What Does Education Look Like? Part I

What does learning look like? Consider….

Scene 1:

Child A sits in a classroom full of children who are just his age. “Today, students,” his teacher announces, “We’re going to learn about chickens.” She unrolls a poster of a giant chicken, with each part labeled in big cheery letters. “Has anyone ever seen a chicken?” she asks. No one has, but one child volunteers that they say “cock-a-doodle-doo!”

The lesson goes on, with each part of the chicken pointed out and discussed. A plastic egg is handed around, along with a dry chicken bone, and a plastic bag of chicken feathers. At the end of the lesson, each child is provided a worksheet with a chicken outline and instructed to color it, label the parts, and bring it back tomorrow.

Scene 2:

Child B cautiously opens the door the of the chicken pen, and is immediately surrounded by a dozen clucking, noisy hens, eager for the salad trimmings she’s brought from the house. She distributes the treat, making sure that the smaller hens get a share, and fills the feeder with cracked corn.

Some of the hens have already headed out through the open pen door to spend the day scratching in the garden, feasting on bugs. The child checks each nest box for eggs, gathering them carefully. On the way back to the house, she shoos a hen from the hosta bed and back toward the vegetable garden. She fills an empty egg carton with the morning’s eggs, and sits down to breakfast with the rest of the family.

To be continued…

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3 Responses

  1. Jennifer says:

    I read this to my children who have been in public school and are homeschooling for the first time this year. Very interesting….we can’t wait for the next part.


  2. Pam says:


    Reading this brought tears of laughter to my eyes. Our son has recently started his first entrepeneurial venture on our farm as the proud owner of 15 Rhode Island Red hens. He is keeping a log of their production rate, feed, expenses and profits. I’m not sure he could accurately label all of the parts of a chicken yet, but he can definately tell you all about the proper handling, care and feeding of them. He’ll also tell you that they make fantastic pets! Thank-you for reminding us all that the best learning is experiential learning!

    In Faith,

  1. May 3, 2011

    […] Part I: What is a Chicken? […]

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