Learn­ing with ducks

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL

Holy Cross School class ex­pe­ri­ences the hatch­ing process.

East­port, NL - While the New York Zoo had a gi­raffe, Holy Cross School in East­port had its duck­lings.

The school was live stream­ing the in­cu­ba­tion of Pekin duck eggs be­ing car­ried out by the kinder­garten class. In to­tal, the class got to wit­ness the hatch­ing of four ducks.

This is the sec­ond year the class has taken on the project, in part­ner­ship with farm­ers Cindy and Robert Chaulk, of Chaulk’s Her­itage Farm in Glover­town.

Teacher Cathy Baker said the Chaulk’s vis­ited the class last month, set up the in­cu­ba­tor and have been vis­it­ing once a week teach­ing the stu­dents about the dif­fer­ent stages of the eggs de­vel­op­ment. The stu­dents would also FaceTime with the farm­ers about the project.

“It’s project based, play based learn­ing in kinder­garten,” said Baker.

And the stu­dents were ex­tremely re­spon­sive.

“They (were) sat down in front of the in­cu­ba­tor for most of the day, ‘look­ing af­ter the ba­bies’ as they say,” Baker said.

Fol­low­ing the hatch­ing process, the stu­dents got to touch and feel, the duck­lings, much to their ex­cite­ment.

“One said, ‘Ooh, he’s like a soft cloud.’ An­other said it was ‘like a cot­ton ball of cute­ness’,” said Baker. “Chil­dren even sang duck songs to the duck­lings, read books to the duck­lings in “duck lan­guage”, and recorded their ex­pe­ri­ence with writ­ing, draw­ings and pho­tos dur­ing the last 29 days.”

To mark the oc­ca­sion, fam­ily mem­bers, staff and stu­dents joined in on the visit to in­ter­act with the day old duck­lings.

The duck­lings have since re­turned to the farm, and the chil­dren were sad to see them go, how­ever, it was pointed out by the Chaulk’s that their mama duck is ready to take them into her nest with an­other newly hatched duck­ling.

The stu­dents were pre­sented with Lit­tle Farmer cer­tifi­cates by the Chaulk’s.

“They de­serve a huge thank you for all their time, re­sources, and pa­tience dur­ing the course of this project. They an­swered ev­ery ques­tion the chil­dren had and with­out them, this ex­pe­ri­ence would not have been as en­gag­ing and in­ter­ac­tive for the chil­dren,” said Baker.

“Bring­ing com­mu­nity and school to­gether along with pro­vid­ing rich, ex­pe­ri­en­tial ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren is a pas­sion of mine and I be­lieve that chil­dren learn a great deal from par­tic­i­pat­ing in these types of real life ex­pe­ri­ences. These are the things that school mem­o­ries are made of. Chil­dren carry these ex­pe­ri­ences in their hearts for a life­time.”

In car­ing for the duck­lings, Cindy and Robert Chaulk pre­sented the kinder­garten stu­dents at Holy Cross School with a cer­tifi­cate for a job well done.

For the last month the stu­dents took care of the in­cu­bated eggs and recorded the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence.

On June 22 the stu­dents, un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Glover­town farm­ers Cindy and Robert Chaulk, got to touch and hold the duck­lings.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Last month kinder­garten stu­dents at Holy Cross School in East­port helped hatch Pekin duck eggs.

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