain, …) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why am I here? NOT <ul><li>To drum up more business... </li></ul><ul><li>I volunteer my time to this program </li></ul><ul><li>This program costs my family WAY more than the proceeds bring in. </li></ul><ul><li>I have limited facilities </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why am I here? NOT <ul><li>To encourage agri-business </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, this program is one way to heighten awareness </li></ul>Image source:
  6. 6. Why am I here? NOT <ul><li>To encourage </li></ul><ul><li>organizations like PETA </li></ul>An official report from People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows that the animal rights group put to death more than 97 percent of the dogs, cats, and other pets it took in for adoption in 2006. PETA is for the complete abolition of meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, zoos, aquariums, circuses, wool, leather, fur, silk, hunting, fishing, and pet ownership. PETA brags that its messages reach over 1.2 million minor children, including 30,000 kids between the ages of 6 and 12, all contacted by e-mail without parental supervision .
  7. 7. Why am I here? <ul><li>Invite and encourage educators to consider the importance of experiences involving living things. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why this is important <ul><ul><li>Proper care and treatment of animals (including animals meant for food) costs money. </li></ul></ul>It is difficult to explain the cost of food if one has no understanding of what it takes to grow it.
  9. 9. Why this is important <ul><ul><li>There is not enough arable land to permit all humans to live a vegetarian lifestyle </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. This land cannot grow food WE can eat.
  11. 11. It CAN grow food THEY can eat.
  12. 12. AND then we can eat THEM.
  13. 13. Live animal experiences are more important now than ever before. <ul><li>WHY? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before: <ul><li>Fewer people keep pets </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Recent immigrants have lost their connection to traditional lifestyles. </li></ul>Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before: Image source: Image source: And their connection to animals and the source of their food
  16. 16. <ul><li>More & more urban population </li></ul>Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before:
  17. 17. <ul><li>Distancing from unpleasant aspects of life / death / food production  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding of connection between farming and life. </li></ul></ul>Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before:
  18. 18. <ul><li>Provides an opportunity to address life and death issues in a real context, yet one that is still contained enough to be manageable. </li></ul>Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before:
  19. 19. <ul><li>More & more aspects of everyday life now under human control  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding of our place in the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What we can and can’t control </li></ul></ul>Why live animal experiences are more important now than ever before:
  20. 20. Curricular Connections <ul><li>Attitudes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students will show growth in acquiring and applying the following traits: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curiosity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>confidence in personal ability to explore materials and learn by direct study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inventiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perseverance: staying with an investigation over a sustained period of time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>appreciation of the value of experience and careful observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a willingness to work with others and to consider their ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a sense of responsibility for actions taken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>respect for living things and environments, and commitment for their care. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Curricular Connections Grade 1 Needs of Animals and Plants Seasonal Changes
  22. 22. Curricular Connections Grade 2 Small Crawling and Flying Animals Buoyancy and Boats
  23. 23. Curricular Connections Grade 3 Animal Life Cycles
  24. 24. Curricular Connections Grade 4 Waste and Our World
  25. 25. Curricular Connections Grade 5 Wetland Ecosystems
  26. 26. Curricular Connections Grade 6 Flight
  27. 27. Curricular Connections <ul><li>Language Arts </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Math </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul>
  28. 28. Curricular Connections Grade 7 Interactions And Ecosystems Planet Earth Grade 9 Biological Diversity Grade 12 Genetics Grade 8 Freshwater and Saltwater Systems Grade 11 Ecosystems & Population Change
  29. 29. What is Candling?
  30. 30. What are the parts of an egg?
  31. 31. What does a feather look like?
  32. 32. What are the parts of a duck?
  33. 33. How is an egg made?
  34. 34. How should we handle a freshly laid egg?
  35. 35. How fresh are “fresh” grocery store eggs?
  36. 36. How can we tell the age of an egg in water?
  37. 37. Why don't caesarean sections work on birds?
  38. 38. If there are so many things that can go wrong with an egg, how come we don't ever see any of that when we buy them at the store?
  39. 39. Why make the Effort? <ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic Learning </li></ul>
  40. 40. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Upon graduation from grade 6 many children report that their most memorable experience was doing ducks in grade one. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Parents become better parents. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Builds Community. </li></ul><ul><li>(the whole school will get involved) </li></ul>
  43. 43. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Parent Communication </li></ul><ul><li>(some teachers do ducks to coincide with parent-teacher interviews) </li></ul>
  44. 44. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Mentoring other teachers after retirement. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>Special children shine. </li></ul>ESL Special Needs Behaviourally Challenged Shy
  46. 46. Beyond the Curriculum <ul><li>ALL kids will remember. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Questions?