National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
Eggs: From Hen to Home
K - 2
In this lesson students will learn about the production of eggs beginning on the farm and ending in their home. Students will also identify the culinary uses and nutritional benefits of eggs.
- Hen to Home PowerPoint
- Computer and LCD Projector
- Hen to Home Role Play Signs (Print 1 copy)
- Small box (shoebox size)
- Egg collecting basket
- Wash basin with water (or sink)
- 1 or 2 dozen eggs in a carton
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
coop: an enclosure where poultry live
egg: an oval or round object laid by a female bird
hen: female chicken usually raised to produce eggs
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- The process from "Hen to Home" takes approximately a week or less.
- When refrigerated, eggs have a shelf life for 3-5 weeks!
- The majority of eggs purchased in a grocery store have white shells and were produced by a White Leghorn, a breed of chicken known for their egg production.
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Ask your students what they had for breakfast. Identify the students who had eggs for breakfast. Ask them how their eggs were prepared. Were they scrambled, fried, or boiled? Were they in an omelette? Do they know that eggs are used to make pancakes and waffles too?
- Ask the students if they know where the eggs came from. Was it the grocery store? Where were they before the grocery store? Today they are going to find out!
Preparation: Before class take the eggs out of the carton and place them in a box that is labeled "nest." This box will represent the nest box where hens lay their eggs on the farm. Keep the cartons handy for step 3 of the lesson.
- Project the Hen to Home PowerPoint in the front of the class.
- Begin with slide 2, titled "Farm." Choose 1 student to be the farmer. Explain to the student and the class that on their farm they raise chickens. Female chickens are called "hens" and hens lay eggs. Now ask the "farmer" to take the egg basket and collect the eggs from the "nest." As he/she is doing so, explain that chickens live in special pens or houses that are called "coops." The farmer makes sure that the hens have food and water. Naturally, hens like to lay their eggs in a nest or box. Explain that feeding, watering, and collecting eggs each day are chores an egg farmer would complete. Once the "farmer" has collected the eggs, ask them to stay in front of the class holding their sign. Using slides 3, 4, and 5 teach the students how many eggs a chicken lays per day, what they eat, and what color eggs are.
- While displaying slide 6, titled "Processing Plant" choose another student to be the processing plant worker. Ask the farmer to give the eggs to the student who is the processor. Explain that after eggs arrive at the processing plant they are cleaned. Have the student wash the eggs in a wash basin with water or at a sink in your classroom and then place the eggs on a towel to dry. After the eggs are washed at the processing plant, they look at the inside of the egg by using a bright light. Ask the students if they know what is inside an egg. Display slide 7 and point out the yolk, white, and shell. Pick up one of the eggs and point out the shell. Then, turn the lights off and use the flashlight to see inside of the egg. This process is called, candling. The students should be able to see the yolk and the white. (White shelled eggs are easiest to see inside.) The last task for the processor to complete is to place the clean, dry eggs in an egg carton. Ask the "processor" to stand to the left of the "farmer" with their sign.
- Teacher Tip: When candling an egg with a regular flashlight, seal your thumb and forefinger in a circle around the end of the flashlight and place the egg on top. This will help direct all of the light through the egg making the inside of the egg more visible.
- While displaying slide 9 titled "Transportation" choose a student to be the truck driver. Ask the student playing the role of the processor to hand the carton of eggs to the truck driver. Explain to the students that the truck driver puts the eggs in the truck and transports the eggs to the grocery store. Eggs are transported in special trucks that are refrigerated to keep the eggs cool and fresh. To simulate the truck driving to the store, walk with the student "truck driver" around the perimeter of the classroom carrying the eggs. Explain that sometimes eggs have to travel many miles to arrive at the grocery store. Once you have reached the front of the classroom again have the "truck driver" stand to the left of the "processor" holding their sign.
- While displaying slide 10 titled "Grocery Store" choose a student to be the grocer. Ask the "truck driver" to deliver the carton of eggs to the grocer. Explain to the class that once the eggs arrive at the grocery store they are placed on a shelf in a refrigerator until someone purchases them. Ask the "grocer" to place the eggs on a "shelf" (nearby table or desk) and then stand to the left of the truck driver with their sign.
- While displaying slide 11 titled, "Home" choose a student to represent a mom or dad at the grocery store. Ask the student to pick up the carton of eggs, pretend to pay for them, and take them home. Use slides 12, 13, and 14 to teach students about the nutrition found in eggs and the different foods that eggs are in. Ask the student representing the consumer to stand to the left of the grocer.
- With all 5 students standing in front of the class, review the steps an egg passes through to get from "Hen to Home."
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- A female chicken, called a hen is raised on a farm to produce eggs for us to eat.
- Hens can lay about 1 egg per day once they are full grown.
- Eggs are produced on a farm, cleaned and packaged at a processing plant, transported to a grocery store, then finally sold to a consumer.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Have students color and complete the "A "MAZE" ing Egg" worksheet.
If any of your students have their own chickens, invite the student to bring some eggs from home. Compare the size and color(s) of eggs with those that are typically purchased from the grocery store.
Visit the Interactive Map Project website and view the map representing Egg Production in the United States. Identify the state that produces the most eggs, then find where your state ranks for egg production.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Chick Life Cycle (Book)
- Chickens on the Farm (Book)
- Chicks & Chickens (Book)
- Daisy Comes Home (Book)
- Farm Animals: Chickens (Book)
- Hatching Chicks in Room 6 (Book)
- How Food gets from Farms to Store Shelves (Book)
- One Egg (Book)
- The Cow in Patrick O'Shanahan's Kitchen (Book)
- Tillie Lays an Egg (Book)
- Zinnia and Dot (Book)
- All About Eggs (Multimedia)
- Chicken Embryo Development (Multimedia)
- Eat Happy Project video series (Multimedia)
- Eggs 101: A Video Project (Multimedia)
- Hatching Science: 21 Days of Discovery Video (Multimedia)
- Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips (Multimedia)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Trace the sources of agricultural products (plant or animal) used daily (T5.K-2.f)
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
- Explain how farmers work with the lifecycle of plants and animals (planting/breeding) to harvest a crop (T2.K-2.a)
- Identify animals involved in agricultural production and their uses (i.e., work, meat, dairy, eggs) (T2.K-2.b)
- Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)
Education Content Standards
Health Standard 1: Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.2.1Identify that healthy behaviors impact personal health.
Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
7.2.1Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
K-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
K-LS1-1Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
Common Core Connections
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Language: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.3Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.4Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.